Hyundai Motor Co.'s quest to shorten the order-to-delivery cycle centers on its supply chain.
Using two Web-based tools from i2 Technologies Inc. of Dallas, Hyundai has reduced the time to prepare a monthly production plan with its suppliers from 14 days to seven. The goal is to reduce that to three days, said Jung-Kook Paeng, Hyundai's chief information officer.
"This will make us more responsive to the market," Paeng said.
A production plan developed in seven days - or three - is far more accurate than a plan that takes more than two weeks to create, he said.
It took Hyundai six months to see an improvement. Its pilot project involved 100 suppliers and six Hyundai assembly plants in Korea. Hyundai also is disseminating the plan quicker to critical suppliers using a new Web-based system.
Paeng said suppliers have been able to reduce their inventories by up to 40 percent because they have simultaneous access to Hyundai's production plan.
What others are doing:
n Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. (toyota.com) has taken the first step toward a build-to-order model with the launch of a Web-based factory communications system that includes the Dealer Pipeline Management System. The system allows Toyota and Lexus dealers to trade vehicles online - something dealers say will shorten delivery times.
n Nissan North America Inc.
(nissandriven.com) is implementing a Web-based project it says will reduce its customer order-to-delivery time. Its Integrated Customer Ordering Network project is with Manugistics Group Inc. and Trilogy Inc.
Trilogy provides online vehicle configuration, pricing, the locator tool and order creation software. Manugistics software will let Nissan create a network linking Nissan factories with dealerships throughout North America.
Nissan wants its Canton, Miss., factory to turn around customer orders on high-volume pickups and sport-utilities in 14 days.
n Subaru of America Inc. (subaru.com) is testing a system to match customer orders to its supply of vehicles at ports and its Lafayette, Ind. assembly plant. The system, based on Manugistics software, will help Subaru to better plan production and sequencing at its Indiana plant as well as its accessorizing plants. Dealers will gain Web-based vehicle shipment tracking and delivery information.
n BMW Manufacturing Corp. (bmwusfactory.com), which builds the Z3 at Spartanburg, S.C., is trying to reduce the time it can accept changes in customer orders from 10 days before the build begins to six.