Accurate Demand Planning: An Imperative for the Automotive Industry
Challenged by an incredible level of volatility, every participant in the automotive supply chain industry needs to precisely understand, and respond to, market demand. Blue Yonder’s advanced solutions can help
A full two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began to upend the world’s supply chains, the global automotive industry is still struggling to rebound. Around the world, consumers are waiting for cars while automotive OEMs wait for components — most notably semiconductor chips, but other parts are in short supply as well.
It’s clear that supply chain volatility is not going away anytime soon, which means that automotive OEMs and their multiple tiers of suppliers must learn to manage, and even master, this extreme level of uncertainty.
One of the key obstacles? Disconnected demand planning processes and a lack of visibility across functions. Many companies operate with multiple demand forecasts, created using manual processes and commercial-grade tools. These diverse forecasts are not only prone to error — because they are fed by multiple data streams and created by humans — but they often have different functions working at cross-purposes.
Lacking a single, accurate view of demand, the organization often has enormous capital investments tied up in excess inventory — or it loses sales and damages customer relationships via product shortages.
Optimized Planning, Driven by AI
The good news is that advanced technology can help. Enabled by artificial intelligence (AI), demand planning engines from Blue Yonder capitalize on real-time, accurate data — from both internal and external sources — to precisely match supply with actual demand. While human planners aren’t capable of navigating today’s complex automotive landscape alone, Blue Yonder’s demand planning solution applies AI, data science and analytics to accurately sense demand shifts in real time — then autonomously make optimal decisions that balance profits and customer service.
Recently two leaders in the global automotive industry have chosen to implement demand planning capabilities from Blue Yonder, and both are seeing promising early results in terms of increased forecasting accuracy, planning precision and resilience in the face of disruption.
Birla Carbon, a world leader in the manufacturing and supply of carbon black additives, needed to account for the effect of multiple variables on its supply chain in real time, creating greater agility. Backed by Blue Yonder’s advanced technology, Birla Carbon can predict disruptions and proactively pivot in response across its extended operations, which span 12 countries, five continents and 16 manufacturing facilities.
Yokohama’s Off-Highway Tires division (YOHT) has also selected Blue Yonder to transform its supply chain operations, by supporting the creation of a globally synchronized and shared plan that senses and responds profitably and quickly to both supply and demand volatility. YOHT has the end-to-end responsibility of designing, developing, manufacturing, marketing and selling specialized tires under its flagship brands that include Alliance, Galaxy and Primex. Blue Yonder demand planning will help guide YOHT’s operations in nearly 120 countries.
The Blue Yonder Advantage
Birla Carbon and YOTH have joined many other automotive leaders in replacing their manual processes and commercial-grade tools with the speed, accuracy and automation of Blue Yonder’s advanced planning solutions. Not only do Blue Yonder’s solutions increase the precision and productivity of the planning team, but they unites the entire organization with a single source of the truth and a shared, data-driven perspective on demand — enabling fast, fact-based decision making. Supported by advanced technology, these companies are positioned to transform supply chain volatility from a challenge to a competitive advantage.