As soon as a customer orders a new vehicle, the raw materials are prepared, the suppliers informed and the logistics flows put in place. By fully synchronizing all the stages in production, the plant is able to respect lead times, from the suppliers through to the end customer.
To provide customers with precise information on the status of their order, smooth communication is required from one end of the chain to the other. Sites use QR codes* and RFID tags** for parts along with a database, in order to manage the quality of each part throughout the process. This ensures full individual traceability right through to the end user.
With the "right first time" approach, operators view each vehicle built as if it were their own. They know that everything they do impacts the quality of the vehicle delivered, and they are also aware of customer requirements. To help them, team managers organize field events and set up demonstration areas inside the workshop. This approach to quality builds the awareness of operators, who thus play a direct role in customer satisfaction.
Last, lean manufacturing places the emphasis on creating added value for the customer. Anything that slows production down needlessly is taken out. Logistics flows are automated in order to ensure a smoother part flow and to reassure operators.
Full kitting*** is widely deployed, thereby doing away with all lineside stock. The operator no longer needs to move from point to point: all the parts corresponding to the assembly film are prepared ahead of time and follow the vehicle to the assembly line.
QR codes*: 2D bar code. "QR" means Quick Response, as the content of the black and white square can be decoded quickly.
RFID**: (Radio Frequency Identification) Labels with active or passive tags that are able to communicate, used for traceability.
Full kitting***: Parts are prepared in kits close to the operators and the vehicles. This makes it possible to manage diversity and to improve quality, while doing away with the need for operators to move around.