Saturday 22nd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Contingency planning is key during summer shutdowns

Car makers and tier one suppliers must have contingency plans in place as manufacturers and suppliers across Europe prepare for summer shutdowns, according to Evolution Time Critical.

The emergency logistics specialist has highlighted a number of key supply challenges facing European vehicle manufacturers in the next few weeks.

These include additional deliveries and components – both before and after shutdown; shortages caused by tier one and tier two suppliers with different shutdown dates; and quality issues raised by the use of skeleton staff.

Temporary packaging, inadequate labelling and the difficulty of acquiring parts needed for engineering changes are also potential problem areas.

“The summer shutdown period regularly causes headaches for manufacturers as shortages resulting from this annual supply chain disruption threaten to cause production delays,” said Brad Brennan, managing director, Evolution Time Critical.

“This has become more challenging since the recession, as suppliers have tended to reduce their stock holdings, which has affected their flexibility at this time of year. Many European countries are also starting to introduce tighter vehicle restrictions across their borders during the summer holiday period. This has increased the demand for smaller transport vehicles or airfreight rather than articulated lorries.”

Brennan added: “Clearly, holding extra inventory is not ideal for manufacturers, and neither is the additional decanting involved in receiving supplementary deliveries. Accurate contingency planning is the key to making sure that disruption is minimised and production can continue as smoothly as possible following the summer shutdown period.”