German automotive association – the VDA (Verbrand der Automobilindustrie) – has awarded driveline and chassis expert ZF Friedrichshafen the VDA Logistics Award 2010 for “high performance logistics in the heavy commercial vehicle sector”.
Presented at the 9th VDA Logistics Congress in Leipzig, Germany, the award recognised efforts made during ZF’s campaign during 2009 called ‘Year of Logistics’ in which initiatives were launched throughout the company to improve delivery reliability, programme planning and inventory management for its commercial vehicle component supply.
The campaign included ZF’s production system called Formula ZF, designed to improve material flow from purchase, through manufacturing to delivery. The system shortened throughput times, maintaining a consistent flow of products manufactured on an as-needed basis, avoiding unnecessary buffer arrangements.
The ZF Year of Logistics also involved a constant flow of information to employees, including lectures and online training programmes, designed to inspire new ideas and encourage a rethink of logistics processes.
The award was accepted by Rolf Lutz, ZF board member and group executive of the company’s Commercial Vehicle and Special Drive Technology division.
It has previously been won by Webasto and Robert Bosch.
At the congress, Matthias Wissmann, president of the VDA, said that investments in a high-capacity transport infrastructure should be consolidated in the coming years to enable logistics to completely fulfil its service function for industries including the German automotive industry. He added that optimised logistics also helped to relieve the burdens on the environment and to promote climate protection.
“An expanding economy needs efficient logistics. Freight traffic and individual mobility need a highly efficient transport infrastructure,” Wissmann told attendees. “Policy-makers also have to act when it comes to optimising Germany as a logistics location – they have to create the right general conditions.”
The Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport, Sven Morlok, also highlighted the significance logistics had to play in emerging successfully from a difficult time for the industry and, moreover, in a more energy-conscious direction.
“Cutting down on journeys, exploiting synergies and sparing resources – mean that ecological action makes economic sense. In this way German companies can score points right now. In the automotive state of Saxony this is proved by the cooperation between logistics service providers and automotive manufacturers, Daimler’s participation in the company Li-Tec, and the plans to produce the E-BMW in Leipzig.”