31st January 2018
Automotive logistics management solution for Sovereign's finished vehicle logistics client
Suzuki turns ideas into reality with Sovereign's EML solution
After identifying Sovereign as its logistics IT provider, Suzuki required rigorous management and planning from the initiation phase to ensure there was minimal disruption to the day to day processes that would continue to run during the implementation of the new system. Suzuki has a number of logistics service providers to also consider, making planning vital to ensure the system not only met all of Suzuki’s requirements, but also worked seamlessly in managing its complete finished vehicle supply chain in the UK.
John Miller-Wilson, Account Director at Sovereign explains, ‘Suzuki’s requirements are unique to their supply chain and it was important that we developed a solution tailored to its precise needs. For example, Suzuki wanted to track their vehicles whilst continuing to allow their logistics suppliers the freedom to operate their logistics systems in their own compounds. So, Suzuki’s EML does not build the loads but is immediately aware of what has been built and the implications for ETA are updated in real time for Suzuki employees.’
As well as Suzuki going live on EML, phase one included a small group of the dealers to be set up on the system, EML integrating with the LSP’s systems (which also involved managing the sequencing of batch and real time systems working together) and making sure that from day one, that the express lane at Zeebrugge was being managed to prioritising sold vehicles to be shipped which achieved immediate efficiencies for Suzuki in its investment.
On track with Suzuki’s own EML
Hailed a ‘welcomed development’ by one of the largest and extremely successful Suzuki dealerships, Suzuki’s EML has achieved a significant impact from the start. The accurate visibility it provides to support the sales process has been extremely well received and the business intelligence gained is helping Suzuki to optimise its delivery processes and supply chain.
Following the initial go-live with 16 dealers, the system has been rolled out to all dealerships in the UK. The creation of an express lane at Zeebrugge has enabled Suzuki to prioritise sold cars; delivery times are now typically up to two weeks quicker for express cars. This means Suzuki is getting its cars to the customer quicker. Being able to better manage the customers’ expectations on delivery improves its customer relationships and improves its chances of customer retention.
Working with a partner to reduce stock
Suzuki went out looking for a tracking tool, but found a partner who can help to move its logistics processes forward and help to achieve its supply chain strategy. Through its EML system, Suzuki now has a programme in place to increase flow rates in the chain which was the first objective of the project.
Paresh Tailor, Logistics Manager at Suzuki explains, ‘By optimising stock levels, we can reduce our costs. This gives us access to more budget to reinvest in other aspects of our supply chain to further enhance and automate processes as well as develop the next phase of projects.’
He continues, ‘There is a lot we have always wanted to achieve and know what we needed to do, but the scale of the project is significant. With Sovereign, they came with a refreshing approach and listened to our exact needs and pain points. Our team at Sovereign really understands this industry and we are working with a group of like-minded people that I can not only rely on, but also one that I see as an extension to our logistics and IT teams. Sovereign adds great value to the Suzuki team.’
John Miller-Wilson adds, ‘It was great to be able to demonstrate our true breadth of skills at Suzuki. Recently, they had an IT issue that required additional resource. As an IT services provider, we have teams of IT support engineers working for us and we were able to provide additional support to their IT team to help resolve the issue.’
Paresh concludes, ‘Sovereign understand logistics management, but they are much more that software when it comes to IT. This is working extremely well for us and we look forward to the continuing relationship.’