As some of you may know, Ford Valencia is one of the biggest companies of this city, with 8500 workers, and it is the branch that exports more to the U.S in Europe.
It is located in Poligono Industrial Juan Carlos I (Almussafes) and most of the 100 companies located here work, almost exclusively, to Ford.
This industrial park is almost unique in Europe, because it is not just the common policy of Just in Time (JIT) that is a lean manufacturing process that helps companies keep as little inventory on hand as possible. They only order products when a need arises, and they try to get products to customers as quickly as possible without having to store lots of products in warehouses. This saves money, space, and other resources that can be put toward more worthy pursuits.
Here’s a video to explain this JIT system:
But they use a policy called Just in Sequence. This system goes further than JIT, because the resources are delivered in the exact moment that the customer need it but also in the correct order that the customer is going to use them.
So, taking into account that almost all the suppliers of Ford are located in the surroundings of the company, that have developed a tunnel system. They are known as “conveyors”. The piece travels automatically from the supplier to Ford, providing them with the material in the exact possition where they need it.
This system allows the factory to be flexible in their production, with capability to produce four different model of cars.
I think that this system is really usefull, but it also needs a really high degree of planification and it’s a bit risky, because if the suppliers should be very reliable or everything would be a disaster!