The Logistics function at Bentley Motors is an integral part of the manufacturing team. Over the preceding years the team has had to rapidly improve the Logistics infrastructure and business processes to support the introduction of the Continental range and the increase in annual production volumes (from 2,000 cars in 2003 to 10,000 in 2007).

Now, with the launch of the all-new flagship, Bentley Mulsanne, and the future developments of the second generation Continental range under way, Logistics are working towards the implementation of an Integrated Logistics Centre here at Crewe.

This development is a strategic initiative that will involve the building of two new warehouses on site including an automated mini-load store for small plastic boxes.

Logistics currently has around 220 Associates who look after 18,000 parts from over 650 suppliers and is sub-divided into three main function areas;

  • Pre Series Logistics
  • Logistics Operations
  • Production Planning & Control

As part of the VW Group Bentley offers worldwide career opportunities and excellent training and development, making Logistics an exciting department to work in.

Pre-Series Logistics

Pre-series Logistics carries out all Logistics activities to support all build phases of any new vehicle project or model year face lift prior to the start of production. These Logistics activities include the following:

1.  Pre Series Logistics:

  • Logistical introduction of new model years and engineering running changes
  • Ensure new parts receiving at required parts quality
  •  Implementation of Engineering change requests
  • Application of Product Emergence Process (PEP process)

2.  Systems and Processes

  • Responsible for Pre-Series Car Orders
  • Setting of Process Control Codes
  • Coordination of engineering changes & management of permits for Logistics
  • Maintenance & development of Pre-Series Systems
  • Continuous Process Improvement

3.  New Parts Store

  • Receive and control Pre-Series material through PEP Gateways
  • Pick material to support build phases
  • Deliver parts to point of use

4.  Supply Centre

  • Manage and control all inbound materials (samples and parts for build)
  • Material planning and scheduling
  • Support the build of Pre-Series cars

Logistics Operations

Logistics Operations work with suppliers and third party Logistics to determine optimum supply chain routes and develop suitable packaging to maintain component quality throughout transportation and handling.

A material requirements planning system (SAP/R3) is used to plan the daily / weekly inbound delivery schedules of components from the supplier base. Vendor planners are then responsible for ensuring the on time delivery of components, to support production, whilst minimising transportation and inventory holding costs.

Offsite and on site warehouses then receive deliveries of components from suppliers as well as managing the return of reusable packaging.

The material is then either picked and delivered to the production line, or, for various commodities, parts are sequenced directly to the production line and the specific cars they are required for.

1.  Material planning:

  • Plan amount of ordered parts from the supplier
  • Manage Supplier Deliveries
  • Management of Inventory Costs

2.  Material Handling:

  • Receive and store material
  • Parts picking and line-feeding
  • Receive, stock and handle painted bodies

3.  Technical support:

  • Implement new parts receiving processes and issue instructions for part handling
  • Update the material requirements planning system to help Logistics work more efficiently

4.  Supply Chain planning:

  • Design and develop Supply Chains to support Bentley volumes and site strategy
  • Develop packaging solutions which support supply chains
  • Interface with suppliers on supply chain issues affected by current part changes and new part introductions
  • Support Purchasing with delivered material costs
  • Manage the impacts of new models and model year projects on the supply chains and site strategy
  • Support Make vs. Buy projects with costs and process solutions

5.  Contracts Management:

  • Monitor and control third party Logistics
  • Main responsibilities: external warehousing and inbound transport for series material
  • Select emergency transport providers
  • Rest of world transport contracts

Production Planning and Control

Defines the amount and order vehicles are build in, controls the launching of bodies onto the production line and monitors their progress through the build process.

Finally, manages the transportation of finished vehicles to the dealers or the customers ensuring they are delivered at the agreed time.

1.  Production Planning & Control

  • Ensure timely delivery of vehicles to despatch
  • Agree a body supply schedule with the external body suppliers and ensuring the timely supply of Series bodies to the production line
  • Sequence cars and forecasting

2.  Programme Planning

  • Ensure continuous body supply
  • Detailing timing prior to start of production

3.  Vehicle distribution

  • The receipt of all finished products from production
  • Caring for product in storage
  • Worldwide distribution of all finished production cars
  • Road freight, sea freight and air freight