Mercedes-Benz is investing hundreds of millions in a global reorganization of its supply chain network that will set the course for growth and efficiency with the goal of reducing supply chain costs by 20 percent per vehicle.
With omnichannel, consumers and their mobile phones are doing pricing, web shopping and so forth. But what about manufacturers? They have omnichannels of their own, and suppliers to those retailers are an intrinsic part of retailers' strategies, yet the media is paying this scant attention.
It is no longer a question of if but when autonomous vehicles (AVs) will hit the road. In the auto industry's most significant inflection in 100 years, vehicles with varying levels of self-driving capability - ranging from single-lane highway driving to autonomous valet parking to traffic jam autopilot - will start to become available to consumers as soon as mid-2015 or early 2016. Development of autonomous-driving technology is gaining momentum across a broad front that encompasses OEMs, suppliers, technology providers, academic institutions, municipal governments, and regulatory bodies.
Automakers like Ford rely on thousands of tier-one suppliers to provide the materials, parts and services to make its final products. Many suppliers serve numerous automakers, and each of those suppliers, in turn, has multiple suppliers. Other industries' supply chains (such as electronics) are intertwined into the automotive supply chain. There are often six to 10 levels of suppliers between an automaker and the source of raw materials that eventually enter the manufacturing process. The breadth, depth and interconnectedness of the automotive supply chain make it especially challenging to effectively manage business and sustainability issues.