As Toyota’s largest global market, maintaining a fast, reliable supply of service parts and accessories across North America is critical to the carmaker’s business model. Spare parts sales add incremental profit to dealers and to Toyota alike, while their availability is essential to the company’s brand promise, from supporting vehicle warranties to providing customers with the best service and least disruption.

For Neil Swartz (left), who heads up Toyota’s North American Parts Operations, logistics can be a huge competitive advantage for service parts compared to other carmakers as well as independent and generic parts brands. That is why he wants to cut order lead times and increase delivery options across the region.

Speaking to Christopher Ludwig, Swartz and his team reveal how they are achieving these targets the ‘Toyota Way’. This exclusive report, which appears in full in the April-June 2015 issue of Automotive Logistics magazine, will be published in five parts on the website over the coming weeks.

In this section:

Part 1 (published March 18th)

  • Cornerstone of a strong supply chain (published March 20th) - a look at how Toyota has built its 'two-tier' supply chain and the network that reinforces stable distribuiton to distribution centres, distributors and dealers
  • NAPO and becoming ‘One Toyota’ (published March 20th) – understanding the huge management and operational organisation for service parts distribution

Part 2

  • Inside the warehouses (published March 24th) – the equipment, technology, and processes at Toyota's major parts centres and distribution centres in North America

Part 3

  • Engineering transport flows (published March 30th) – Toyota’s transport and logistics setup for service parts, from engineering pack density to choosing transport modes and providers
  • In-house fleet and apps (published March 30th) – how Toyota is using its in-house truck fleet as a competitive advantage
  • Reverse logistics opportunities (published March 30th) – a chance to integrate remanufacturing into the logistics chain

Part 4

  • Understanding dealer orders (published April 7th) – opportunities for improving dealer order visibility and a new approach to part returns

Part 5

Photo credit: Jon Didier