The winners of the first ever Automotive Logistics Awards – Europe were revealed in Bonn, Germany, this week. During the event on June 12 – held on the eve of this year’s Automotive Logistics Europe conference – former Opel, Fiat and BMW vehicle designer Chris Bangle handed out a total of 14 awards covering every aspect of inbound, outbound and aftermarket logistics.
Among those walking away with a trophy were vehicle-makers Seat and Volvo Cars, tier supplier Magna Steyr, logistics service providers Gefco and time:matters, and technology providers Fracht SIA and CEIT.
Acknowledging excellence and innovation in all areas of the automotive supply chain, these prestigious awards were unveiled before a packed house of all the leading lights in the European automotive logistics sector, following a rigorous evaluation process by a judging panel comprising some of the most senior figures in the industry.
The winners and highly commended entries in each of the 14 categories were as follows:
Greener supply chain award winner:
Scania – Germany-Benelux green transport tender
Scania managed to decrease its CO2 emissions by 20% and cut costs by 8% in its latest RFQ project for the Germany-Benelux area, using a multimodal approach and alternative fuels to collect parts from suppliers and deliver them to its production units
The judges were impressed by how Scania had integrated sustainability into its transport procurement process, calling it “a very holistic approach that put sustainability at its focus, rating CO2 emissions equally with costs and quality”.
“Scania has clearly changed the culture of its organisation to deliver this consistent and measured benefit. Seriously impressive,” they added.
Howard Tenens – Sustainable logistics
Howard Tenens’ sustainable logistics initiatives have included the use of dual-fuel trucks as well as moves to reduce warehouse energy and waste. The judges described its efforts as “an impressive combination of eco-friendly actions across fleets, telematics investments and warehousing”.
Better visibility award winner:
4flow – Opel/Vauxhall Transportation Control Centre
4PL service provider 4flow’s collaboration with Opel/Vauxhall to create a new Transportation Control Centre – a tailored suite of transport optimisation solutions and IT – has eliminated supply chain fragmentation in the OEM’s network and provided high levels of visibility, efficient communications and greater materials traceability along the entire supply chain.
The judges were impressed with the integration of the system and the partnership, as well as the excellent results across Opel’s service parts logistics, describing this as “a long-term partnership clearly focused on real transparency, partnership and sharing responsibility”.
FCA i-FAST Container Logistics – Material track & trace project
FCA i-FAST Container Logistics’ material track and trace project has delivered end-to-end visibility in a best-of-breed IT solution providing complete in-transit material transparency from supplier dock to final destination. The judges described it as “a very nice solution that covers important inbound flow monitoring”.
Service and performance in aftermarket logistics award winner:
Neovia Logistics – Neovia iCon (Information Console)
Neovia’s iCon system employs touchscreens around the warehouse to disseminate information to staff and train employees, replacing the inefficiency of an old system based on numerous whiteboards. The iCon approach has eliminated wasteful paper printouts and the need to physically distribute them, cutting down on costs and wasted time.
The judges said the system had brought clear value to the company, providing operational improvement with great impact on logistics processes and helping to refine service for the customer. “It solves real, down-to-earth issues for shopfloor management,” they commented.
Collaboration in logistics award winner:
Ubimax – xPick solution for Schellecke Group
Implemented on smart glasses and tablets, Ubimax’s xPick hands-free vision-picking solution and the xMake make-by-vision solution have helped logistics service provider Schnellecke Group to improve parts sequencing speed by 25%, decrease its error rate to zero and eliminate time-consuming supporting tasks like manual scanning processes.
The judges felt this was a good example of the use of new technologies to support an existing business function and provide performance improvements and were impressed with the way the technology provider and logistics company had worked together.
“Striving for maximum quality, creating transparency and allowing process analysis is the way to go for IoT [Internet of Things] projects. Great job,” they commented.
Supply chain resilience award winner:
DHL Resilience360 – DHL Resilience360 platform
DHL Resilience360 is an innovative, cloud-based platform that helps companies to visualise, track and protect their business operations. The solution facilitates intuitive supply chain visualisation, tracks shipments and ETAs across different transport modes and enables near real-time monitoring of incidents that can disrupt supply chains.
The judges said this was a highly innovative solution showing how data gleaned from a number of different systems or information pools could be aggregated and visualised in one tool, supporting the increasing complexity of global supply chains.
They described the DHL tool as “a systematic approach to building resilience in the supply chain and preparing for disruptions by leveraging technology”.
Innovation leader winner:
Gefco – MyCarIsThere car transport solution
Gefco’s MyCarIsThere (MCIT) digital solution lets customers order various single-car transport options via a single point of contact. The MCIT operation picks the car up from the owner and delivers it to their chosen address, with all associated documentation available in the application in real time. Clients benefit from time and cash savings, ease of use and reliability – all in just a few clicks.
The judges described this as “a real breakthrough in the transport business” and a great combination of business model, process innovation and new technology to solve new market demands. They praised its ease of use and the fact that the original idea came from a Gefco employee, which they said “promoted a very good management culture”.
Rising star in automotive logistics winner:
Fracht SIA – Renatas Slenderis
Fracht SIA founder Renatas Slenderis launched the innovative Automotive Logistics Control System (ALCS) platform for finished vehicle transport in 2010, which allows the company to provide clients with up to 500 trucks daily in any part of the EU at any time. The system has the potential to connect the entire outbound vehicle delivery process in one standard platform and automate 90% of business processes, bringing huge gains in efficiency for all involved.
