The Southshore Companies have provided third party logistics and distribution services to Robert Bosch Corporation since 1984. Southshore is extremely pleased that Bosch made the recent decision to expand and enhance the off-site supplier material warehouse (Bosch Material Warehouse or BMW) operated by Southshore in support of the Bosch manufacturing plant in St. Joseph, Michigan. This vendor managed inventory (VMI) application has received outstanding reviews by Bosch personnel throughout North America.The most significant enhancement was the systems conversion of the BMW inventory control system to the Bosch SAP system. This conversion has resulted in a more efficient and effective relationship between Bosch and Southshore personnel.
- Instead of picking production parts at the warehouse on a predetermined schedule every two or three hours, SAP allows the Southshore offsite warehouse to have full visibility to real time inventory levels in the Bosch manufacturing plant. This creates the ability to verify inventory needs throughout the day as necessary, and to pick parts continually based on up to the minute data. This means the Bosch plant is receiving only what it needs and precisely when it needs it, thereby reducing inventory levels in the Bosch plant.
- Nearly 70,000 square feet of dedicated BMW space was reconfigured in the weeks prior to the conversion in order to accommodate a more streamlined and efficient receiving and put away process, as well as a repacking process.
- The conversion of the BMW to the SAP system took place over two days, beginning early Saturday morning and finishing late Sunday night. This project presented a significant challenge for Southshore requiring thousands of scans, involving approximately 350 different Bosch part numbers and representing approximately 40 separate Bosch suppliers. Bosch demanded an expedited conversion schedule over a single weekend to complete the entire project. This included the scanning of all Bosch inventory resident in the BMW into SAP, resolving all inventory discrepancies and being ready to ship to the Bosch plant at 5:00 AM Monday morning. Southshore was successful in exceeding Bosch’s expectations for the conversion.
- Converting to the Bosch SAP system has taken Southshore to a higher level of integration with Bosch and has enhanced Southshore’s technical expertise. Most importantly, Southshore’s integration into the Bosch SAP system allows Southshore to do more for our customer Bosch at a lower cost. Southshore is working more closely and assisting Bosch in supply chain logistics management areas that were not possible prior to the SAP conversion.
Southshore is grateful to Robert Bosch for providing the opportunity to demonstate another example of Southshore’s collaborative logistics. We are now in a position to offer the expertise gained from this project to other customers requiring a higher level of warehousing logistics services.