MARTORELL, Spain - A supplier park close to the factory and run by a single logistics specialist cuts costs for everyone.
At the VW factory here, production rose from 749 units per day in 1993 to 1,672 units per day in 1996. Martorell makes the Seat Ibiza, Cordoba, Toledo and Inca and the VW Polo, Classic and Caddy. Over the same period the number of components provided per hour from the supplier park rose from 1,140 to more than 2,400. They all come just-in-time and in sequence.
Martorell's supplier park supports 27 companies employing 700 people who manufacture 35 different component assemblies. They operate under a single logistics management, which runs an integrated supply chain to the factory.
From 1993 to 1996, logistical costs for suppliers fell 25 percent, according to Exel Logistics. Exel operates the park through its local subsidiary, Gestion Logistica Martorell.
'The benefits of having just one single logistics operator are considerable since this offers greater flexibility and facilitates continuous improvement,' said Leigh Pomlett, managing director of Exel's Auto Motor Business Unit.
Pomlett said Seat had several objectives with the park:
Getting suppliers of just-in-time pre-assemblies close to the production line
Using specialist skills for managing supply chain investment costs
Converting all the supply chain costs to Ibiza and Cordoba into variable costs
Guaranteeing just-in-time delivery and zero stock-holding at the assembly lines.
Transport is optimized by suppliers sharing tow-trains, shuttle trucks, fork-lifts and other equipment. A central computer controls all materials in the warehouse, in transit and at the assembly line.
Exel's central sequencing system is linked directly to the Seat computer. Thus the supplier park can respond to demand and match color and specification car by car. The system also organizes the collection and handling of each sub-assembly from the loading deck.
Exel Logistics workers unload the containers, check the sequence order, position the sub-assemblies at the consumption point, and load empty containers for return to the park. Suppliers share the costs of services such as security and maintenance.