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Precision bearings and condition monitoring

Schaeffler UK's Sheffield plant wins 2016 elogistics award

Schaeffler (UK) Ltd has received the 2016 elogistics award from the AKJ Automotive working group for its Seamless Supply Information Integration project.

This project involved the use of a transport order management system (TOMS) provided by SupplyOn. Using this software, Schaeffler UK's automotive clutch manufacturing plant in Sheffield, UK, and its parent company LuK GmbH & Co. KG headquartered in Buhl, Germany and also part of the Schaeffler Group, were able to generate and combine transport orders and then assign these to shipping companies in the supply chain network in order to improve supplier performance and minimise inventories.

The six-month project involved 20 suppliers and was a huge success, with stocks of purchased parts reduced by 10% and supplier performance improving from 94 to 98 on a 100-point scale among the 20 participating suppliers. This project now serves as a template for other Schaeffler plants and will gradually be rolled out throughout the world.

Matthias Steiger, Director of Logistics at LuK GmbH & Co. KG commented: "Our top goals of speed, transparency, responsiveness and optimal inventories at the lowest possible cost are achieved with these integrated processes."

Heiko Woehner, specialist in supply chain management at LuK GmbH & Co. KG stated: "By implementing the TOMS, everything is integrated into one system. Any deviations from the planned delivery schedules and quantities can therefore be communicated more quickly and effectively between our manufacturing plants, the suppliers and the freight forwarders. In this project, this has resulted in significant improvements in supplier performance, with accuracy improvements in terms of meeting the delivery dates and quantities of delivered parts."

Set up more than 30 years ago in Germany, the AKJ ("Arbeitskreis Just-in-time") Automotive working group is a recognised cluster of experts and senior executives from the automotive industry. The AKJ is a platform for an open and trustful exchange of information between all members of the automotive value chain: manufacturers, suppliers and service providers. Expert groups meet regularly with the objective of steering the automotive industry towards improved production, supply chains and logistics systems.

From its purpose built plant in Sheffield, Schaeffler (UK) Ltd. supplies clutches to original equipment manufacturers across the world. More than 300 employees produce over three million car clutch sets, 225,000 tractor clutches and 450,000 discs and dampers annually. Over 75% of the production from this operation is exported.

Sophie Walker, Materials Planner at Schaeffler UK's Sheffield plant commented: Communication has been improved via a Pickup Sheet Process. Communication is now in a two-way direction and all parties are working together. Confirming delivery schedules and quantities in advance enables us to foresee any possible issues with supply and delivery and to overall be more proactive rather than reactive." 

The Schaeffler Group in profile
The Schaeffler Group is a leading global integrated automotive and industrial supplier. The company stands for the highest quality, outstanding technology, and strong innovative ability. The Schaeffler Group makes a key contribution to "Mobility for tomorrow" with high-precision components and systems in engine, transmission, and chassis applications as well as rolling and plain bearing solutions for a large number of industrial applications. The technology company generated sales of approximately EUR 12.1 billion in 2014. With around 84,000 employees, Schaeffler is one of the world's largest family companies and, with approximately 170 locations in 50 countries, has a worldwide network of manufacturing locations, research and development facilities, and sales companies.

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