The P&L of car manufacturers and their suppliers are under increasing pressure and internal scrutiny as the global automotive market becomes more competitive and volatile. An industry already battling against unpredictable consumer demand, and one highly susceptible to economic instability, has faced a tumultuous global pandemic, resulting in violent sales peaks and troughs as communities deal with sporadic government lockdowns, travel restrictions and greater financial uncertainty.
Production plants are finding it difficult to manage their costs and scale up or down with the shifts in demand, since so many job functions are specialized and require specific training during hiring. For instance, a task like seat cover sewing requires up to 3 months training for operators. Production plant managers are asking supply chain designers, as well as industry trade bodies like VDA and ODETTE in Europe, to develop more efficient ways of carrying out day-to-day supply chain execution, to help ease this mounting financial pressure.