Automotive suppliers

Characteristics and particularities
Industry insight

Virtually no other industry has recorded comparable growth over the last two decades as that of the automotive suppliers. To an extremely significant extent, this development is due to volume enlargements, greater part complexities, new technologies and a sharp rise in value added contribution. Nevertheless, competitive and price pressure have risen concurrently. This is due to the sourcing systems applied by the automakers and the major suppliers (Tier 1) in a global market, rising commodity prices and in particular the continuous cost saving programs initiated throughout the industry. Shorter product life cycles, greater part variance with declining volumes and the virtually unplannable requirements demand that the industry provide significant flexibility in production and logistics.

Challenges to
ensure competitiveness

Specific framework conditions and special challenges that are characteristic of the automotive supplier industry:

  • Global production networks with customer proximity and local plants
  • Production locations in eastern Europe have reached the limits of their capacity and have lost their cost advantages, necessitating efficiency enhancement programmes and sustainably optimised structures
  • Global sourcing with long logistics chains and rising local content quotas
  • Inventory optimisation and minimal throughput times in the global supply chain
  • Just-in time (JiT) and just-in-sequence (JiT) customer deliveries with guarantee of absolute security of supply and product quality
  • Lean management in production and logistics to enhance efficiency and flexibility; introduction of a proprietary production system
  • Implementation of customer standards and delivery in the requested mode variant
  • Deployment of smart planning and control systems in production and logistics
  • Tools for supplier relationship management (SRM); the issue of supply chain risk management is becoming increasingly important in particular
  • Rising transport volumes and the increase in transport cost shares necessitate new transport concepts, for instance controlled retrieval or 4PL, which themselves require permanent optimisation
  • Launch of supplier parts to secure a position in the future market of electric vehicles
  • Changes in powertrain concepts require the affected suppliers to modify their product portfolios
  • Participation in the independent aftermarket

Selected consulting focuses

  • Supply planning during the product development process
  • Total landed cost optimisation
  • Optimisation of procurement networks
  • Optimisation of purchasing processes and introduction of supplier relationship management
  • Supplier relationship management
  • Lean production and lean logistics
  • Intralogistics according to the line back principle
  • Implementation of just-in-sequence in production and logistics
  • Logistics centres for production supply
  • Order picking zones and supermarkets concepts
  • In-house transport concepts using tugger trains or automated guided vehicles (AGV)
  • Material flow concepts for production Locations
  • Expansion of plant structures
  • Line-side presentation concepts for assembly and manufacturing Areas
  • Outsourcing of logistics, tenders for service Providers
  • Switch in transport concepts, e.g. milk runs and tactical route planning
  • Transport and freight cost optimisation using big data analytics Tools
  • Packaging and container optimisation
  • Inventory optimisation using big data analytics Tools
  • Production planning and control, introduction of pull control and levelled control according to Heijunka
  • Spare part fulfilment in warehouse management and Distribution
  • Management of critical supply chains

Project examples
Customer benefits through industry expertise

A selection from our extensive range of products.