After a couple of tough years in the automotive industry many OEMs and tier suppliers found themselves in the position of having to close or idle manufacturing plants. For one particular OEM they were faced with the challenge of transitioning valuable assets from idled plants, but they needed inventory management experts who could easily and effectively identify and control items throughout the transition. With the dismantling of the plant quickly approaching, they called on long time partner, Evans Distribution Systems to support the asset transition process.
In the short timeframe before plant assets were scheduled to arrive at a dedicated warehouse in Redford, Michigan, the Evans team worked quickly to design, create and deploy a customized inventory management solution. They visited the plant first to evaluate the plant’s equipment and engineer a plan to track critical asset information throughout the receiving process. Collaborating with the OEM, Evans established functional requirements and leveraged internal resources to develop a viable, comprehensive plan.
In addition to developing an effective storage layout and material handling solution for high value assets, an innovative web-based system was a key component of Evans’ solution. The system associated high quality, digital images with detailed inventory information including asset numbers, serial numbers, plant ID information, plant cell, asset value, etc. This enabled the OEM’s management team to view photos and key inventory information online, on a real-time basis to make critical decisions quickly.
Evans effectively addressed the customers biggest supply chain concern of, “How will we know what we have and where it is?” The customer could now easily find what they were looking for by searching through inventory items based on key fields and product images to align resources with requirements. At the end of the transition, the system easily integrated into the OEM’s existing asset management software.
Evans demonstrated its trademark customer service and flexibility throughout this transition. The custom-built inventory management system and error-free tracking methods helped save the OEM time and money during this stressful plant closure. The project was deemed a success as the customer was able to accurately and comprehensively track and deploy valuable assets during challenging financial times.