Auto Parts an Opportunity for Logistics ProvidersBy Alejandro Salas | Sun, 08/09/2020 - 22:47
Q: What role does the Mexican automotive industry play in DB Schenker México’s operations?
AS: Mexico is the most important market for DB Schenker in the Americas in terms of EBIT and one of the Top 10 performing countries globally. At the same time, automotive is becoming the most important sector for DB Schenker México’s operations. We are also present in the oil and gas and energy sectors with project cargo solutions and turnkey solutions for industrial projects, as well as in the retail, healthcare, aerospace, industrial, chemicals and other relevant sectors in Mexico.
MV: At DB Schenker, each vertical market (VM) is important as we are focused on delivering solutions to our customers worldwide understanding specific needs from the different VMs. For this reason, DB Schenker has invested in key account managers to understand that every vertical market demands their own complexity, as they attend the special needs from the following vertical markets: pharma, retail, industrial, Electronics, Perishables, Aerospace and Automotive.
We have been leaders in the aerospace VM, but automotive remains our strongest sector in Mexico after two years, which is a consequence of the growth the Mexican automotive industry has experienced. Our client portfolio includes main OEMs, Tier 1 and 2 suppliers. For more than 40 years, DB Schenker has been working to develop a wide range of value-added services and different transportation methods including, air, ocean, land, customs and contract logistics to offer a door to door solution. As the automotive industry continues growing, we have been forced to develop specific solutions such as hand carriers, charters and domestic helicopter operations to support customer needs while delivering an end-to-end solution for the automotive industry.
Q: How can companies better address the needs of automotive companies in terms of just-in-time (JIT) and just-in-sequence (JIS) operations?
MV: Adoption of JIT and JIS logistics in Mexico has been boosted by the sector’s local development. To reduce inventory costs, automotive companies produce in sequence to deliver their products to clients exactly when they are needed. To achieve this logistics scheme, it is necessary to have a correct communication between different areas within an automotive company, to make accurate forecasts and to stablish that leading times on the operation flows secure a better management of the logistics chain. This enables suppliers to calculate when clients will need raw materials and what are the times needed for production and transportation so they can deliver just in time with an accurate stock management.
Q: What elements in DB Schenker’s value proposition help the company stand out among competitors?
AS: Transparency is DB Schenker’s hallmark, which is key to solving contingencies in the automotive industry and is highly appreciated in the market. By becoming consultants for our clients, we help them deal with critical situations that are common to automotive logistics.
MV: Each logistics supplier usually specializes in developing certain strengths and expertise. At DB Schenker, we focus on delivering solutions to specific customer needs. We identify “pain points” in their logistic chain and proposes a solution for these. DB Schenker’s goal is become a strategic, long-term partner for its clients. We focus not only on making the right logistics implementation but also on allowing all the people who will be working on each project to hit the ground running.
Q: How important is digitalization for DB Schenker México’s innovation strategy?
AS: DB Schenker remains at the forefront of all logistics trends. We are modernizing and digitalizing our operations to better deal with new trends in across different industries, such as Industry 4.0.
MV: Collaboration between clients and logistics suppliers means developing the best solutions together and thinking outside the box when innovating in our logistics offering. The automotive industry demands technological solutions that deliver end-to-end visibility of shipments, as well as IT solutions that enable clients to get quotes online and to reduce times by processing requests easily.
DB Schenker is a global logistics services provider and part of the German rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG. With over 140 years of experience in logistics, DB Schenker develops innovative solutions to optimize logistics chains