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International Automotive Components (IAC) Case Study

Read about how we worked with International Automotive Components (IAC); a leading global supplier of automotive components and systems.

International Automotive Components (IAC) Case Study

International Automotive Components (IAC) is a leading global supplier of automotive components and systems. With more than 160 years of automotive interiors expertise manufacturing instrument panels, consoles, door panels, overhead systems, bumper fascias and exterior ornamentation for original equipment manufacturers including Jaguar Land Rover’s Evoque and Discovery Sport models. Headquartered in Luxembourg, IAC’s reach spans the globe, with over 19,000 employees in 18 countries.

THINK was approached by IAC’s Halewood site in Liverpool following the successful WMS implementation at the companies Elmdon site in Birmingham. Originally warehousing and production was housed within one building, but IAC Halewood were looking to automate their manual replenishment process to provide a greater degree of control for how material got replenished from the warehouse to the assembly line. IAC required a robust process to ensure material stock levels were able to keep assembly on the shop floor moving.

THINK carried out a detailed data analysis of IAC’s material and supplier labelling on site. All products were received into SAP but not at handling unit level, which meant material could not easily be managed.

Later in the project additional storage and production space was added to include a second nearby facility. IAC required a robust systemic process to receive products from their suppliers at handling unit level into a WMS (previously into SAP at PO level) They also required a process where assembly line feeders could order material from the warehouse now in a separate building in a timely manner, so operations did not stop. Ordered material is picked from the warehouse and transferred to the assembly line via various interim checkpoints using multiple operatives. THINK’s web-based dashboards were developed and introduced so that all ordered material could be tracked at both supervisory and management levels. Key WMS (warehouse management system) functions included.

  • Supplier ASN exports from SAP and imported into THINK.
  • Receiving of supplier deliveries into THINK at handling unit level using handheld scanners.
  • Replenishment demand generation using handheld scanners for assembly line feeders.
  • Replenishment order and transfer generation used to fulfil demand.
  • Multi-point transfer management using handheld scanners.
  • Web based dashboards to monitor replenishment status of individual orders.

Benefits to IAC following THINK WMS implementation:

  • Reduced disruption to the assembly line for material shortages.
  • Standardised process to order material and replenish the line.
  • Increased visibility and control of stock at handling unit and location levels.
  • Full visibility of replenishment status at order level via dashboards to assist in timely escalation when needed.

Having worked in JIS Automotive supply myself for many years, I fully understood IAC’s requirements and ultimately, the importance of an efficient and timely supply of materials to their assembly lines. We worked closely with IAC to develop a process that delivered their requirements that both achieved their ultimate objectives in addition to be being user friendly to all their users.

Shaun Marshall

Project Manager, THINK

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