The Need for Speed in Automotive Logistics

When people think about the automotive industry, they think about fast cars and burning rubber. The reality is, automotive logistics is rarely as efficient as outside observers might assume. Even as the vehicles they’re producing get faster, manual processes and visibility gaps continue to slow companies down.

While some automotive companies are looking to emerging technology like augmented reality and machine learning to speed up their supply chains, many of the solutions that could have the biggest impact are already tried and tested, and widely available. Here are a few immediate opportunities to drive efficiency and optimize automotive logistics.

Embrace automation

When employees are forced to waste time manually inputting data and navigating complex processes with dozens of steps, mistakes and delays are inevitable. Confusion ensues at the loading dock. Things slip through the cracks. And whether a shipper is sending a fleet of minivans to a dealership or getting repair equipment to a racetrack ahead of a high-stakes competition, the results of this inefficiency are the same: unhappy customers, reputational damage, and a lower chance of repeat business.

Embracing a leading-edge transportation management system (TMS) like Honeybee TMS™ allows automotive supply chain managers to automate many of the manual processes that are slowing their function down. Staff can plan, execute, and manage shipments in a fraction of the time, all on one platform, eliminating the need to constantly pick up the phone or hunt for information. This not only helps shipments get out on time, but puts time back in employees’ days—so they can focus on identifying other optimization opportunities.

Identify bottlenecks

The supply chain can only be as fast as its weakest link. Unfortunately, many automotive logistics managers lack the visibility they need to identify where their biggest bottlenecks lie.

Data can help, but managing large amounts of data can create inefficiencies of its own, especially if a team lacks data skills or appropriate tools. To enjoy the benefits of data analytics without the downsides, automotive logistics managers should look to harness a TMS with built-in business intelligence capabilities. That way, they can gain a bird’s eye view of their operations to spot the major culprits of inefficiencies—from a mistake that’s occurring again and again to a particular carrier that’s consistently late for pick-ups.

Outsource effectively

Whether they’re moving luxury vehicles or budget parts, many automotive logistics managers are working with small teams that are stretched to capacity. With little money in the budget to hire more people, skills gaps go unfilled, and projects that could improve efficiency fall by the wayside.

Relying on outsourced services can be a more cost-effective solution. Rather than investing time and resources to find and hire a new full-time salaried employee, shippers can tap a trusted outsourced provider to simply augment their existing team—plugging any gaps and unlocking greater efficiency. The right provider can even bring insights gleaned from other companies they’ve supported, allowing shippers to implement best practices and learn from the mistakes and successes of others.

Streamline your automotive logistics function

At CTSI-Global, we’re obsessed with efficiency. Our proprietary logistics technology and expert outsourced services can help automotive logistics managers optimize their processes—and keep the wheels of their function moving smoothly.

Drive greater efficiency in your automotive supply chain. Contact us today.