Container ships and freight airlines carry an unfathomable amount of goods around the world every day, so much so that we may forget the fragility of these logistical connections. David Lewis, Plant Manager at MWPL, explores how localising in automotive logistics can deliver increased supply security and strength.
The problem with global logistics is that it takes time. In an increasingly pressurised sector, time is becoming more and more constrained. If you are ordering a water pump from the Far East, the package faces a number of risks during transit. Delays can be caused at the port or during the journey, or in extreme cases the order can even go missing. The sheer distance a product must travel to reach its destination at a specific time makes this logistical framework inherently fragile – scant consolation for UK automotive businesses who operate a just-in-time component inventory.
To reduce the distance of transit, and therefore the risk of late delivery, businesses are now starting to localise supply chains within the UK. Instead of travelling across the globe by air or sea, orders travel a much shorter distance in a reduced timeframe, providing a more robust supply chain that is less vulnerable to external factors.
It’s an approach that a number of MWPL customers, such as Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, already utilise. We offer our customers extensive stocks of high-quality water pumps from our warehouse facility for OEM’s and the aftermarket, over 500 product references in fact. We can react quickly to our customer’s needs, ensuring that our range of PROFLOW water pumps can be delivered with the utmost reliability and speed. This can mean weekly deliveries to ensure customers are not over investing in stock, or emergency deliveries on short notice if required. Ultimately, we can offer increased supply flexibility and cost-effectiveness due to our local approach and large product range.
Choosing a local supplier should, however, reflect the supplier’s capability rather than its convenience. At MWPL, we combine design, casting, machining, assembly and testing facilities in-house – so we can offer a comprehensive service from concept to final product. This means that the transition of products from the production line to final delivery is expedited, while upholding a high overall product quality. Achieving this is almost impossible when dealing with large containers of parts from the other side of the world, especially as many of these suppliers outsource design or testing work.
Automotive businesses are selecting local suppliers such as MWPL because overseas suppliers cannot offer the same security or versatility of supply. Ordering large volumes of parts from around the world means delivery dates cannot be guaranteed. With shorter travel distances, local contacts and reduced risk – choosing a local supplier with capability is offering an improved route towards increased logistical security for many.
Photograph 1: David Lewis, Plant Manager at MWPL, explores how localising in automotive logistics can deliver increased supply security and strength.
Photograph 2: It’s an approach that a number of MWPL customers, such as Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, already utilise.