Automotive case study

Case Study

How a European automotive supplier improved customer service and saved 18% cost by streamlining their logistics network and deploying Orkestra's supply chain technology.

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Goals

  • Transform the supply chain from Europe to North America from the ground up

  • Create end-to-end visibility and control from placing purchase orders from vendors through to goods being delivered to the destination

  • Reduce overall supply chain costs while delivering improved customer service levels

Approach

  • Six-week consultation to investigate new logistics strategies and identify cost saving and improvements

  • Four supply chain scenarios developed based on expected transit times, costs and customer proximity and execution of the selected scenario
  • Deployment of Orkestra's supply chain platform to create end-to-end visibility on purchase orders, shipments, inventory, and performance through

  • Take on responsibility for logistics operations by deploying Orkestra’s 4PL Control Tower

Results

  • Built out a new supply chain model in under 6 months

  • 18% in cost savings by optimizing the logistics setup

  • Full purchase order, shipment, inventory, and performance transparency and control on SKU level over the entire supply chain in a single platform
  • 
Hundreds of thousands of dollars saved in avoiding high-cost airfreight and expedited shipments

The Situation

Headquartered in Europe, DBW has been supplying fiber and metal products to some of the world's top automotive manufacturers since 1982. With production operations around the globe, DBW had grown their business to $100M, but a closer look at their finances revealed trouble with the company's Summerville, South Carolina plant.

For years, the Summerville plant had been operating at a loss, a problem that was ultimately tied to an ongoing inability to meet projected demand. Stock shortfalls led to hastily arranged express air cargo shipments from Europe, a costly solution that still left customers frustrated.

The DBW team made a tough call: To close their Summerville plant and investigate near- and offshoring operations. One of their Mexican subcontractors had capacity to scale up production, but DBW faced two challenges before they could move forward with the transition. First, they needed to ensure they could better meet customer demand in North America by building a robust, customer-focused, and more cost-efficient logistics set up in North America. Secondly, they needed to figure out what went wrong in Summerville — and avoid making the same costly mistakes again.

The Solution

Orkestra was initially brought on to conduct a six-week consultation to come up with solutions to solve these two key issues for DBW. At the conclusion of the engagement, four distinct logis- tics scenarios were formulated, modelled, and assessed based on three criteria: transit times, logistics costs, and customer proximity. After selecting a model that involved a single outsourced warehouse, Orkestra was then engaged to set up the new supply chain model.

The second challenge of future-proofing this new supply chain model was ultimately solved through Orkestra's supply chain platform.

Through Orkestra's consultancy engagement, it became apparent that a lack of visibility ultimately plagued the productivity and efficiency of their supply chain operations. Data on the status of open orders, stock levels, and shipments in transit was spread across multiple internal and external sources, including manual spreadsheets. The result? Unreliable, out of date, inaccurate, and sometimes even unavailable data.

Enter Orkestra's supply chain platform. For the first time, all of DBW's logistics information would be visible in a single portal. The goal wasn't to replace DBW's existing ERP system, but provide enhanced information in a centralized, universally accessible location, as well as integrate it into DBW‘ s existing IT landscape.

The Success

Time was of the essence for DBW, and on that front, Orkestra delivered. When it came to setting up the new supply chain, Orkestra took over procuring and coordinating vendors for trucking, warehousing, drayage, and delivery in 6 months resulting in 18% in cost savings over their previous model. An essential part of onboarding these vendors involved automating their data flows into Orkestra's supply chain platform alongside DBW's ERP, through custom algorithms that would put an end to manual data entry (and the mistakes that come with it).

Today, Orkestra's supply chain platform gives DBW end-to end-visibility across their orders, shipments, stock, and deliveries. They can now accurately project the twelve-week demand forecast down to the SKU level, ensuring their stock levels are optimized and the customers are kept satisfied

As a final piece to DBW's logistics puzzle, Orkestra also now oversees the company's regional logistics through their 4PL Control Tower. This includes handling exception management, rate negotiation, vendor communication, and many other functions, all of which are reflected and easily tracked in Orkestra's supply chain platform.

The Summary

DBW used the full breadth of Orkestra's tech and service offering to optimize their logistics, starting with consultation, before moving through to execution, deploying the supply chain platform, and leveraging Orkestra's 4PL Control Tower to oversee and manage their day-to-day logistics. Engaging Orkestra from end-to-end gave DBW confidence that every angle of their supply chain was being considered and optimized in harmony. As an added benefit of the supply chain platform bringing together all logic into a single source, Orkestra is able to both manage and orchestrate logistics for DBW both efficiently, and cost-effectively.

Orkestra improved our logistics from the “Stone-Age” with its digital platform that provides full visibility from our factories in Europe and Mexico to our final customers in North America. Many thanks for the great support.”

Global Head of Supply Chain