Good news for Cummins customers is that shorter lead times, lower freight costs and better parts and filtration availability are just some of the benefits that will accrue following the official opening of a 20 000 m2 state-of-the-art Cummins Regional Distribution Centre (RDC), Filtration and Coolant manufacturing plant in Johannesburg.
Cummins supply chain director for Africa, Ged Mackell, says this new purpose-built facility is part of the company’s global strategy to move resources closer to customers. The RDC for parts and filters covers 10 000 m2, while the engine and generator storage warehouse covers a further 6 000 m2 area.
“In addition, we are introducing a coolant blending plant and air filter manufacturing plant that comprises 4 000 m2 of the facility. The plant will also be home to the environmentally-friendly Fleetguard ES CompleatTM organic acid technology (OAT) coolant formulation,” says Feroze Chowdary, director of Africa Components.
Mackell says the need for the RDC, located in Waterfall Commercial Park, was realised as a result of a strategy network study conducted by Cummins Africa.
“The study revealed that in order to support our forecasted growth on the African continent, Cummins would have to invest in supply chain capacity and capability that would be resilient, competitive and would create preference for Cummins by our current and future customers.”
In the past, distributors ordered directly from the parent distribution centres located in Belgium, Singapore and the USA with long lead times and often paying premium freight. The establishment of the new RDC will result in increased overall parts and filtration availability with greater depth and breadth of product stocking. This RDC will service 12 Southern Africa countries.
Construction of the RDC took one year and Mackell is confident that it will enhance the company’s capabilities in Africa. “The Southern Africa RDC will vastly improve service offerings across the region through enhanced stock availability, shorter lead times, lower end-to-end logistics costs and value-added logistics solutions. The RDC has also facilitated the consolidation of various distribution points under a single roof.”
Another important aspect of the establishment of the RDC is that the company was able to execute a successful relocation program. “23 employees from our Kelvinview and Pietermaritzburg warehouse facilities as well as 24 employees from our Pietermaritzburg filtration plant have been relocated to continue their work at the new RDC location. There are currently 72 employees located onsite and there may be a need to hire additional staff in the near future,” says Mackell.
RDC staff members have also been up-skilled by undergoing comprehensive training on warehouse management, materials planning and order management applications. Due to the fact that new state-of-the-art material handling equipment was introduced to the RDC, all staff underwent certified training on the new reach trucks, order pickers and forklifts.
The RDC is run by Cummins Global Logistics who perform supply chain operations on behalf of the other Cummins business units.