Adam Opel AG receives VDA Logistics Award 520 participants at VDA and BVL’s Forum Automotive Logistics in Leipzig
“Supply chain management and logistics is the specialty of all of us, no matter which specific technical field we work in. Our commitment and willingness to learn with and from one another bring us closer together at the forum Automotive Logistics,” said Prof. Raimund Klinkner, President of the Board of the German Logistics Association (BVL), at the evening event on first day of the forum. The forum is organized jointly by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) and the BVL.
Klinkner said the most important overarching logistical topic was the digitalization of the sector. “In technology-loving Germany, Industry 4.0 needs more advanced methods and procedures from supply chain management and logistics if it is to have its full effect. Rapidly developing IT creates new opportunities for logistics. One cannot function without the other,” he explained. According to a BVL survey, the next items on the logistics agenda are compliance, processes and organization, and risk management in the supply chain. The BVL summarizes the changing overall conditions, along with new market opportunities in 2015, in its topic for this year: “A world in motion.” It considers the many and varied international ties, the developments in information technology, general economic and political conditions – and the ever more limited forecasting of economic indicators.
VDA President Matthias Wissmann underscored the Europe-wide importance of the Forum Automotive Logistics as a congress for logistics in the automotive industry: “520 participants show that the VDA and the BVL have created an event that is hugely important for the ongoing development of automotive production logistics.” He added the success of the German automotive industry was partly rooted in outstanding logistics performance. Wissmann said, “Our high export quota demands very complex logistics chains that function smoothly. The logistics providers in our industry are setting the standards for production logistics around the world.” In Germany, 5.6 million passenger cars were built in 2014. And exports increased to 4.3 million units.
Opel scoops VDA Logistics Award
This year’s VDA Logistics Award goes to Adam Opel AG. The vehicle manufacturer receives the prize for a new, intelligent logistical system that intensively connects order planning and the supply of materials in terms of organization and process technology. The system simultaneously compares new car orders for production with material availability. Above all, the material pipeline of overseas suppliers is taken into account. The prizewinners described numerous advantages of the new system: transparency, flexibility, lower material inventories and the reduction of special material transports. In addition, it should be possible to keep to vehicle delivery dates more precisely.
“The system provides support for fulfilling customers’ wishes in a flexible and timely manner, and for optimizing both the value-added chain and the production program. We can react to changing conditions with full transparency, swiftly and flexibly,” stated Michael Scholl, Director Supply Chain at Opel, at the presentation ceremony.
VDA President Wissmann emphasized: “With this award the judges have recognized a highly innovative concept. The integration of program, material and order planning dovetails important areas that until now have often operated side by side. That brings enormous advantages – lower material inventories, fewer special transports and even better delivery reliability. But most of all it demonstrates that with new, intelligent process innovations the automotive logistics specialists repeatedly contribute to the ongoing improvement in our industry’s competitiveness. The VDA Logistics Award pays tribute to such outstanding logistics concepts because they should act as role-models and incentives for every company. In this way our logistics providers at the manufacturers and suppliers help ensure that the German automotive industry is always at least one step ahead.”
The new system was developed by a multi-disciplinary team at Opel with members from logistics, materials management, order management and IT, in cooperation with an IT service provider. It enables a projection period of 40 weeks and covers around 45,000 part numbers, currently for 20 Opel models produced in seven European plants.
Visits to Porsche, BMW and DB Schenker
Alongside the main lectures, the forum participants can tackle individual aspects of logistics in the automotive industry, in numerous topic-based sessions. With nearly 40 speakers, the event offers a comprehensive, high-caliber program. The main focal topics on the first day were globalization of the supply chains, transparency of intercontinental goods flows, container management, change management, and resource-conserving logistics. The second day begins with a lecture on success factors for stable production. There are also parallel discussion sessions about intelligent logistical processes, and challenges for global production and supply networks.
In addition to the lectures and discussions a number of site visits are available. At the Porsche factory in Leipzig, the visitors can view the assembly of Porsche models with pure gasoline and diesel drive trains, and the production of plug-in hybrid vehicles. The BMW plant in Leipzig offers insights into the production of vehicles with electric drive and lightweight CFRP bodies. Furthermore, the DB Schenker logistics center in Leipzig is opening its doors to the congress participants. With a total of approx. 1,500 employees it supplies components to BMW automotive facilities in China and South Africa. Places are limited on all the guided tours.