SuzukiSovereign Business Integration Group has signed a five-year deal with Suzuki in the UK to provide the company with its EML cloud-based logistics management system.

The UK-based company’s EML system covers the end-to-end logistics chain and is specifically designed for finished vehicle logistics.

As a result, Suzuki dealers in the UK will get improved transparency and accuracy of information, including real-time ETAs, to better manage stock, delivery dates and customer expectations, says Sovereign.

The service will also improve co-operation, giving third-party logistics providers (3PLs) better information more quickly to allow them to plan more effectively and reduce delays.

Suzuki imports vehicles into the UK from Japan, India, Thailand and Hungary, shipping them into Grimsby from the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium and distributing them to its 158-strong UK and Ireland dealer network. It has almost doubled its UK sales in the past five years, reaching a new record of 38,190 units in 2016.

The OEM says its existing processes reflect typical industry practice, such as estimating a vehicle’s time of arrival and not usually updating it while the car is moving through its supply chain.

“At Suzuki, we very much recognise that customers want a personalised sales experience and to have their expectations managed well and, ultimately, met,” said Dale Wyatt, director of automobile for Suzuki GB. “Having spent so much on a new car, why shouldn’t they be kept up-to-date with the delivery of their new pride and joy and have it delivered on time?”

The deal also includes a commitment to continuous improvement by both parties; the system will be refined and Suzuki will be able to improve its practices, based on the data it records.

John Miller-Wilson, director of supply chain & logistics at Sovereign, said: “The finished vehicle logistics processes have evolved to suit the 3PLs; the customer insight has been lacking. Suzuki are reorganising their chain around that customer insight.

“We see this deal as a five-year commitment to support Suzuki and its vision,” he added. “The Amazon effect has demonstrated that it’s possible to track and gain efficiencies in parcel delivery – so why not the same with cars?”

A second phase of Suzuki’s EML development will model the vehicle mix that should be ordered from the factory, making its logistics system a vehicle for sales support.