Mitsubishi Logisnext Europe’s supply chain and item management development project with Leanware improved predictability and brought structure to supplier management

Thanks to the development project, Mitsubishi Logisnext Europe now uses the Logisticar solution to manage material needs and their changes in a handy and predictive way. The solution consists of Logisticar software and LogisticarBI indicators. New trained modes of operation, new tools and reliable data has brought confidence to the conversations between acquisition managers and suppliers, and has taken supplier management to a new level.

Mitsubishi Logisnext Europe (MLE) develops, manufactures and markets warehouse and counterbalance forklifts as well as AGVs and automated systems and their lifecycle services. MLE is part of the Japanese Mitsubishi Logisnext group. In Finland, the company was known as Rocla until 2020, even though the company became the property of Mitsubishi Logisnext already in 2008.

Unlearning the old and the development of skills created the basis for change

Through the supply chain and item management development project, MLE sought improvement for stock values, item guidance, production service level, product policy, monitored indicators as well as acquisition parameter change responses. Change was sought together with Leanware on three levels: by changing modes of operation, by developing the staff’s skills and by acquiring a tool to support the change.

“I committed a large group of people for this project. They have all learned the importance of measuring,” project leader, MLE Acquisition Manager Simo Kangastupa says.

Leanware did a LogisticarSCM analysis for MLE in April 2019, based on which the supply chain and item management development project was started in September 2019. During the fall of 2019, the entire acquisition department took part in a six-day training, which went through ABC logic, item nomenclature analysis, control parameters and item planning.

The starting point of the development project was that the previous modes of operation were no longer adequate for the current situation. MLE made a conscious decision to do things differently. The training of the acquisition department helped unlearn the old patterns and learn new ones. Familiar themes, such as ABC logic, were used to show how things are done at MLE particularly. MLE and Leanware implemented the system changes in the winter of 2019/2020.

It took one year from the start of the project to implementation

MLE implemented Leanware’s Logisticar Supply Chain Management system (SCM) in the beginning of 2020. That is when the use of Logisticar instead of ERP was begun for purchasing batch sizes and timing.

“After implementation, it took a bit of time to get used to the system and build trust. However, there was no catastrophe. No products were left unordered or were delayed because of the new system,” Kangastupa states.

A significant part of the system were the LogisticarBI indicators used for reporting. LogisticarBI is a cloud-based mobile reporting system for purchasing, production, warehouse management, sales and company management. LogisticarBI reports are easy to use and read even by those who don’t frequently use Logisticar in their work.

“With Leanware’s support, we decided ourselves what the LogisticarBI reports should contain. This was a significant part of the development project and very educational,” Kangastupa says.

There are about two dozen reports, about six of which are used especially actively according to Kangastupa. As main indicators, MLE uses so-called performance indicators: availability, stock turnover, stock level and receiving efficiency. These are viewed at weekly meetings and by the management, and they are displayed for everyone to see in the acquisition department.

Supplier management rose to a new level

Using the supplier KPI report, also the delivery times and accuracy of the suppliers can be monitored and compared. The supplier-specific delivery accuracy (OTD) is displayed with clarifying and easy-to-read graphs. This has shaped into an excellent tool for supplier management that MLE uses both in internal meetings as well as supplier meetings.

The report can also be shared with the suppliers, which makes cooperation easier. VMI level informing of select suppliers is also easier than before with Logisticar, and the reports have provided an overview of reclamations, which has helped make reclamation handling more efficient.

“The supplier KPI report has provided structure and professionalism for supplier management. It supports the acquisition manager when conversing with suppliers. Now there is no need to doubt whether the statistics are up-to-date or whether the Excel file is constructed correctly,” Kangastupa summarizes.

Big changes in warehouse management simultaneously

At the same time with the development of purchasing, the warehouse implemented LeanwareWMS. The system guides all operations from receival to set picking.

“Right now, the WMS is being extended to production’s warehouse and line locations. When this project is finished, all of MLE’s material management is done in the WMS,” Kangastupa continues.