The Hidden Risks of Supply Chain Balancing
An ultra-time sensitive trans-European project completed by Evolution Time Critical highlights the risks associated with the increasingly common trend of supply chain balancing.
The emergency logistics specialist was required to devise, implement, and deliver a contingency that bridged a potential supply chain fracture for a major vehicle manufacturer. As supply chain balancing becomes more commonplace, the experience demonstrates that working with an emergency logistics partner can provide a robust operational safeguard.
“Supply chain balancing is a vital method of maintaining stability within modern automotive supply chains, but inherent problems exist that can exacerbate challenges and which are not always immediately spotted,” said Evolution Time Critical managing director, Brad Brennan. “For example, we were contacted by a major vehicle manufacturer facing line stoppage if vital material stocks were not replenished during the night following a supply failure.”
A simple resourcing of stock from an alternative location was made more complicated by handling and timescale limitations. The hazardous material had previously been transported by road so its packaging was not suitable for the air charter that was required due to a fast-approaching deadline.
“Evolution Time Critical arranged late night specialist dangerous goods packaging and an alternative origin airport due to the out-of-hours requirements of this project,” said Brennan. “We also checked legislative variations and made arrangements for the production of a dangerous goods certificate, ensuring safe passage of the materials via road and air, minimizing the risk of further delays, thus balancing stock to provide sufficient materials to maintain production in both locations.”
The viability of this time-sensitive solution and ability to overcome the hidden difficulties intrinsic to supply chain balancing would have been compromised without the supply chain visibility that prevails in 2016, noted Brennan. Clarity throughout this vehicle manufacturer’s OEM operations enabled Evolution Time Critical’s team of analysts to swiftly assess the options for successful resolution before implementing the most robust course of action.
The automotive industry is now more time-contracted than ever before, with a greater number of launches, more intensive production, and strategic supply chain balancing placing greater pressure on suppliers and their logistics network. “The ability to work with an emergency logistics specialist,” said Brennan, “which is accustomed to working in a high pressure environment and has a multimodal capability that can be tailored to time-sensitive situations, provides vehicle manufacturers and OEMs with a vital production fail safe.”