Volvo group goes big!
The Volvo Group Southern Africa has consolidated three parts warehouses into one – with huge benefits for its dealers and their customers. GAVIN MYERS attended the opening.
One group, six brands, 13 000 m2, 52 000 parts and a R60 million investment – that’s the Volvo Group Southern Africa’s brand-new regional parts distribution centre (PDC) in numbers. Officially opened during March after 15 months of construction, the new facility in Boksburg, on Gauteng’s East Rand, is being hailed as a critical step forward for the Group’s future growth in the southern African region.
Serving the Volvo Trucks, Volvo Bus, Volvo Penta, Volvo Construction Equipment, Renault Trucks and UD Trucks brands, the new facility holds R280 million worth of stock to support all southern African countries up to the DRC. The facility is manned by a total of 68 employees.
Speedier parts deliveries, more streamlined and efficient operations, as well as increased warehousing capacity were the goals when designing the new warehouse.
“The merger of our warehouse facilities under one roof is a strategic investment in our future and will enable us to support our customers more efficiently, especially in light of the significant volume growth our brands have experienced over past few years,” explains Torbjörn Christensson, president of the Volvo Group SA.
In all the countries in which it operates, designing, managing and optimising the group’s logistics services falls under the auspices of Volvo Group Logistics Services within the Group Truck Operations (GTO) division.
“One of the keys to our continued success in South Africa is having best-in-class logistics processes and facilities, as we now have here,” says Christer Svärd, senior vice president of Volvo Group Logistics Services.
“This new facility is a great asset and enables us to better serve the customers in the region. It also demonstrates the commitment of the Volvo Group to southern Africa,” he continues.
Colin Govender, general manager, Logistics Services, for the southern and East African region, says that having a common system and warehouse processes to manage all the brands allows the workforce to easily develop new skills. “The workforce has had to adapt and understand the differences brought about by the change, in order to cope with the expected demands from dealers.”
The set standard is a same-day delivery policy to dealers within 50 km of the facility, and there is a 24-hour set-up in place for emergency parts. Overnight and next-day deliveries cater for the remaining dealers across South Africa, while those outside the country are served by twice-weekly dedicated deliveries.
In addition to increasing efficiencies, the new facility is also designed to reduce the need for energy resources. High ceilings with transparent panels allow for an abundance of natural light, while motion sensors automatically switch lights on and off as workers make their way in and out of the isles.
Health and safety processes are also important, and speed control will be included in a new range of forklifts, says Govender.
“Increased uptime for our customers is one of our core objectives within the Group,” says Christensson. “Customers are rightly demanding exceptional parts availability – something we believe we will be able to achieve with the new facility, its innovative systems and skilled workforce,” he concludes.