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The Presenter: 

The Presenter Garry Homer - University of Wolverhampton G.homer@wlv.ac.uk

The Autolean Project - Objectives: 

The Autolean Project - Objectives Provide a practical case study of introducing Internet to 20 SMEs, a ‘shop window’ Measure and observe any problems/weaknesses and strengths of this exercise Measure and quantify benefits achieved by the use of Internet in the Supply Chain,E-Commerce, Process Mapping Formulate any lessons to be learned and report these to other SMEs, so that the might mimic our successes (and avoid our failures)

Overall Structure and Operation of the Project: 

Overall Structure and Operation of the Project The sponsors, Unipart, GKN, Rover, Bham TEC, ERDF The participants, Wolverhampton University, Warwick Manufacturing Group, European Automotive Initiative Group, Unipart, GKN Method employed (briefly)………….. Install Train Map Practice/Use Assess Support

AUTOLEAN Organisation: 

AUTOLEAN Organisation BTEC


Unipart / Rover Radiators Metal Parts Seal Assembler Brakes Turbo Chargers Electrical Assy Metal Finishing Metal Parts Plastic Parts Foundry Brass Stampings Aluminium Assys Tools Tools Powder Coatings (Legend) In Autolean Programme Toolmaker

Case Study Unipart and Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd: 

Case Study Unipart and Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd

Unipart Primary Supply Chain : 

Unipart Primary Supply Chain Customer Dealer Unipart Warehouse Supplier- Chalcon/ Radshape Raw Materials PRODUCT FLOW INFORMATION FLOW

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd : 

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd BACKGROUND Electro-plating company Major 2nd Tier supplier - Jaguar, Rover, Nissan, Honda 1st Tier - Edward Rose, Bloxwich Eng, Sertec Number of employees: 150 Turnover: £4.5m

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd : 

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd REGISTRATION - January / February 1998 Launch of Autolean Presentations and registration of SME’s Chalcon Technology Plating / Radshape Sheet Metal Ltd INSTALLATION - March 1998 Delivery and installation of high spec PC Web site: www.william-bate.co.uk

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd : 

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd TRAINING - April / May 1998 Day1 : Introduction Computer set up and operation Internet - browsing / searches / email Day 2 : (1/2 day) : Training Exercises Individual user completes exercises e.g email Day 3 : Advanced Training Attachments and Forum Day 4 : (1/2 day) : Advanced Exercises Sending and receiving email attachments Posting questions

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd : 

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd PROCESS MAPPING May / June 1998 Information flows from Unipart to Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd Ordering Process for Unipart Orders Order sent by post / EDI ? When and how schedule reviewed ? Any schedule queries - frequency ? Time based process map: from order to receipt of parts at Unipart

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd : 

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd CURRENT USE OF THE INTERNET Emails: Basic messages - Unipart - Chemical supplier - weekly test results Attachments: spreadsheets, documents, presentations Web site: Sales Team - potential new German customer Search facilities: Background information on Customers and supplier activities Training tool: Employees

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd : 

Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd NEXT STEPS Emails: Increase basic online communication Increase use of attachments - preadvise, parts profile Web site: Development of more comprehensive web pages Develop links to and from Customers and trade assoc. web sites Search facilities: Increase knowledge, understanding and use of the internet Training tool: Provide tools and encourage use of the internet internally and externally

The SMEs Experience : 

The SMEs Experience “Prior to Autolean, computer use was limited to a site network used primarily for accounts and stock control. There are now many additional new PC’s on site, many have modem facilities. Following the success of Autolean and the single trial PC there is now a requirement for a co-ordinated network within Chalcon Plating Technology.” Martin Williams Chalcon Plating Technology Ltd

Chalcon - Some Conclusions : 

Chalcon - Some Conclusions Automotive industry is undergoing significant change: Restructuring in pursuit of greater efficiency Increased competition Impact upon SME’s Today over 50 million people world wide use the Internet every day - Chalcon Technology Plating Ltd is an example of how the Internet can be used today and in the future...


Some Observations Time is lost in non-essential unplanned activity involving communications (“the stupid stuff”)…...


Cutting large drawings into A4 tiles for faxing Faxes running out of paper during trasmmission Wasteful cycles of telephone tag with voice mail systems Faxes may be hard to read / sometimes illegible / lost pages Sending an engineer(s) to another country for a 1 hour meeting Rekeying document information already produced by the customer’s computer (EDI integration might help but the costs & practicalities of implementation elude the SME.)

The Internet…..some of the problems…..: 

The Internet…..some of the problems….. Quality/selection of ISP is crucial Training is crucial (many SMEs already ‘using’ the Internet prior to this project had acquired ‘bad habits’, had an ‘incomplete’ understanding of what they were doing.) But…….SMEs assign a very low (time) priority to being trained (There were some notable exceptions, a few SMEs did fully appreciate the need for time to be set aside for training.)


Have your customers got the ‘appropriate’ software to be able to read your e-mail attachments? Requires ‘desk-to-desk’ e-mail in order to realise full potential of Internet How do you know if your e-mail has actually been delivered?

Implications to other SMEs in the Supply Chain: 

Implications to other SMEs in the Supply Chain The Internet is here and is (increasingly) part of business You cannot ignore it, any more than you can ignore the FAX (10 years ago, how many SMEs had a fax machine, NOW, how many do not?) It represents another rapid, reliable method of communication, supplementing the telephone, fax and face-to-face meeting…….not replacing them! Still in its infancy, but maturing by the day.


You will experience problems, annoyances, frustrations……but these ‘growing pains’ will be solved as the technology matures. (remember the early unreliable days of Colour TV?, that was only the early 1970s ?) Part of the problems are associated with an explosion in (business) demand, and the inability of the suppliers (ISP) to cope with this demand. Get on the Internet NOW, get some experience, make some mistakes, benefit from those mistakes……don’t wait for the technology to become stable …it never will ! (last)

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