Warehouse Facility Design and associated improvements for Automotive spare parts

Warehouse Facility Design and associated improvements for Automotive spare parts :

Warehouses are specialized storage facilities which have a huge impact on businesses and are a part and parcel of the extensively growing industrial sectors. Though the preliminary and foremost functions of warehouses are storage and stockpiling of goods and products, the secondary functions include protection of the stored goods, risk-bearing, financing, processing, grading, and branding. Often the outbound logistics and shipping are also integrated into warehousing operations and are controlled by intelligent warehouse management systems. It is this seamless integration of additional facilities and the involvement of automation in essential warehousing operations which makes the modern warehouses indispensable for any kind of business concerned. 

Warehousing for the Automobile industry in India :

In India, the automobile manufacturing industry as well as the ancillary industries which manufacture spare parts and related automotive machines, equipment, and accessories; play an extremely important role in the warehousing sector. Absorption of government-controlled warehouses is a common noticeable trend for automobile manufacturing giants, whereas the ancillary industries generally target absorption and leasing of other warehouse spaces. Though the recent slowdown in the automobile industry context has created quite a rippling effect on the warehousing industry as well, as both of them share an immensely mutualistic bond.

Warehousing of Automotive spare parts in India :

The sales and distribution of the important machinery of automobiles and automotive spare parts is channelized through a well-developed and coordinated network through which the manufacturers or primary vendors send the parts to a warehouse where they are stored for a definite time period. After this, the automotive parts are transported to distributors and then to retailers and through this chain, finally, they reach the end consumers. Analysis of data shows that the automotive spare parts’ market is tremendously lucrative with exciting business opportunities and potential of growth but the share of Original Equipment Manufacturers or OEMs is distressingly low at around 15 to 25 percent. 

For the automotive and spare parts industry, it is extremely important to maintain a balance between the inbound and outbound part of the supply chain. If inbound logistics to a warehouse exceed the outbound, it will lead to higher inventory levels and will create problems like obsolescence of stock, inefficient utilization of warehouse space and heightened inventory costs. On the other hand, if outbound logistics exceed the inbound, there is a risk that the parts and machinery will be out of stock and thus it would be impossible to meet consumer demands and expectations. Therefore it is essential to strike a synergy between the inbound and outbound part of the aftermarket logistics. 

Facility design of warehouses for the automotive spare parts industry :

When an indigenous large scale automobile manufacturer cum an original equipment manufacturer who also specialise in automotive spare parts is in need to evaluate the inventory consisting of spare parts and then proceed to either destroying defective parts or salvaging the usable portions from them, it is imperative that there is a requirement of a greenfield solution or the purchase of a new warehousing facility or the refurbishment and expansion of the existing facility. The initial stage of this would consist of developing a conceptual design that would examine the three alternatives. The constraints of such design depend on :

  • Process flows
  • Block layouts
  • Operating outlines
  • Staffing estimates
  • Cost/benefit estimates
  • Implementation plans

Execution of the design processes :

After each of the constraints has been detailed and the data relating to the process flows, layouts and operating outlines are carefully analyzed, the warehouse and storage facility needs to be modernized and modified according to the specifications established by the new plans and thereby new equipment and services were laid forward. Quotations from different vendors and manufacturers are demanded and after a thorough evaluation process, the appropriate vendors are to be selected. Thus the final pricing and installation plans and contracts are established. 

The implementation outline monitors the execution process and incorporates the specific delivery zones for each vendor and develops installation plans to report deviations and adopt remedial measures. A final compliance or performance report would be developed that would describe the ultimate installation procedures and highlight any future improvement opportunities if there would be any; thus inaugurating the modernized facility on time and within proper budget allowances.

With the healthy growth of the automobile industry, the concerned automotive spare industry will also witness a windfall and a booming demand. But it is important that the conceptual and the practical design of the warehousing facility for the automotive spares are carefully dealt with and is implemented after the meticulous analysis of the dependant factors and constraints, so as to achieve enhanced productivity in the related storage operations.


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