The automotive sector is close behind the consumer/retail sector when it comes to logistics collaboration as a strategy for delivering costs savings according to survey findings presented by research and analysis provider Transport Intelligence (Ti) at last week’s Multimodal 2010 event held in Birmingham, UK.
And while respondents to the European survey believed that collaboration could deliver average cost savings and efficiency gains of between 6-10%, automotive was seen as capable reaching 15%.
The findings, presented by Ti’s head of consultancy, Joel Ray, showed that logistics providers could be central to logistics collaboration projects between manufacturers, with 90% of respondents considering them capable of facilitating or brokering deals between shippers.
Questions were also raised as to whether third party providers could play a more important role in terms neutral management of those companies viewed as competitors who were involved in collaboration.
The survey showed that 64% of companies that entered into collaboration projects did so with the aim of reducing costs. This was followed by a desire for gains in efficiency (25%), with environmental considerations at a much lower 9%, though the phasing in of EU environmental legislation was recognised as a potential influence on this rising in the future.
Transport was viewed as the area most likely to benefit from collaboration, both in itself and when combined with warehousing and value-added services.
“Collaboration is not a new phenomenon,” said Ray. “However, the price of oil will mean that manufacturers will increasingly look at ways of reducing supply chain costs through working together, even with companies that may view as competitors.”
Multimodal is the only UK event for the freight and transport sector covering all modes of the supply chain including rail, road, water and air, as well as warehousing and IT.
In other collaboration news affecting the automotive sector, ENX, the communications network provider for the European automotive industry, has announced the interconnection of its system with US networking and managed security services provider ANX. ANX’s core business provides data connectivity and transaction delivery to the North American automotive OEMs and the supply chain. The aim of the link up is to create a global standard for secure B2B data communication according to ENX.
“The automotive industry has always been a leader in process optimization, supplier integration and joint product development, even between competitors. Industry standards such as ENX facilitate such collaboration,” said Lennart Oly, managing director of ENX Association. “Recent challenges and trends lead to a new level of global collaboration among independent players of all sizes. Providing them with a single unified networking solution for all their applications, ranging from simple file transfer to advanced real-time collaboration, is the objective of our cooperation with ANX.”
The move will affect more than 1,500 companies and organisations, ranging from SMEs to large OEMs, including Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford and VW as well as institutions such as the SMMT and the VDA.
The current pilot phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of May.