Providing the extra help to manage the supply chain for a new car launch

The challenge

The challenge was to ensure the successful launch of a new car for this major vehicle manufacturer. The level of demand anticipated meant an unusually high rate of climb if they were to reach full production volume within only three months. This would require overcoming the many risks to parts supply. Success would depend on rapidly gaining extra help with the management and support of the critical suppliers to ensure that their capacity and quality would meet the launch requirements for all components.

How we helped

Our engineers’ experience immediately allowed us to give this extra capability by providing an additional supplier management team, formed to give full shift coverage including weekends. Deployed at twelve key suppliers and co-ordinated by our central control centre, they developed a robust early warning system with a rapid reaction team available to resolve problems as they happened, around the clock.

They worked in partnership with the customer’s technical and quality assurance teams to develop a new supplier management process including all communication, visual management, reporting and escalation processes. This allowed the root cause of problems to be identified and containment actions to be put in place that maintained supply while improvement plans were implemented to fix the issue fully.

The results

The challenging rate of climb to full production in three months was achieved, supported by a consistent 95% availability of parts.

The new supplier management systems that were developed continue to be used and have set the standards for all future product launches.