Centralised Logistics Improves Goodyear Dunlop Service
Goodyear and Dunlop truck tyre customers across Europe will shortly benefit from a major improvement in service through the direct delivery of products from the company’s plants in Germany and Luxembourg. Customers will benefit from reliable on-time deliveries, a vital element of successful tyre management planning.
Goodyear began piloting direct shipment in France in September last year. The next phase sees the introduction of the Nordic countries, Switzerland and Austria during the first quarter of this year. The UK, Spain and Portugal will follow next, with Italy, Greece and Ireland completing the project. The Benelux countries have been served direct from Luxembourg and Germany for about five years. By the final quarter of 2006, three quarters of all deliveries across Europe will be made by direct shipment from the centralised warehouses.
Tyres are transported from distribution centres in Colmar Berg, Luxembourg and Wittlich, Germany. The two are adjacent to the Goodyear and Dunlop main European truck tyre manufacturing plants and their central position in Europe makes them ideally located for a hub operation. In this respect, because of their proximity (they are only 80 kms apart) and the products manufactured at the two locations, they are treated as one distribution point. This means that it’s often possible for one truck to be loaded at both locations for the same delivery. The completion of a brand new state-of-the-art distribution centre in Wittlich last year was a key element in the project.
The system is simple. The dealer places an order for tyres in the local ordering system. Provided a minimum quantity is ordered, these are delivered from Luxembourg and/or Wittlich direct to the dealer’s premises. Prior to the project’s inception, the dealer’s order would have been put together with other orders, creating a large stock order. That would have been subsequently delivered to the distribution centre in that country or region. The dealer’s part of that large shipment would have been separated out and then reloaded onto another vehicle for delivery to the dealer. The old method took more time and was more costly.
The reduction in the logistics’ costs achieved by direct shipment is significant and is a key part of the company’s marketing strategy. The key concept of the project is not only to speed up delivery but also to be reliable. It is vital in the truck business to deliver the tyres a customer has ordered on the promised date. A VOR (Vehicle Off the Road) ordering system for urgently required tyres is also available.
“This is a team effort involving the customers, dealers and our production facilities,” said Behcet Toker, manager, product supply for commercial tyres in EU and EEMEA for Goodyear Dunlop Tyres Europe. “With truck tyres, because of efficient tyre management programs, forward planning is more achievable than with most other types of tyre. This means that many of those tyres we supply can be pre-ordered and we can guarantee their delivery. Typically, the dealer pre-orders tyres to be available on the date the customer wants them fitted, ensuring minimum vehicle down-time. This means he is able to offer the customer a better service.
“Direct Shipment not only means that our distribution costs are lower but it also helps forward planning at the production plants. It is important to remember that there are far more truck tyre sizes produced today than only a few years ago and the market has become far more sophisticated. This enhancement enables us to provide those tyres on time without the need for large quantities to be stored in many locations.”
Goodyear Dunlop uses a number of transport companies across Europe to offer the best possible service in each country. Typically, a truck will carry between 200 and 220 tyres. Ideally a delivery will consist of up to three drops, which means orders of about 60 to 70 tyres per dealer. However, there is a minimum order size of 20 tyres provided the accompanying orders are sufficient. If a single order is not large enough then it is delivered via the distribution centre for that market, a system which is called ‘cross docking’. The Luxembourg and Wittlich distribution centres currently operate five days a week on a two shift basis.