Venture Global Solutions (VGS) partnered with Automotive Logistics as a Silver Sponsor at the Supply Chain Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. From May 8th – 10th, industry thought leaders from across the country gathered at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Buckhead to discuss the future of the automotive industry. Advancements in technology across the areas of the automotive supply chain, logistics, and process management were the overarching theme of the bulk of the illuminating presentations.
Darryl Bol, Section Manager – Material Management, Logistics at Subaru of Indiana Automotive presented with VGS President, Mike Meier on Subaru’s successful transition to a lean manufacturing model at their production plant in Lafayette, Indiana. “We needed to be able to change our production methods at any point in time, very quickly. We had to be agile,” Darryl told delegates in the session titled Brains over Brawn. He continues “Back in 2015 is where we started. We weren’t hooked up with Venture Global yet; we weren’t prepared for the optimization. We were using spreadsheets and maps to set up our routing,” The Subaru of Indiana and Venture Global Solutions partnership would bring technological solutions, streamlined processed, and an increase in production with a disproportionately low rise in cost. “In 2016 we started to optimize.” Said Darryl, “One of the key optimizations is we went from 850 [vehicles] per day to 1,000 a day. We were also able to start that lean process flow for Subaru.”
Part of Subaru’s lean transformation is the implementation of The Digital Yard. Dr. Mani Manivannan, Vice President of Business Development at Venture Global Solutions gave the delegates at the conference a peek into the world of digital yard management using real-time data supplied by an autonomous drone. Dr. Manivannan begins “All the trucks, all the materials come to a center point, be it an assembly plant or distribution center, and it stays there.” He continues, “The challenge is to know where the trailers are (at all times). When you say ‘yard management system’ we always think of a guy with a clipboard counting the number of trucks – how many made it, how many didn’t. You come back to your office, put the information in your computer, and through that, the yard gets the data. By the time you enter all the information, half the data is already old, half the data is stale. We integrated the concept of drone technology with software that integrates with our WMS and TMS and we can see where everything is. You have the information at your fingertips.”