Automotive sequencing: getting the balance right

Posted by Andrew Prosser on 28-Nov-2017 13:44:36
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When people ask me to explain the concept of sequencing in automotive logistics, I remind them of that famous quote by comedy genius Eric Morecambe who said: “I am playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.” I then explain that sequencing is the exact opposite.

Sequencing is all about having the right components, in the right place, and crucially, in the right order. Such just in time (JIT), just in sequence supply is vital in many sectors, but none more so than the automotive industry, with cars being one of the most complex consumer goods to manufacture. When you consider that an average car is made up of more than 15,000 separate components, the consequences of not getting it right can be hard hitting for suppliers and car manufacturers alike, both in terms of cost, relationships, reputation and customer satisfaction.


A helping hand – in the right place at the right time

The challenge for car manufacturers worldwide is managing the availability of parts against planned production schedules – both as far in advance as possible and with as much flexibility as possible – right up until the final point of assembly.

As a strategic supply chain partner and global automotive logistics expert, Yusen Logistics has the expertise, infrastructure, capacity and experience to provide highly efficient off-site sequencing services, and add substantial value to the inbound supply chain.
Strategically located for the UK’s automotive manufacturing heartland, Yusen Logistics is in an ideal position to receive high volumes of supplier parts from a complex network of suppliers, consolidate stillages for different vehicle models and sequence them for prompt delivery to final production lines.

Contingencies are in place to ensure key commodities – from wing mirrors and scalps to floor mats, boot liners and panoramic sunroofs – are at the production line just in time and in a pre-agreed sequence. In case things don’t go quite to plan, we insist that all suppliers maintain a 2 – 5-hour buffer of sequenced material on plant, which is closely and constantly monitored.

The benefits of outsourced sequencing

Outsourced automotive sequencing offers a broad range of benefits to car manufacturers and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers. Key benefits include:

For manufacturers, sequencing:

  • enables assembly lines to run smoothly and efficiently, optimizing production efficiency
  • ensures the availability of quality car components on time, every time
  • minimizes in-house inventory
  • reduces the need for retro-fitting of parts
  • reduces per vehicle production costs
  • helps satisfy overall demand
  • helps meet consumers’ increasing demands for customization.


For suppliers, sequencing:

  • enables greater visibility of required parts
  • reduces inventory levels
  • minimizes waste
  • improves manufacturers' satisfaction levels
  • reduces reputational risk
  • optimises production efficiency.

Why choose Yusen Logistics?

Manufacturers can, and do, carry out their own sequencing operations, but what happens if things go wrong? By outsourcing sequencing to a reliable and experienced 3PL like Yusen, you get the peace of mind that if things don’t go to plan, our logistics experts are there to get you back on track.

Moving automotive sequencing operations to an off-site 3PL location is the perfect way for OEMs to free-up floor space as well as time for other tasks while benefiting from the services of logistics professionals who can plan for and mitigate risk on their behalf.

Yusen’s experts can develop bespoke contingency plans for car manufacturers. For example, if there are problems with an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), suppliers could fail to receive instructions for a planned build sequence, meaning the production line may need to shift down a gear, or stop completely. Yusen can help by creating emergency IT recovery plans to enable fast system restoration or by ensuring robust manual processes are in place to allow workers to continue picking until the problem is resolved. Running out of B to C stillages or packaging is always a potential threat; Yusen can ensure clear agreements are in place with OEMs to manage minimum and maximum levels of B to C stillages to be stored in a warehouse, or install automatic alerts for an OEM’s plant to deliver supplies.



Let us help

With a strong track record of very few errors (99.99% stock accuracy), a dedicated IT solution and 99.99% delivery accuracy, Yusen’s specialist automotive logistics professionals are ideally placed to keep your sequencing operations on track and ensure vehicles reach the forecourt in record time. Let Yusen Logistics add value to your business.


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Topics: 3PL, Automotive Logistics, Inbound Supply Chain, sequencing, automotive sequencing, JIT, just in time, just in sequence, OEM, Electronic Data Interchange, automotive industry

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