Unipart Logistics – China
Unipart (Suzhou) Logistics Co. Ltd is the headquarters of Unipart’s rapidly expanding logistics presence in China. Unipart (Suzhou) Logistics Co. Ltd was registered in 2008 and sits at the centre of an aftermarket logistics infrastructure that employs over 350 people across 10 warehouses in China. A combination of lean customer focused logistics processes and creative solutions are putting Unipart at the centre of an increasing number of clients’ supply chains in China. Our journey to this point has played a large part in the solutions that Unipart is now able to offer in China.
Unipart (Suzhou) Logistics Co. Ltd is created in addition to Unipart’s existing Trading entity in China. As part of this establishment, Unipart opts to base its operations in Suzhou, 60km’s outside of Shanghai in order to achieve the optimum balance of location, cost resource and flexibility for its clients.
Unipart (Suzhou) Logistics Co. Ltd launches its new Asia Pacific bonded hub from Suzhou for Jaguar Land Rover. This is a global first bonded hub for Jaguar Land Rover supplying initially the China market, but from 2010 onwards, the addition of Japan and Korea. The establishment of this bonded hub is the first stage of an integrated supply chain for Jaguar Land Rover that will ultimately extend to multiple RDC’s across mainland China. Shortly after the launch of the C25 bonded hub the first dealer facing RDC is launched, also in Suzhou, directly serving the growing number of JLR China dealers with daily and weekly order services.
As the China business grows rapidly, Unipart (Suzhou) Logistics Co. Ltd commences shipments to Korea from the bonded hub reducing the sea freight lead time to market from circa 40 days from the UK to under 3 days. Inventory sharing between markets also offers significant availability and stock management benefits. In the 2nd half of 2010, Unipart launches the first North China RDC in Beijing. This RDC forms the second spoke extending from the main bonded hub and immediately delivers a significant lead time benefits to JLR dealers in the north of China. This launch comes as a result of in depth Centre of Gravity analysis aimed at matching costs, needs and benefits for both JLR and its dealer network.
In 2011, Unipart launches two further RDC’s in Beijing and Guangzhou, China. In addition to the expansion of the RDC network, the continued volume growth along the supply chain drives further market developments including:
- The deployment of dealer inventory management systems nationwide (Unipart’s in house developed DPRS system)
- The commencement of full time dealer training programs
- Enhanced storage practices enabling new storage density levels that are first for China aftermarket sites
2012 is another pivotal year for Unipart in China with a range of organic and external developments occurring throughout the year, including:
- Tyre Service. Unipart launches a new facility dedicated to the storage, packing and distribution of aftermarket tyres. This site is based in Suzhou and quickly becomes a high volume nation wide site.
- Warranty Core Collection. With the expansion in sales comes a growing need for core collection. In 2012 Unipart launches the first core reclamation and processing site which is subsequently expanded in 2014.
- Chongqing. In March 2012 Unipart launches a site in Chongqing, west central China. This site provides logistical access to the rapidly expanding west China regions of Chongqing and Chengdu and is a further enhancement in the customer experience, enabling JLR to hold a balanced portfolio of inventory at strategic locations across the country.
Throughout its expansion in China Unipart ( Suzhou ) Logistics Co. Ltd has ensured that it remains true to the Unipart Group philosophy of understanding the real and perceived needs of our customers better than anyone else and serving them better than anyone else.
This has been achieved through:
- Motivated and engaged teams with focus on continuous improvement and putting into practice our philosophy of “customer first”.
- Unipart Way tools and techniques implementation including Policy deployment, faculty on floor, OCC circles, visual management, communication cells.
2013 starts as 2012 finishes with rapid growth in the automotive industry, and a growing awareness of the aftermarket in China. Unipart is ideally placed to support this growth and announces a 5 year full spectrum contract with Qoros Automotive for aftermarket logistics.
This provides a huge opportunity for Unipart to practice what it is best at; designing Supply Chains for clients from scratch that are supported entirely by lean foundations.
Throughout 2013, Unipart designs and then constructs an aftermarket supply chain for Qoros, which extends from supplier facing scheduling and forecasting to inventory management, packaging, warehousing, transportation management, customer service, returns management, warranty and dealer services – all based on the Unipart proprietary ULS system. In parallel with the launch of Qoros operations, Unipart launches further warehouses in Suzhou to accommodate the increasing range or product being imported into China by clients.
From late 2013 through early 2014 Unipart (Suzhou) Logistics Co. Ltd has been supporting Tesla Motors, in establishing a brand new aftermarket supply chain for Tesla’s much anticipated launch into China. This culminates with the receipt of shipments into the Tesla bonded and non bonded supply chain in February followed by significant and continued volume growth. Tesla Motors becomes Unipart’s newest aftermarket client in China and another supply chain that will consistently deliver scale-ability, flexibility and customer focus from end to end.
In late 2014, Unipart (Suzhou) Logistics Co. Ltd places significant focus on maximising the opportunity that the launch of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone offers in China. As part of this, Unipart commences a complex project to establish a presence in Waigaoqiao on behalf of Jaguar Land Rover. This project, once complete in early 2015, will become another example of industry leading supply chain engineering through rapid customer focused improvements.
Looking to the future
Beyond 2014 Unipart (Suzhou) Logistics Co. Ltd will continue its focus on controlled expansion through its core principles of Employee Engagement, Innovation and Customer Intimacy – and through this will continue to deliver creative, lean and market leading supply chains for its expanding list of clients.