Automotive Supply Chain Synchronization: Article Analysis

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Operations Management

“Automotive Supply Chain Synchronization” Summary

The article, “Automotive Supply Chain Synchronization” by Matthias Berlit, Ulrich Dorndorf, and Hans Jurgen Zimmerman, discussed the importance of logistics planning in the management of automotive supply chains, and namely the role the transport management system SynroTESS played in the optimization of supply chains for Audi and Volkswagen (VW) Mexico. The article began by explaining that the unregulated inbound, internal and outbound movements within a given automotive supply chain were not only inefficient, but also led to significant wasted time evidenced by the queuing of vehicles and the congestion that results from waiting. The authors argued that this waste of resources could be overcome by the proper synchronization of movements with the use of a computer program called SyncroTESS. SyncroTESS was developed by a German IT company called INFORM and was described as a system that “intelligently synchronizes time-critical transport operations.” The system is immensely capable of optimizing operations like the allocation of material handling resources within a plant to scheduling the trucks used for internal and inter-factory movements. The authors then went on to provide two case studies in which SyncroTESS was able to successfully optimize the synchronization of auto supply chains for Audi and VW Mexico. The first case study involved the Audi Ingolstadt production facility in Germany. The Ingolstadt factory is Audi’s largest production facility and produces roughly 850 built to order cars from its assembly lines daily. As we learned from the Marshall Fisher Harvard Business Review article “What is the right supply chain for your product,” these built to order vehicles are considered an innovative product must employ a market responsive supply chain to meet it’s demand properly. In order to optimize this sort of supply chain, the SyncroTESS system manages “the internal material...
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