SUPPLY CHAIN INTEGRATION FOR BRIDGESTONE

Summary

Bridgestone is the world’s largest manufacturer of tires and rubber products. Based in Tokyo, the company enjoys better than 15 percent market share for tires globally, meaning about one in every seven cars and trucks on the road today rely on Bridgestone tires.

Bridgestone Europe is a key subsidiary of the company serving both OEMs and a large aftermarket network of distributors and dealers. On the commercial side, Bridgestone provides tires for some of the largest construction and mining equipment in use today, as well as other commercial vehicles.

    • Separate supply chains for automotive and commercial tires
    • Outdated warehouse management system
    • Need to speed-up movement of commercial tires to end customers
    • New strategically located commercial tire distribution center in Gothenburg, Sweden
    • Implementation of JDA WMS
    • Use of DHL Freight for customer deliveries
    • Lower supply chain costs through increased warehouse density and improved management
    • Enhanced operational efficiency by consolidating supply chain services with a single provider
    • Strengthened key customer relationships by enabling later order cut off times

Customer Challenge

In Scandinavia, Bridgestone had traditionally maintained two supply chains: one for automotive tires, optimized to handle a large volume of relatively standard-sized products, and one for commercial tires, which vary widely in size and are often too large to fit in shipping containers. 

The company recognized an opportunity to improve efficiency and increase product speed to market, by integrating the commercial and automotive supply chains. However, the gains could only be realized by consolidating supply chain services with a single service provider capable of simplifying communication channels and increasing operational efficiency. The integration would also require a more advanced warehouse management system.

DHL Supply Chain Solution

DHL Supply Chain was managing Bridgestone’s automotive distribution center in Jönköping, Sweden when the decision to consolidate was made. Based on its performance at Jönköping, DHL was selected to manage the integration of the commercial and automotive supply chains and implement a more advanced warehouse management system (WMS). 

As part of the integration, DHL now manages a 6,000 square meter warehouse in Gothenburg, Sweden, which was specifically designed to handle the non-standard sizes common with commercial tires. At this facility, DHL receives large tires directly from the Port of Gothenburg.

To handle distribution, DHL Freight was brought in to deliver shipments of large tires to Bridgestone commercial customers throughout Sweden. Also as part of the consolidation, DHL successfully moved Bridgestone to a best-in-class JDA WMS.

Customer Benefits

With a multi-country team of DHL experts working together, the integration of the supply chain was accomplished on time and under budget. The resulting supply chain is now able to deliver greater efficiency, lower cost, improved visibility and enhanced customer service. 

Cost benefits were achieved by increasing the density of the distribution centers supporting both the automotive and commercial businesses, reducing the overall square footage of warehouse space in the region. In addition, the location of the Gothenburg facility streamlined the handling of large tires and, combined with the integration of DHL freight services, enabled order cut-off times to be shifted to later in the day.

Finally, the successful implementation of the JDA WMS provides a common technology platform for all Bridgestone products in the region and improves visibility into product movement and costs.

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