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Supply Chain Optimization A Global Automotive Manufacturer Abstract As the North American vehicle market demand decreased, a major OEM was under pressure to consolidate suppliers and the associated product volumes to minimize costs associated with manufacturing, distribution, and transportation in order to optimize the robust, sustainable portion of their current supply chain. Challenge The decreasing product demand levels were driving reductions in plant asset utilization and forcing involuntary bankruptcy within the supply base. The OEM utilized an excess of 250 commodity-specific suppliers to support its North American vehicle production. Our strategic sourcing methodologies were engaged to determine which suppliers' were the best performing and aligned for future OEM programs, thus achieving short-term impact and long-term sustainability. Execution TPS developed a supplier database encompassing all OEM vehicle programs, purchasing contract terms, and geographical alignment to assembly facilities; focusing on each product and its value stream. By analyzing each supplier individually based on product volumes and program duration, our team had the ability to preliminarily determine which suppliers to maintain partnerships with or exit. Our deciding layer of valuation focused on current operational and financial performance, following the OEM’s supply chain specific business plans and augmented strategies.

During the second phase of the optimization project, teams were engaged to physically analyze OEM-owned production equipment and tools in the hands of suppliers that were impractical partners for future business. In parallel, an additional group was engaged to analyze each retained supplier and their production assets to determine actual capacities, niche processes, and performance to better understand the extent of their current capabilities. The supplemental information collected was employed for expedited resourcing, as the OEM could then proactively integrate the work to viable contenders strategically aligned for the commodity production. Result The commodity specific programs' along with the associated product, tooling, and equipment was transitioned to the best performing suppliers' increasing their total spend and asset capacity. The purchasing group within the OEM achieved a leaner supply chain by determining what and how much is needed, when it is needed, and where it is needed. The supply base was reduced by 48% without any reported assembly center production interruptions.


Decommissioning and Launch Management A Global Automotive Manufacturer Abstract A key manufacturing corporation had become an economic liability for a major original equipment manufacturer. TPS leadership was tasked with decommissioning manufacturing operations at the tier 1 supplier and launching with a new supplier, without missing production schedules. Challenge The decommissioning work involved two facilities that produced 3,000 production and service assembly part numbers and numerous specialized intricate components. The team was also assigned the task of launching these products with 7 new suppliers worldwide. It was imperative that the start date for the takeover suppliers' product be timed with the depletion of the original supplier's material. Project leadership was given 7 months to complete this mission. Execution TPS developed a staged banking plan encompassing all variations of product, and launches were timed by part number and family so all banked material was used prior to full production in the new supply locations.

The new production locations required capacity and constraints analysis, verification, and the assessment of their overall operational capabilities. Tools were transferred where possible; however, several required major modifications so they could run efficiently in the new equipment. The launches were staggered, as the plan was to start production on products by family, allowing 6 weeks between families at each location to ensure the new suppliers could work through their launch issues product by product. Result The project was completed on time and utilized only 30% of the allocated budget. There were no disruptions to schedule from the takeover suppliers, as all products were again launched without issue at more than 20 customer assembly locations.


Operations Intervention A DoD Manufacturing Company Abstract A multibillion-dollar Department of Defense (DoD) manufacturing company awarded a major DoD contract was unable to ship quality product at the scheduled production rate causing temporary shutdowns and premium shipments at one of their assembly plants. TPS was engaged to eliminate the quality issues at several sub-suppliers, implement corrective action, and eliminate the production schedule disruptions. Challenge

  • Assembly plant was frequently minutes away from shutting down production due to the lack of quality components.
  • Value-add suppliers in the product chain had been given unclear deliverables and were not producing parts to specification.
  • Resolve current problems and develop revised quality and production processes that would error-proof all systems in the supply chain going forward.


  • Implemented an interim product containment process for several suppliers to ensure the Manufacturer did not experience plant interruptions with the associated components.
  • Drove changes to manufacturing processes that significantly improved both output and first time quality; Established communication between the suppliers and the assembly plant; Developed an attainable production schedule that worked for both the assembly plant and suppliers; And, developed and implemented proper quality/production metrics including an effective tracking system.

Result Within two weeks sub supplier issues were stabilized, the supply of on hand material began to increase, and production schedules were maintained. By thirty days the on hand inventory of good material increased from less than one day to almost five days.


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