Labeling that can Meet Just-in-Time Deadlines in Auto Manufacturing
by Craig Hodgson, on March 13, 2017
Just-in-time supply chains are demanding and have little room for error. They have become prominent in the auto industry, raising new demands.
The just-in-time model has become prominent in the auto manufacturing industry, bringing along new efficiency and challenges to match. Supply chain labeling software that can keep up with JIT production are critical to prevent companies from falling behind on their targets.
A Model with No Room for Error
The JIT model relies on every piece of the supply chain being ready on demand. Any disruption can lead to problems at all levels. As Business Insurance contributors Thomas McMahon and Donald Friedman pointed out, failures to create or ship components on time can have severe "ripple effects" on every subsequent piece of the auto industry chain. A problem at a factory or a disruption along a supply route limits the supply of finished cars on the market.
The JIT model is powered by a healthy dose of automation, as Modern Materials Handling noted. Without the efficiency of scale that comes from shipping whole pallets of parts, warehouse environments have to claw back some of their effectiveness with extremely lean and on-target picking and shipping.
This kind of automation may fall short unless companies have efficient inventory labeling and tracking systems. Turning as much of the supply chain as possible into a computerized, automatic operation is prudent and even necessary to meet JIT goals. A lack of visibility is clearly an issue. Muratec USA's Victor Hoerst told MMH that manufacturers are combining domestic assembly facilities with original parts from all around the world. This complex model calls out for a heavy dose of automation.
Cutting Manual Costs
Every time a company adds a manual step to a warehousing supply chain process, it compromises cost-effectiveness and the reliability needed to master the JIT model. With this style of part utilization becoming a standard in the automotive supply chain, it's clear that organizations will need to organize and automate their operations. An automotive labeling solution that supports requirements like RFID barcode labels is therefore a cornerstone of modern industry.