InforFord is to implement new cloud-based warehouse management software (WMS) from Infor at its cross-docking centres in seven European countries.

The Infor SCE software will automate the process of transferring goods at Ford’s ten cross-docking centres in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the United Kingdom.

A spokesman for Infor told Automotive Logistics the first site would be going live this quarter, with further sites to follow over this year and next.

Parts from the various centres are transported on a just-in-time basis to final assembly, requiring careful coordination as they should not be stored for longer than half a day in the buffer stocks around Ford’s production lines.

Infor SCE will receive advanced shipping notes confirming projected deliveries, including scheduling and quantity. Shippers will then be notified about unloading points and delivery windows.

Upon receipt, delivery notes will be scanned and tendered through cross-docking processes in accordance with the delivery plan. Larger transport volumes for different final assemblies can then be divided into several assigned staging zones for shipping preparation.

Infor said use of its software would increase transparency in Ford’s supply chain, allowing the OEM to track order fulfilment in real time and respond proactively to potential bottlenecks.

Michael Weidel, director of supply chain management for Infor, said it was essential car manufacturers efficiently integrated their suppliers and logistics service providers into their logistics networks to gain further efficiency in their supply chains.

“Cloud applications such as Infor SCE enable this collaboration. Ford will soon be able to make the processes at its cross-docking centres across Europe more efficient, cost-effective and transparent,” he commented.