Supply chain efficiency supports rapid growth in automotive industry
The main aim for most businesses is growth, but when it occurs rapidly it can place additional stresses on an organisation as it adjusts to new commercial circumstances. Rosti Automotive, a tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry, encountered such a challenge as a large new contract win placed pressure on its existing supply chain. Consequently, Rosti Automotive enlisted Optimas Solutions, a global distributor and service provider of fasteners and c-class components, to simplify and manage its supply chain, allowing Rosti Automotive to place full attention on its core business activities.
Rosti Automotive, a supplier of components and assemblies to OEM automotive manufacturers, incorporates products such as precision moulded products, system assemblies and instrument clusters.
To enable the manufacturing of these products, a wide range of individual parts are required. However, upon winning a large contract for an OEM customer, Rosti Automotive needed to restructure and optimise its supply chain to scale to meet the increased demand, so it contacted Optimas regarding a partnership. Focus centred on the two Rosti Automotive facilities in Stamford Bridge and Pickering, with sourced components for both initially delivered via a highly complex supply chain.
Supplied components varied across several diverse product categories including, fasteners, c-class components, foams, tapes and rubber parts. Therefore, due to increased demand, it was problematic for Rosti Automotive to sacrifice time towards managing the supply chain if it was to deliver on the new order. Optimas leaned on its global product category portfolio and expertise in distribution services that streamline supply chains to deliver a solution.
The initial proposal forwarded by Optimas greatly simplified the supply chain, providing one point of contact for all Rosti Automotive’s component concerns while also delivering the parts required. This resulted in the reduction of Pickering’s and Stamford Bridge’s suppliers. By simplifying the supply chain and creating a centralised point of contact – efficiency was increased from a component specification and logistics standpoint. Optimas was able to utilise its decades of experience providing for such clients, by offering its component portfolio to replace more complex aspects of the supply chain. This expertise ensured that Optimas could provide the variation in parts to service Rosti Automotive’s requirements.
As a result, Rosti Automotive could focus on its core commodities such as plastics, paint and a small number of manufacturers supplying additional products. Time that would typically be spent placing orders, chasing components and general administration was now free, allowing Rosti Automotive to be more dynamic in assigning its capacity. For the vast majority of required components, Rosti Automotive engineers can now simply liaise with Optimas to actively manage the influx of parts as needed.
Kevin Johnson, Optimas’ Implementation Manager for the project, expanded: “We currently have an on-site envoy at both Stamford Bridge and Pickering, so we can ensure parts are delivered to the production line in a timely and efficient manner. In addition to this, the envoys can react quickly to any line or build changes that might be required by the customer. Furthermore, as we are still implementing the supply framework, we are holding weekly implementation reviews so that we can continue to push further efficiency. This means we can manage the supply chain more effectively, and gain greater familiarity with Rosti Automotive so we can respond with increased speed. With a simplified supply chain and close contact, we can handle the proliferation of parts for this new contract in a straightforward manner.”
To manage the influx of components, Optimas introduced a Direct Line Feed System, which utilises containers and racks (operated by Optimas) to deliver an optimum number of parts to the production line as required. This lean manufacturing approach increases efficiency, but also saves warehousing space as less parts require storage on-site.
Johnson continued: “The benefits of supply chain simplification via a capable component supply partner are clear. The logistical problems encountered by Rosti Automotive have evaporated and the business is maximising the opportunities of the new contract.”
By involving a global supply partner, Rosti Automotive was able to tackle the new challenges of rapid growth head-on, while also opening the door to increased efficiency, and as a result, reduced lead times. Working in conjunction, both businesses could define fastener requirements, while seamlessly implementing new supply policies and procedures.