The Volvo Group SA has opened a R60-million new regional distribution centre which now incorporates the parts warehousing and logistical services for the various Volvo Group brands operating in southern Africa.
Housing more than 52 000 parts the new RDC includes stock items for Volvo Bus, Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Trucks, Volvo Penta, Renault Trucks and UD Trucks. The main warehouse size was increased to 11 500m² and now has an additional 1 500m² storage capacity for cabs, as well as for hazardous materials such as coolants.
“As the Volvo Group SA we believe that the merger of our warehouse facilities under one roof will enable us to better support the company’s future growth within southern and East Africa,” said Torbjörn Christensson, president of the Volvo Group SA. “It is therefore a strategic investment in our future and will enable us to support our customers more efficiently and timely, especially in light of the significant volume growth our brands have experienced over the last number of years.”
The new consolidated Volvo Group RDC will lead to more speedy parts deliveries, more streamlined and efficient operations, as well as increased warehousing capacity for all its brands.
“Increased uptime for our customers is one of our core objectives,” explained Christensson. “Customers demand exceptional parts availability – something we believe we will be able to achieve with the new facility, its innovative systems and skilled workforce.”
Across the world, the designing, managing and optimising of logistics services within the company falls under the auspices of Volvo Group Logistics Services within the Group Truck Operations (GTO) division.
“The aim of Volvo Group Logistics Services is to deliver services with world-class operational excellence, in an efficient and sustainable way, thereby reducing costs, disruption and environmental impact,” said Christer Svärd, senior vice president of Volvo Group Logistics Services. “We also aim to constantly ensure the global availability of aftermarket parts to dealers and end-customers at the right time, the right place and at the right cost.”
Parts are supplied to the Johannesburg RDC from the various brands’ Central Parts Distribution Centers (CDC) in France (Renault Trucks), Japan and Singapore (UD), Sweden and Belgium (Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Bus, Volvo Penta and Volvo Trucks).
According to Colin Govender, general manager, Logistics Services, for the southern and East African region, local operations have refined their processes to ensure on-time local delivery for all brands.
“We have agreements in place with the various CDCs for the prompt processing of emergency parts, as well as for day and stock orders. Agreements are also in place with transport providers for the forwarding and clearing of daily air and weekly sea shipments – ensuring a continuous flow of regular maintenance, as well as critical parts to dealers and ultimately to customers,” said Govender.
The Volvo Group RDC has a same-day delivery policy to dealers within 50km of the facility, and a 24/7 set-up in place for emergency parts. Overnight and next day deliveries are in place for the remainder of the dealers across South Africa, as well as up to twice weekly dedicated deliveries to export dealers outside the country.
Most of the advancements and facilities in the new RDC have been made to increase the efficiency and accuracy of parts delivery to customers. These include more floor space to manage inbound parts, as well as for the checking and packing of orders. There is also a new bin store that creates opportunities to store small parts in a modular way, as well as an increased number of bays for large parts.
“The integrated warehouse boasts one system that effectively covers all the brands supported from South Africa,” said Govender. “Ultimately, this means one defined process, one way of developing the competencies of our staff, and creating more opportunity to have multi-skilled people that can support the operation in different areas as needed.”