Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Express Logistics Company Goes into Top Gear to Freight Vital Replacement Parts

Recall of Vehicles Prompts Emergency Replacement Plan
Shipping News Feature

UK – JAPAN – As with project freight forwarding, time critical logistics can be one of the most stressful, yet rewarding, sides of the transport industry. When automotive manufacturer Suzuki launched its Celerio model in February 2015 all initially went well. When however the vehicle failed a brake test during an emergency stop at 80 mph under controlled conditions, someone had to step in and resolve the situation.

Suzuki called on Bespoke Distribution Aviation (BDA) to put together a rapid next-day delivery solution to successfully deliver urgent components to 152 Suzuki dealerships nationwide, a programme which proved so effective it was even commented on by BBC’s Top Gear programme. BDA specialises in movements throughout Western Europe using its own freight only aircraft and daily road line-hauls and, having received the call from Suzuki, the company arranged for delivery of new parts within 24 hours. Andy Morton, Warehouse Manager of Suzuki’s parts and accessories division explained:

“As there were no brake pedal assemblies available in the UK, they had to be manufactured in Japan and imported into the UK very quickly, which is where BDA stepped in and did an incredible job. They organised collection in Milton Keynes on a Saturday afternoon and had distributed brake assemblies to 152 dealerships in the UK by 9am the following Monday morning. Indeed, if anyone watched BBC Top Gear at the time they would have seen the presenters actually commenting on how fast Suzuki resolved this issue and BDA helped play an important part in this.”

For a manufacturer of Suzuki’s standing such an event has the potential to turn a crisis into a triumph when it is resolved so quickly and efficiently. The fast response provided by BDA, and the innovative logistics solution the company designed for Suzuki, enabled the manufacturer to re-launch its Celerio model in the UK just a few weeks following the incident, and the company has said that it does not expect the issue to affect sales of the model.

John Page, Business Performance Director at BDA, who was instrumental in designing and implementing Suzuki’s urgent parts supply strategy, said that incidents like this really demonstrate the importance of innovative time critical logistics solutions, particularly in the automotive sector, continuing:

“Automotive manufacturers are being tested far more stringently and the high cost of supply chain failure means that time critical logistics is beginning to become more invaluable to this sector. Vehicle manufacturers are increasingly having to respond to higher levels of quality, safety and production efficiency, which means the efficient use of innovative logistics with built-in contingency, and rapid next-day delivery are invaluable in giving OEMs greater control over their supply chains. We were delighted that our time critical approach and innovative logistics solution was successful in quickly resolving this issue for Suzuki and this is testament to everybody involved. ”