Automotive manufacturers

Characteristics and particularities
Industry insight

The automotive industry – and in particular automotive manufacturers – is subject to strong competition and cost pressure. These factors are compounded by challenges such as a sharp rise in product variety, spiralling part complexity, the virtually unmanageable variant diversity and consumers that wish to individually configure their car until shortly before production start, while still expecting rapid delivery. The automotive industry is only able to rise to these challenges by applying efficient processes and permanent optimisation measures. Hence, implementation of Industry 4.0 in production and logistics is a key topic in this industry especially. Persistent expansion into new core markets such as China or India, the introduction of future key powertrain technologies - especially e-mobility - and vehicle infotainment systems are significant factors for the continued viability of companies operating this industry.

Challenges to
ensure competitiveness

The following are specific framework conditions and special challenges that are characteristic of the automaker industry:

  • Global production networks with customer proximity and local plants; production capacities are subject to immense growth, above all in China and Mexico
  • Global sourcing with long logistics chains and rising local content quotas at many production locations around the world necessitate highly efficient supply chain management
  • High division of labour and close collaboration between manufacturers and suppliers, just-in-time (JiT) and just-in-sequence (JiT) and supplier relationship management standards that need to be managed, even over longer distances
  • Lean production and lean logistics to increase efficiency and flexibility, as well as a consistent implementation of the company's proprietary production system, are extremely significant principles among automakers that are developed continuously
  • Penetration of the market for electric/hybrid vehicles and establishment or expansion of the requisite core competencies in production and logistics
  • Strong increase in model diversity and part variance has led to an explosion in the number of parts; this produces extremely sophisticated logistics models and requires highly efficient supplier relationship management
  • International order fulfilment processes (order-to-delivery) that meet the needs of the market are becoming increasingly important for adherence to delivery deadlines and minimisation of the vehicle inventories
  • Aftermarket services with rising requirements and lucrative revenue potential, for instance in the supply of spare parts or the sale of accessories

Selected consulting focuses

  • Supply planning during the product development process
  • Optimisation of total landed costs
  • Optimisation of procurement networks
  • Supplier relationship management
  • Lean production and lean logistics
  • Logistics centres for production supply
  • Intralogistics according to the line back principle
  • Order picking zones and supermarkets concepts
  • In-house transport concepts using tugger trains or automated guided vehicles (AGV)
  • Line-side presentation concepts for complete vehicle assembly lines
  • Expansion and modification of plant structures
  • Qualification of critical supply chains
  • Transport and freight cost optimisation
  • Implementation of big data analyses to optimise transports and inventories
  • Packaging and container optimisation
  • Spare part fulfilment in warehouse management and distribution
  • Supply chain design for electric vehicle manufacturers

Project examples
Customer benefits through industry expertise

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