The shift to just-in-time manufacturing has created new synergies between the automotive sector and logistics companies such as DHL, which have developed the systems needed to deliver on time and in sequence.
Automotive Purchasing News talks to Graham Slawson, automotive industry sales manager, Corporate Account Management DHL.
Automotive Purchasing News (APN): DHL is building on the expertise developed in the courier business to offer a full logistics service. How are you managing the change from what is often perceived as a last-resort service to a logistics group?
Slawson: I would certainly agree that courier companies are the “industry firemen” who help dampen the fire in a crisis and again it is true that one of our competencies is that of the worldwide market leader in express services and aircraft charter to keep the wheels turning.
However, the key drivers of the automotive industry to create solutions to reduce cost, improve lead times and enhance quality fit perfectly with the DHL vision for the automotive industry globally, where our industry specialist are working in cooperation with companies within the sector to positively effect all of these levers. This cooperation has created innovative solutions in pre-production and aftermarket warehousing, inventory management and assembly within the high pressure JIT / JIS sector.
We are also gearing up to meet the needs of the trend towards a “pull” supply strategy and how this impacts on the component suppliers. Services have been designed to offer total control of inbound material flows from “pick up sheet” to our full “control tower” concept offering visibility and control and further able to operate in a LLP environment.
APN: How is DHL adapting to the changing face of global logistics?
Slawson: Deutsche Post World Net, owners of DHL have placed all worldwide express and logistics services under one brand. This has seen Danzas and Deutsche Post Euro Express as well join forces with DHL, meaning DHL is now providing Total Supply Chain Management by integrating express logistics, warehousing and freight solutions from a single source.
DHL also works with selected service providers and partners for its solutions. DHL has strategic partners in the areas of physical logistics (3PLs for transportation and warehousing), financial services, supply chain consulting and IT solutions, either within the Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN) Group or outside. The selection process always takes place in line with customer needs and preferences and according to rules of neutrality initially established in contractual terms.
DHL’s partnership with F1 and Official Logistics status highlight our capabilities to support high-performance businesses running critical just-in-time sequences.
APN: What does DHL offer the motor industry?
Slawson: The automotive industry plays a significant role in the global economy, which is in turn reflected in DHL globally with a strong presence throughout the vertical supply chain. DHL designs and manages entire automotive supply chains for inbound (auto assembly) and aftermarket (spare parts) distribution. Through consultation and analysis, we examine strategy and evaluate the logistics consequences of specific business options to supply optimal tailor-made solutions.
Tailor-made solutions involve consultation and analysis to examine strategy, evaluate the logistics consequences of business options and supply the logistics solution that best meets customer needs. Once the objectives are set, experienced supply chain technology experts design, engineer and implement the logistics system. The customized solution can include management by DHL Solutions, as well as value-added services, such as invoicing and financial services.
APN: With the focus on core competencies by the auto industry, what outsourced services does DHL provide?
Slawson: DHL acts as a general, impartial contractor, offering comprehensive supply chain management services from a single source, thus minimising the costs associated with managing a broad range of relationships.
DHL’s Automotive team is available as an in-house R&D resource to access the complete network of DHL and Deutsche Post World Net group. We work with our customers to review supply chain efficiencies as a segment of DHL’s Continuous Improvement Programme. One of the main tasks is to evaluate cost efficiency, to ensure that costs are being driven down through the contract duration. Data analysis allows DHL to provide customers with ‘what if modeling’ or the impact of changing the business rules.
Our industry specialists will customise our distribution, inventory, IT and compliance service modules into the solutions required for supplier and dealer service agreements, spare parts distribution, mission critical repairs, prototype shipments and direct distribution needs.
Solutions are available with contracted guaranteed levels of service required. We currently operate leading service agreements for a broad range of auto manufacturers, spare part manufacturers and fleet management companies.
DHL Supply Chain Services
The extent to which DHL has grown from its courier business base is reflected in the range of supply chain services the company offers, in addition to the physical moving of goods. These services include:
Receipt, management, execution, sequencing and dispatch of orders in a timely manner.
Call Centre Management
A Call Centre manages orders, monitors sales activities, provides customer services and functions as a Help-desk.
Global Inventory Management
DHL gives the customer a global view of inventory, thus enabling informed decisions regarding the disposition of stock.
Consolidated Billing Services
The creation of a consolidated and categorised invoice, based on all services performed in a specific time-period by more than one service provider, made available in an agreed format.
Freight & Customs Solutions
DHL’s many years of experience with international trade requirements and formalities, combined with the European Competence Centre and country expertise help speed cross border transactions.