Renault and Nissan have set ambitious targets for cutting cost as a result of merging their supply chain divisions into a single logistics entity for the extended European region, it emerged last week at the Automotive Logistics Europe conference, with logistics providers expected to make a significant contribution.
What amounts to a complete restructuring of the Alliance’s logistics and supply chain organisation at the end of last year has in part been a response to the industry crisis and the Alliance’s need to find common standards, purchasing efficiencies and logistics engineering for inbound and outbound.
Talking about the restructuring at the conference in Bonn, Germany, Francesca Gamboni, general manager of Alliance Renault-Nissan Europe Inbound Operations (pictured), told delegates that the Alliance has set a target of increasing the common savings between each company by four times this year, with logistics partners expected to contribute 50% to the cost-reduction plan.
She described the changes that were set to take place as a "revolution rather than an evolution," highlighting the need for the Alliance to work fast.
Given the significantly different approaches that Renault and Nissan have historically taken to logistics, the restructuring promises to be challenging. Unlike Nissan, Renault has not outsourced logistics management and purchasing to 3PLs; partly as a result (as well as its larger manufacturing footprint in Europe), it currently has 93 transport partners, while Nissan outsources to just four, with only one common between the two.
Such differences suggest that the Alliance has some work to do on the finer details of its restructuring. Gamboni does not suggest that Nissan will suddenly increase the amount of carriers it uses, nor that Renault will quickly adopt Nissan's approach. Rather, as she told delegates: “In putting together the two models, we are not saying that ‘one is right’, and ‘one is wrong,’ but it is the mix that is essential. We will take what is best from each.”