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"All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the time line by reducing the non-value adding wastes."

~Taiichi Ohno~

Author of "The Toyota Production System"

Automotive Industry...

Today the automotive industry is facing unprecedented challenges, unlike any experienced during the past century:

  • Increasing competition from low-wage labor markets around the world -- China and India’s automotive industries are beginning to emerge, and will not only supply local demand but will increasingly become global competitors.

  • Cost reduction and performance improvement continues to be a major consideration, especially in a global economy where exchange rates have fallen as much as 30% relative to markets that were previously considered “low cost”.  This has created increased cost pressure and requires a move of the supply base to even lower cost markets.  This is neither quick nor simple owing to the complexity of the business environment in some of these countries.

  • Environmental considerations (such as the carbon foot print) and rising fuel costs continue to increase the cost of producing and delivering product.  Conservation of energy alone will not achieve the efficiencies necessary to stay competitive; less infrastructure and more efficient processes are required to bring costs in line with the competition.  This means delivering dramatic productivity increases across the supply chain, resulting in producing more with fewer resources.

  • Most automotive suppliers have made impressive improvements in the design process over the past decade.  However, the overall complexity of automotive systems design continues to increase.  The challenge today is to reduce the number of design cycles prior to product launch while continuing to leverage the cycle time and cost improvements already attained.

BLMC has served the automotive industry for the last 20 years, and some of our principals have over 30 years experience in this sector.  We have worked with automotive companies in simplifying their manufacturing processes using lean manufacturing and flexible automation techniques.  We have increased capacity on automated lines through our knowledge of using flexible automation design, and our ability to effectively integrate people with the power of automation.

We have helped clients relocate their facilities to lower cost areas and effectively redesign their operations to achieve lower overall cost and substantially shorten lead times.  We have collaborated with component design thought leaders on future design concepts including the associated supply chain structure and the manufacturing processes needed for flexible automation.  Our World Class Manufacturing Metrics developed around optimizing flexible automation for the automotive industry is now used as a benchmark for operations across all manufacturing industries.  


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