As a top global specialist manufacturer of transmission systems and automotive products, ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF) operates a factory in Shanghai which produces impact absorbers for over 20 automakers including Volkswagen and General Motors (GM). ZF’s logistics transport range covers major automobile industry bases in China’s eastern, northeastern, and central regions. How can the company plan its production around customer orders and make on-time deliveries to automakers across thousands of miles? Inbound logistics for automotive parts has always been a tough problem for supply chain and logistics directors.
Similar to many other joint-venture enterprises in China, ZF chose to outsource its inbound logistics to 10+ logistics contractors who were tasked with handling transport services from ZF’s factory to various third-party peripheral warehouses of the automakers — a transport network which included long-distance delivery and intra-city delivery. Logistics personnel at ZF have a lot to say about handling third-party management: “When you’re facing a tight schedule, every hour counts. If a driver didn’t arrive on time, the only thing we could do was making a bunch of phone calls and keeping our fingers crossed.”
The oTMS collaboration platform provides real-time data sharing between ZF and 10+ carrier partners. Compared to the previous method in which carriers had to constantly make phone calls and exchange information over e-mail concerning cargo status, oTMS provides a fully traceable and clear real-time tracking and location display with 100% precision. With the oTMS app, the status of goods in transit can be verified anytime, anywhere without having to wait for the carrier to communicate with the driver and send back notifications, resulting in more efficient time management for orders. Furthermore, oTMS provides up-to-the-minute exception reports to help mitigate potential risks and guarantees the on-time rate and reliability of order delivery services.