A perfect storm of semi-conductor shortages, the ‘pingdemic’, the ending of furlough and the return of workers following the summer factory shutdowns means automotive manufacturing suppliers need to urgently address production fluctuations from OEMs according to Geoff Cousins, chairman of Birmingham-based G&P
, a leading provider of quality management services manufacturing sectors, including automotive and aerospace .
He also believes that a flexible approach to working practices, which many suppliers have already adopted due to the pandemic, is one way that they can combat changes in order demand, including through the deployment of the third-party suppliers and their highly-trained personnel to cover all aspects of production, including quality audits and supplier management, to maintain quality standards.
He said: “There are a number of unique and recurring factors at play at the moment that automotive manufacturing suppliers need to address so that they are prepared for any changes in order demand from OEMs.
“The most pressing is the shortage of semi-conductors which will probably continue into next year and that is having a very real impact on production schedules in the automotive industry, with a knock-on effect to suppliers.
He added: “However, this is coupled with the imminent ending of furlough and the impact this will have on staff numbers, including at a time when many factory workers are returning from the annual summer shutdown.
“Manufacturing suppliers can protect themselves from a shortfall in personnel by using third-party providers such as G&P which can react quickly, and with flexibility, to their individual needs.”
G&P itself has access to a range of highly-skilled personnel, including supplier development engineers, resident engineers, quality inspectors and vehicle technicians who are deployed on-site providing quick and decisive action to any quality issues, and who can be deployed rapidly to cover any shortfall in personnel.
Mr Cousins concluded: “Factors which are beyond the control of suppliers adds to uncertainty as production is ramped up and down. Flexible outsourcing with a trusted partner is a way to fulfil production requirements, while meeting quality standards but avoiding investing fixed costs until a stable production schedule is established.
“Suppliers that have come through a tough financial period caused by the pandemic need to protect themselves from outside influences.”