Supply Chain in the Automotive Industry and the Future to Come

As David Kiger knows, the automotive industry involves a wide range of organizations, procedures, developers, manufacturers, and marketing strategies to finally deliver a vehicle to a customer. This is why in this particular field Supply Chain Management strategies become crucial in order for the industry to be successfully efficient and economically sustainable.

So far, during this year, different specialists have dedicated some thoughts and considerations to the things that could be possibly done in order to help the supply chain procedures in the automotive industry. In this article, some trends about what is expected to happen with the automotive industry and the supply chain related processes during the next year.

Automated Control

During the near future, it is expected for the automotive industry to increase the usage of driverless vehicles to support most operations. This includes trucks, camera systems, GPS, lasers and the implementation of numerous automated systems. The idea behind this concept is to be able to anticipate any possible undesirable situation and be able to counter it.

Internet Usage

Being able to immediately react in the distance to any problem that may occur is priceless. Thanks to this, one of the trends for next year control of the automotive industry is to keep every control device connected to the internet. This way, mistakes, and delays will be minimized and companies will be able to make important decisions in real time just by pushing a button.

“Milk Run” Systems

Instead of using huge trucks to deliver a thousand components, the automotive industry will use smaller vehicles or tuggers to deliver materials and components. This aims to enhance the Just in Time production strategies since tuggers allow producers to have everything they need at hand sooner than trucks. Also, smaller vehicles can be easily programmed to deliver smaller amounts of supplies.

supply chain_Automotive Industry_BMW Mini plant in Oxford England.
Image courtesy of Department for Business, Innovation and Skills at

Local Organizations and Partnerships

When an organization finds local support, they reduce the possibilities of having delays or problems related to the logistics of materials. In countries where the automotive industry is well-developed, such as Germany, counting on the support of local organizations becomes crucial in terms of reducing or avoiding downtime.

Powering Lift Trucks

Another trend that is affecting many industries this year is the way machines are powered. In the case of the automotive industry, an important trend to consider for this 2018 is the way lift trucks are powered. Some of them are not using Diesel anymore and are moving to electricity or gas. It is important to realize that companies must choose what is more viable and leads to saving some costs in time.

Customized Handling

Manufacturing process tends to become more complex within time, thanks to this many experts consider that it is important to think about it was it was “personal.” This means that processes need to become almost tailor-made depending on the type of vehicle a company wants to assembly or design.

Companies should orient their efforts to choose materials, processes, suppliers, equipment and even people in a way that they can specifically know how to produce something in the best way possible.

Different Case Scenarios

It is no secret that companies always want to minimize any possible disaster or problem related to their supply chain. Thanks to this, one of the trends for this year in the automotive industry is to use different software that may allow companies to simulate different scenarios.

Being able to simulate how the warehouse and the delivery trucks are going to work, may represent and a great advantage for companies who want to minimize risks. Day-to-day operations can be easily managed when companies are able to predict what may and may not happen along the manufacturing process.

Companies are starting to use 3D simulation systems supported by different platforms that give them different options to simulate their conditions. These platforms will allow companies to measure a vast range of details, such as battery discharge, delivering times, operator shit behavior, the ability to drive trucks, production timing, among others.

Weighing Before Packing

Last year, the policies related to the weight of products and the way they are packed was regulated by the Safety of Life at Sea Convention or SOLAS. This created the need for companies in the automotive industry to weight their products before packing and shipping them. This means that the gross mass of any container will need to be measured from now on.

Thanks to this, during the next year the usage of mobile scales will become more popular in order to help producers make sure they are following the new standards before moving forward in the manufacturing process.

Flexible Machines

Usually, the machines used by the automotive industry are heavy and diesel powered. For this year, different companies will launch new and more flexible machinery that can be easily handled by producers. Plus, this machinery will be environmentally friendly, trying to avoid carbon emissions.

Related: The importance of the Supply Chain Manager by David Kiger

* Featured Image courtesy of Department for Business, Innovation and Skills at


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