A time to decide
The technology, asset and sourcing choices which will define tomorrow’s winners
By any measure, the market recovery of the last few years has been remarkable. US vehicle sales are still reaching fresh highs, OEMs are reaping impressive rewards (witness Ford’s doubled net income in Q1 this year, for example), while production and investment are still rising across the US and Mexico. As a result, the automotive logistics sector is still booming, whether in inbound, outbound or aftermarket sub-sectors. And all this against the market-boosting backdrop of continuing low oil prices and low interest rates.
But how long can this party really last… and who will prove to be best positioned when the market inevitably reaches a plateau?
As the US gears up to decide who will lead it forward as a nation in coming years, so the auto logistics industry, too, faces challenging decisions about how to position itself in the near future for a market that is likely to become even more competitive as the sales race heats up and new production comes on stream. Flexibility in the supply chain is more important than ever, particularly as OEMs make quick decisions on meeting changing consumer demands and vehicle preferences. New technology, especially the digitalisation of vehicles and the supply chain, may also disrupt the status quo of today’s automotive logistics.
Logistics experts are already preparing for whatever market or technological changes are ahead. As Matthias Schulz, Director of North American Material Planning and Logistics at Ford, observed recently: “I’m sure it is not a question of if but when something significant will change logistics. I don’t know exactly what it is or when it will happen, but it is coming…”
Whether from a shift in vehicle sales, from further digital revolution within the logistics process or even just from rising customer expectations, the need to take a flexible and holistic view of the global supply chain has never been greater. Manufacturers and logistics providers need to be proactive and forward-looking in the decisions they make in their supply chain today if they are to confront these challenges, whether it might be in adopting new systems, making location decisions or in choosing strategic partners.
Taking such a holistic approach in the supply chain will be exactly the focus of this year’s Automotive Logistics Global conference, where carmakers, tier suppliers, logistics providers, infrastructure operators and technology solutions suppliers will all join together to debate the strategies best suited to tomorrow’s global supply chain scene.
Now in its 17th year, the Automotive Logistics Global conference is the North America’s longest-established and most widely respected forum for top-level automotive logistics strategy, bringing together every element of the supply chain from procurement to delivery and from production to aftermarket support.
“A great venue to gain perspective of OEMs, suppliers, LSP successes and challenges,” commented Kevin Wade, Senior Staff Administrator, North America Transportation at Honda after last year’s conference. “Informative, topical, excellent networking opportunity and exchange of ideas,” agreed Carl Zimmermann, manager, logistics at Magna Powertrain.
“Great event to meet decision makers in the industry,” added David Mayo, Vice-President Automotive Europe at CHEP. “If you want an event that gives you the opportunity to really network, this is the place to be!” confirmed Sharon Coburn, Director of Business Development at Millhouse Logistics.
This year’s conference takes place on September 20th-22nd at the Renaissance Center Marriott in Detroit and the single delegate fee includes:
- golf day (subject to limited numbers)
- pre-conference drinks reception
- access to all speaker presentations and Q&A sessions
- networking lunch and coffee breaks
- messaging, video and comment via the in-conference app
- fabulous gala dinner
- soft copies of speaker presentations to download after the event.
The conference is part of the worldwide Automotive Logistics series, which in 2016 includes Mexico, Europe, China, The Supply Chain, Finished Vehicle Logistics North America, Russia, FVLIE, UK, South America, and India.
Register via the link at the top of this page to join today’s most influential industry figures as they debate and decide on the shape of tomorrow’s winning automotive supply chain strategies.