All General Motors plants apply a manufacturing of principle of GMS, Global Manufacturing System. One of the basic principles is Continuous Improvement. As part of continuous improvement, the plant has an open mind and participative relationship with suppliers for the continuous safety, cost and productivity improvement. Over years of expertise and experience, the plant has been progressively shifting its prime focus to enhance the core business of producing cars and delegating satellite logistics operations to the third party solution providers.
The GM “Flex” plant which assembles multiple models on the same production line had been experiencing some congestion and valuable time loss by double handling the tires. Truckloads of tires from leading tire suppliers, not only created real estate challenges but also the safety concerns for the plant operating team. Last summer, the plant initiated the pilot study project with the tire suppliers and PiVAL, a value added third party supplier. The challenge was to have a distribution centre within close proximity of the plant, with real-time visibility of the inventory for tire suppliers and the plant. The “revised supply chain model” would not add costs to the supply chain and provide “Just in time” supply “Mixed” tire loads to the plants. The tires would be received at the plant in the exact sequence of production heading towards the finish line. A cross-functional team from PiVAL, Goodyear and Bridgestone was formed to analyze and develop a streamlined supply chain solution. Within nine months, PiVAL launched the tire consolidation/sequencing centre in Oshawa. Since then PiVAL’s team has handled a throughput of over 2 million tires without any shipping error. Phase two of this success story is developing a similar project for other auto parts.
“this project is a perfectly tailored logistics solution for the plant and is a dream come true for the operating team. The creative minds from our assembly Plants, Bridgestone Firestone, Goodyear and PiVAL spent endless hours and energies, in order to transform a “drawing board concept” to a well-organized, cost effective solution. I would like to compliment and thank everyone involved for their dedication/support for setting a new industry benchmark.”
– Kelly Lavender, Material Director, GM Assembly
GM Oshawa Background:
General Motors Oshawa assembly plants are a flagship icon of GM-North America. The Plant was recently awarded the prestigious J.D. Power best in class award. No matter, how prepared one is, the first sight in the plant is overwhelming. The assembly plant is over three football fields in length and covering over three million square feet of floor space. This is a lot floor space, however, given the complexity and number of parts (over 2,500 part numbers), the real estate is scarce and hard to find in the building.