What’s involved in setting up your vehicle processing?

Whether you’re looking for a strategically positioned vehicle processing centre close to your key markets or want to switch providers, we have the expertise and facilities to set up your processing while ensuring minimal impact to your finished vehicle supply chain. Here are the five key steps we take when onboarding new customers

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Step 1. Understanding customer needs

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and building lasting partnerships is what we strive towards. It might sound obvious, but the first step in setting up successful vehicle processing operations is to define customer needs and requirements.

“The key thing when onboarding a new customer is to understand why they’re coming to us and what their processing needs are,” says Jon Hess, site manager at our vehicle processing centre in Baltimore.

During the scoping phase we’ll ask customers about the services they require, the volumes of vehicles involved and what their lead times and quality and audit requirements are, in order to gather the information we need to put together a detailed launch plan.

Step 2. Assembling a strong and skilled team

A fundamental part of successful processing operations is the people – they’re what keep our services turning. As an experienced logistics supplier, the collective expertise of our skilled teams is one of our strongest assets.

From supervisors to technicians and operations managers, we work to build the human infrastructure required to meet your processing needs and ensure we have the people with the right skillsets working on your vehicles.

“It’s really about the people, then the processes,” explains Hess. “Putting the right people in place is our bread and butter. It’s how we create and build processes that we can execute on over and over again, month after month.”

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Assembling a skilled team is key to successful vehicle processing operations

Step 3: Setting up and optimising processing flows

Once we have the team and launch plan in place, we can start to configure our facilities to accommodate the scope of processing and technical work required.

Based on a customer’s specifications, we’ll start to procure the tools and equipment we need. Next, we’ll plot the flow of vehicles through the facility and map out the floorplan accordingly – from setting up the processing lanes to painting lines on the ground for parking and traffic flow.

We’ll also create a parts department and ensure car washes, lifts and racking are not only in place but inspected so they’re in line with the customer’s requirements.

“When everything’s installed, we can start to move into the launch phase and, in an ideal scenario, process some test cars to kick off with,” says Hess. “Of course, time can be of the essence, so often we’ll need to start processing right away: it’s all dependent on customer timelines.”

Step 4: Leveraging our extensive expertise

With 66 processing centres globally, we have a wealth of experience and talent we can draw on. To jumpstart new processing operations and make the process as streamlined as possible for our customers, we’ll bring in supervisors and production workers from across our sites to help guide newly-installed teams through the training process.

We’ll also look to the expertise and knowledge of our customers, too and work closely with representatives from the OEM throughout the start-up phase to help iron out any teething issues that might arise.

“Minimising the impact for our customer is our single biggest goal when setting up processing operations,” explains Hess. “Much of that is down to leveraging our internal partners from other sites who have invaluable expertise on the ground. This helps to accelerate the process and optimise operations as much as possible.“

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We leverage our combined expertise from across our sites to make the process as streamlined as possible for our customers

Step 5: Ensuring provision for electric vehicles

With the electric vehicle market growing, we can also factor in customised solutions to support EV supply chains into the process.

One of the main stumbling blocks when it comes to processing EVs is charging infrastructure, especially at ports where grids might not have the capacity to handle large quantities of high-voltage charging, Hess explains. “That’s why we’re partnering with port authorities, our customers and even governments to ensure we have the infrastructure in place at all our locations to handle electric vehicles both now and in the future.”

We’ve also extended our pre-delivery inspection and yard management services to support the processing of EVs and our teams are specially certified to handle the technical requirements and components involved.

“EVs require a totally different type of mechanic,” notes Hess. “It’s something that we’re responding to and aware of in our recruitment process, so we continue to have the right expertise at hand.”

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