The automotive industry is characterised by globally networked production processes and strict deadlines. Large storage areas are uncommon, with deliveries being increasingly made directly to the production line. This is only possible with flawless and precise logistics.
Everything flows. The logistics strategy of Webasto is based on two pillars, the Webasto Production System (WPS) and Supply Chain Excellence. The goals of the WPS are the highest product quality and best delivery service at very low cost. Supply Chain Excellence on the other hand guarantees an unqualified security of supplies – also at minimal cost. The combination of these two strategies ensures faultless production, an efficient flow of goods and consequently the economic success of our products. The logistics value chain is hereby based on lean and just-in-time principles; only those products, purchased parts and production materials which are needed immediately are transported. Large storage areas and spare parts stores are no longer required. This represents a challenge for the plants and above all procurement logistics as the supplier delivers purchased parts and production materials on a daily basis.
Portugal showing the way. The logistics concept has been implemented superbly in the Webasto plant in Portugal, which produces the five-piece retractable hardtop for the VW Eos. Around 80 per cent of the procurement volume comes from suppliers in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and other central European countries. The challenge was to ensure just-in-time supplies for a just-in-sequence production plant over a distance of 2,500 km. For this achievement, Webasto received the Logistics Award of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in 2008.