“Project Autopack has improved customer satisfaction by eliminating missing parts.” —T.G. Dhandapani, Group CIO, TVS Motor
Vehicle manufacturer wheels out big savings and better customer satisfaction
TVS Motor Co., an Indian manufacturer of two- and three-wheeled vehicles, was in need of a streamlined process to help increase productivity and improve traceability. Using PLM and ERP software from SAP and wireless scanning and weighing technology from Intellicon, TVS launched the Autopack program, which has reduced costs and significantly increased output. The project earned TVS a 2011 PM100 Award for Operational Excellence.
Autopack was designed to automate the picking of parts for export in CKD (complete knockdown) kit form. Increasing numbers of TVS customers use these part kits to assemble complete vehicles in different locations, saving on transport and other costs.
TVS determined that missing parts in the CKD packages were resulting in a shortage of materials during assembly by customers, and contributing to production shortages and premium-freight costs. The labor-intensive process of picking more than 500 materials required 36 employees to be deployed for 90 CKD kits per day.
TVS also needed better part traceability, as well as the ability to reduce carton damage and increase container occupancy; the latter was as low as 65%.
Autopack integrated SAP’s ERP system with bar-code and wireless technologies from Intellicon. TVS designed a trolley with a wireless scanner, wireless bar-code printer, and wireless proportionate weighing scale, all integrated with the ERP system. The operator and trolley use packing lists and bills of material to scan bar codes on each bin and facilitiate the picking process for weighing. Bar-code labels are then attached to each pack, scanned, and shipped in the right carton. These cartons are stacked based on weight, saving space and improving the occupancy of the container beyond 95%.
With Autopack, the problem of missing parts has been eliminated, container occupancy has been maximized, and traceability dramatically improved, saving TVS $100,000 on premium freight. TVS’ project improved worker productivity by 100%, as employees can pack 180 vehicles per day, as compared to 90 per day previously. The project paid for itself within two months.
Most importantly to TVS, customer satisfaction has improved as a result of the streamlined, automated process. As TVS Group CIO T.G. Dhandapani puts it, “Project Autopack has improved customer satisfaction by eliminating missing parts, and has reduced the operation cost for TVS Motor by improving productivity and maximizing container utilization.”