Supply chain disruption and rising material costs are causing the global automotive industry to re-evaluate lean manufacturing principles, according to a new survey commissioned by ABB Robotics. Shifting from ‘just-in-time’ to ‘just in case’ strategies, manufacturers are holding more stock to protect against unplanned disruptions.
Produced in partnership with Automotive Manufacturing Solutions, the survey was completed by a mix of global industry experts from vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and engineering.
Nearly two thirds (62%) of respondents cited ongoing supply chain concerns when asked to select their top three challenges to automotive manufacturing, while 41% cited the impacts of material and component price increases and 31% pointed to growing labor costs and shortages.
The survey also revealed how manufacturers were turning to increased stock-holding and bulk material purchasing to limit their exposure to disruption elsewhere in the supply chain, while working with a wider network of suppliers to ensure sufficient availability of parts.
The survey highlighted how the rising cost of raw materials (62%) had already overtaken energy costs (59%) as the industry’s chief concern. Energy efficiency continues to be important, while an identical number of respondents (17%) felt that tighter cost management was crucial to the industry’s response.
The ABB survey includes close to 600 global industry experts, from vehicle manufacturers, and supplies at all levels of management, engineering and other key professionals throughout the automotive world.