One of the major considerations taken into account when selecting a particular truck brand or model for a particular task is the availability of back-up parts. It’s all about uptime and lifetime costs and with the low margins currently being experienced in trucking, downtime due to the non-availability – or delays in parts supply – is a big no-no.
On this point, good news for DAF customers is that Babcock Africa has established a new national parts distribution centre to enhance the efficiency of its supply chain process across all the company’s operations. As is well known, DAF Trucks falls under Babcock’s Transport Solutions division.
The warehouse currently holds parts and supports the logistical requirements for DAF Trucks as well as Babcock’s full suite of construction equipment brands (Volvo Construction Equipment, Tadano, Sennebogen, SDLG and Winget). Plans are underway to incorporate Babcock’s other business units into the new centre.
Located at what was previously Babcock’s construction equipment warehouse in Johannesburg, the centre is already in full operation under the experienced guidance of Hans Roos, Head of Supply Chain, Babcock Africa. He says that combining an integrated warehouse with a supply chain function is in line with the ‘one Babcock’ ethos that promotes collaboration within the group, and will enhance the business’s operational capabilities and potential.
Roos says that the centralised facility is part of Babcock’s new operating model to improve productivity and efficiency. Preparations for the move began last year and had to take into consideration the challenges of establishing a central warehouse that would incorporate all of Babcock’s existing logistical network lines across the various business units. Two different computerised management systems were integrated to receive and dispatch stock, while point of sale systems were incorporated into a single platform to efficiently control and manage parts supply.
Marius Barnard, Managing Director for Babcock’s Transport Solutions business, comments that Babcock customers were not affected by this consolidation as the supply chain continued to run smoothly during the move and over-the-counter collection services continued from all Babcock branches as usual.
“Our customers will benefit from improved services as we create a constant supply chain and improve communication between our centralised parts distribution centre and our branches,” adds Barnard.
He says the flow of stock will also improve as imported parts will arrive at a single entry point for all of Babcock’s business units and can be dispatched to branches in bulk orders. Other advantages of the centralised parts distribution model include:
- A reduction of layers and complexity within the supply chain process resulting in more accountability and agility.
- Improved support and empowerment of staff across all Babcock businesses and dealership branches.
- Standardisation of existing processes which will provide more consistency across the businesses.
- The ability to deliver benchmark services to customers as well as internal and external stakeholders.
Roos says the national parts distribution centre also supports Babcock Africa’s contribution to the business’s worldwide environmental, social and governance strategy which views sustainability as an integral part of how Babcock operates.
Some of the ways this will be achieved include reducing energy consumption through consolidating various warehouse sites into one and efficiently managing the impact of Babcock Africa’s operations and those of its supply chain by streamlining the distribution of components. Ethical governance also comes to the fore through full transparency of the total Babcock supply chain.
The new streamlined process of distribution is controlled by a single management structure and is overseen by the business’s finance division. Finance Director at Babcock’s equipment business unit, Tim Ward, says a strong, competent team is managing the new central distribution centre with the goal of creating high levels of sustainability and efficiency within the business.
“The centralised parts distribution process facilitates the importing, storing and distributing of Babcock Africa’s full supply chain, bringing the business together as one Babcock, and provides optimal efficiency, increased productivity and swift customer service,” says Ward.