Project Description

Improving Operational Efficiency and Supplier Relations with Inyxa Collaborator 

Tier-1 Automotive Manufacturer

Headquartered in the Midwest, the customer specializes in interior car parts including seats, door trims, carpets, air filters, and oil filters. They employ over 11,000 team members, operate 18 locations across North and South America and are a key supplier to various global automotive companies.

The Challenge

Historically, each production facility included their own local operation for providing after-market service parts. In 2017, a decision was made to consolidate these efforts, and create a Regional Service Parts Center, servicing both internal operations and external customers.

The new Service Parts Center purchases parts from over one hundred suppliers in North America, and the process in which the suppliers received and shipped orders needed an upgrade. Many of these suppliers often have an unknown amount of inventory to purchase from. The challenge began with irregular shipping, where the purchase order may not match what is actually available to ship immediately. Irregular shipping led to slow and inefficient receiving processes where each box had to be inspected for the actual number of parts prior to the putaway process. In addition, boxes could be mislabeled or have no printed label at all – some with just a hand-written note on the box, leading to inaccurate and unreliable inventory counts.

The Solution

Inyxa introduced the customer to the Inyxa Collaborator (previously called Remote Supplier Labeling (RSL)), a software application that fulfilled their key requirements. The auto parts manufacturer wanted a system that allowed their suppliers to DYNAMICALLY create labels they needed based on the actual packing quantity, and provide that label upfront to the supplier prior to shipping.

For example, if they ordered 25 items from a supplier, the order may come in 1 box, 3 boxes, or 5 boxes. In addition, it may not be known what the actual number of shipped items are until each box is opened and inspected. It could be 25, or, it could be 15.

With Collaborator, the labeling requirements can be pushed out to the supplier, and labels can be dynamically processed through the system, while also including an Advanced Shipment Notice (ASN) that shares the actual shipping quantity.

Results

Following a quick and efficient implementation of Collaborator, and an introduction of it to the manufacturer’s supplier network, Collaborator has now been incorporated into over 100 suppliers with tremendous success.  Collaborator was proven to be easily adopted, with very few issues from both the suppliers and the auto-parts manufacturer since the implementation in 2018.

Highlights:

  • Collaborator was able to standardize many business processes in the warehouse
  • Collaborator provided the customer and their supplier network with increased visibility, flexibility, control, and efficiency
  • It is now easier to receive orders and express receive, increasing operational efficiency by standardized labels and using the shipping labels for putaway.
  • All suppliers are now using the same label format, while also offering a mechanism of automated label creation for those suppliers that didn’t have a system in place prior.
  • Suppliers have the ability to see the manufacturer’s order forecast
  • Due to zero relabeling at receiving, there is higher inventory accuracy in the warehouse

“RSL (now called Collaborator) saves us a ton of time, as well as drastically reducing opportunity for human error.  That can be seen through the RSL receiving processes scanning the LPN on the standard label, versus, if we have to relabel everything that comes in. That’s extremely time consuming and creates a large chance for human error because of all the manual typing that is required to receive without the RSL system/labels.

We know this because RSL was not used in receiving in the initial internal inventory transfers, then down the road we ran into a lot of inaccurate inventory issues, most of which had a root cause related to human error at initial transfer receipt.  So, one other positive is higher inventory accuracy because of RSL usage.”

– Regional IT Manager