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Choosing the right tools for supply chain management: the case of INEOS Automotive

15 October 2020
Article by Joana Carneiro Moreira, Industrial Engineering and Management consultant at INEGI

The advancement of information technologies has allowed companies a level of control of their supply chains that was previously unimaginable. A fact that explains, and at the same time, drives, the complex global competitiveness that companies face, forcing them not only to have efficient processes indoors, but synchronized operations with all those involved in the supply chain.

In all stages - from planning, obtaining raw materials, production, inventory, storage, transportation, resale, until finally reaching the customer's hands – communication and information flow are elements of great importance, the volume of which requires advanced processing tools.

Processing this information, that is, transforming it into something of value capable of contributing to the definition of optimization and efficiency strategies, means obtaining greater visibility, greater cost control, greater precision and responsiveness.

With the right information system, business decision-makers have operational data in real time, allowing them to make better decisions, as well as streamline the exchange of information throughout the chain.

Adapting the system to the company's reality

Recognizing the competitive advantage that good management offers, INEOS Automotive recently turned to INEGI's Industrial Engineering & Management Consultancy service to support the selection of information systems that best support the company's specific needs.

The English group INEOS was founded in 1998 and is currently a company active in the fields of petrochemicals, sports and, more recently, in the automotive sector. INEOS Automotive, a sub-brand founded in 2017, is now entering into the production of off-road vehicles. Despite the pending decision of a possible manufacturing site, INEOS is in charge of establishing a competence center in the area of Porto.

Pedro Vasconcelos, Supply Chain Digitalization Lead at INEOS, highlights that "the company aims to design from scratch the different processes in its logistics chain, thus seeking to ensure, from its inception, an operation as optimized as possible”.

To help them achieve this goal, INEGI consultants, whose skills in Logistics and Supply Chain Management are widely recognized, worked together with INEOS Automotive to map the technical requirements of the processes of each team working along the chain. Furthermore, the team then carried out a benchmarking of the market that allowed the «marriage» between the needs and the features of each solution, having then laid out a shortlist of the best suppliers/solutions.

During this process, the integration of the new information system with other technological systems was also considered. This integration is essential, not only for systems related to the logistics chain, but also for systems in other areas, such as the commercial department, for example. Equally important as adapting it to operational reality, is to ensure compatibility and plug-and play adaptability between systems, so that they can be used to their maximum capacity, avoiding the use of other support tools that are not as robust.

As Alcibíades Guedes, supply chain management specialist and INEGI’s president, highlights, "our experience shows that insuring real-time visibility and operational control of flows across the supply chain is of major importance in order to achieve reduced lead times, reduced inventories, on-time deliveries and optimized operational efficiency”.

In short, choosing the right technology is often one of the most impactful decisions a company can make regarding its logistics operation. A correct choice results in an effective and efficient data collection and treatment, and in real time monitoring of the different processes. The wrong choice, on the other hand, may not adapt or grow with your business, or create a disjointed technological ecosystem, susceptible to dysfunction.