Surveys conducted by the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) show that the supply chains of German mechanical engineering companies remain under strong pressure. With its new logistics center, special strategic measures in the run-up to the crisis and close cooperation within the Group, Optima has ensured the availability of its machine solutions and services during the corona crisis.
In surveys conducted by the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), a large number of companies indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruptions and failures in supply chains. At Optima, various measures have already been taken over the past few years to be prepared for a situation like this. This has now paid off. "With the new logistics center, the 'heart' of Optima logistics, excellent cooperation within the Optima Group and procurement strategy measures in the run-up to the pandemic, the supply chain was successfully maintained," says Heiko Funk, Managing Director of OPTIMA materials management GmbH.Supply chains are safeguarded by risk analysis
It paid off, for example, to carry out continuous risk analyses in order to secure the supply chains. Parts that require a high level of expertise are purchased within the Optima Group or produced by the broad-based in-house production. Around 150 qualified employees and a state-of-the-art machine park including 3D printing technology are available there.
The Optima Group logistics center has been operational since March 2019 and it is located in Schwaebisch Hall-Hessental. (Source: Optima)
125 spare parts shipments leave the logistics center every day. Sales of spare parts have risen by around 50 percent in the short term since the start of the corona crisis. (Source: Optima)
Long before the pandemic, the procurement focus had already been placed on Europe, which now benefited Optima. Alternatives were developed for single-source procurement, so-called single-source parts. The identification of so-called long-running parts was carried out in very well coordinated cooperation with colleagues in the technical departments of the business units within the Group. "A specially appointed task force management operates daily monitoring and continuously exchanges information with potential bottleneck suppliers," reports Funk. An appropriate stock level has been built up for critical items. In order to guarantee the ability to act, the employees from purchasing were largely mobile. The operative areas in logistics and quality assurance worked in separate shift teams in accordance with the applicable hygiene regulations.Setting the right direction even before the crisis hit
Optima's investment in the new logistics center also had a positive impact during the crisis. The new logistics center accommodates over 50,000 articles on approximately 6,000 square meters and went into productive operation in March 2019. The spatial integration of the purchasing, logistics, spare parts processing and quality assurance departments results in fast and efficient processes for the company. Since the beginning of the corona crisis, sales of spare parts have increased by around 50 percent in the short term.