The judges were impressed with how Renatas had successfully implemented a platform combining the experience of web applications and social networks with ERP functionalities. They said Fracht SIA had created a highly integrated and smart software solution, and described Renatas as “an innovative and forward-thinking star in the automotive logistics industry”.
Inbound network optimisation award winner:
Magna Steyr – Value add analytics SCM
Magna Steyr’s automated transport tracking system, which is used in-house and by its transport service providers, provides online tracking and visualisation of all trailer movements (including historical ones) with geofencing via both web and mobile app, allowing early exception management for long-distance just-in-sequence and high-volume just-in-time movements.
The judges said Magna Steyr’s use of telematics, geofencing and exception management was highly innovative and showed effective use of big data to improve understanding of the environment and drive improvements across several areas. It had led to “an impressive improvement in delivery performance”, they commented.
Inbound global supply chain award winner:
time:matters – Airmates on board courier platform
The Airmates on board courier platform gives companies direct, instant access to the time:matters on board courier service and lets them make online bookings in under a minute, based on a network of 10,000 couriers in over 50 countries. The specially designed app confirms all transport steps and provides speedy quotations, using an automated flight search and automated selection of the best-fitting couriers.
The judges described this as “an excellent solution” and said they were impressed with the coverage of couriers and the IT service solution, which they felt could save precious time in the event of a critical incident around the world.
Packaging & materials handling innovation award winner:
TOFAS – FCA-TOFAS low-cost automation project
Turkish vehicle manufacturer TOFAS won in this category for a low-cost automation project that minimised materials handling losses due to inefficient line-feeding operations at an assembly plant. The in-house designed system provides automatic, mainly gravity-based transfer of headliner parts to the line side, with a centralised parts picking solution, yielding impressive cuts in the cost of headliner line-feeding and assembly and eliminating previous quality and ergonomics-related problems.
The judges said this smart and simple concept was a very innovative solution and added that they were impressed with the positive impacts on cycle times, ergonomics and costs.
Packaging & materials handling automation award winner:
CEIT – Automated production line support system
CEIT’s solution for internal plant logistics synchronises logistics and production operations, using mobile robots to deliver parts automatically with a just-in-time control system linked to individual workstations. The system also collects vast amounts of data which is monitored and evaluated online in a virtual mirror of the real world to allow materials transport to be continuously managed, analysed and optimised.
The judges felt this was a very interesting and complex implementation project that successfully brought together AGVs, digital twins and augmented reality. They said the innovative solution offered big potential for time and cost savings, as well as verifiable improvements for the customer – in this case Volkswagen Group. They also saw potential for the system to be affordably transferred to other projects.
FVL top quality award winner:
Seat – Quality distribution strategy
Seat’s quality distribution strategy helps deliver vehicles in perfect condition. Based on preventive actions and the monitoring of all transport damage claims through an IT platform, its achievements include a reduction in transport damage rates from 3% to 0.9%, annual savings of €300,000-€700,000 in insurance costs, and reinvestment directly from its insurance company of €400,000 on projects focused on quality distribution.
The judges said they were impressed, among other things, by Seat’s integration of all damages into a common IT platform, as well as its company-wide damage audit. Judges said the entry gave a very clear explanation of how quality had been applied to logistics at Seat, and described its strategy as “very good, creative thinking and a collaborative approach to improve damage rates and reduce insurance costs”.
FVL high performance award winner:
NVD – Nissan dealer distribution optimisation project
NVD has achieved significant levels of improvement in the performance of the outbound supply chain from a Nissan factory to dealers in the Republic of Ireland, by streamlining suppliers and investing in IT and innovation. This breakthrough project by the Renault Nissan Alliance Logistics Europe team and NVD has fully digitised and simplified outbound logistics flows, improving supply chain synchronisation with the customer.
The judges praised the project’s clear objectives, including improving visibility, reducing errors and cutting delivery times. They credited NVD as a forward-thinking company and said its whole system was constructed with the customer and innovation in mind. “The project had significant benefits across multiple business flows,” they commented.
FVL global supply chain award winner:
Volvo Cars – China-Europe block train solution
Volvo Car’s block train operation, which transports cars from its plant in Daqing, China, to Europe, has helped to reduce lead times and tied-up capital, increase delivery frequency into the EMEA market, and cut both waiting times and buffer stocks. Using multimodal racks, the service provides quality levels at least as high as more traditional means of transport, while cutting the CO2 emissions associated with road transport. It has also optimised customs formalities and produced substantial import duty savings.
The judges said this was a well-presented case of covering multiple countries and continents by train despite various challenges including difficulties in customs and administration. They were impressed not just by the sustainability and financial improvements demonstrated, but also by the implementation of new technology and processes across multimodal transport, new locations and facilities, describing the project as “an impressive achievement”.
BMW Group – Connected distribution project
BMW’s connected distribution project involves outbound vehicles sending details of their location and status via the mobile phone network on every engine shutdown between the end of the assembly line and arrival at the dealership, which is used to provide real-time transparency over any process deviations. The judges said it was an excellent example of how connectivity and digitalisation could help the automotive industry increase transparency in the supply chain.
Further information about all the winners and finalists can be found here.