Automotive Case Study

“It has allowed us to increase our throughput by more than 50%. We are doing a lot less thinking and walking and more picking.”

– Condrad Daniels, Vice President of Operations and Technology

System Summary:
Houston-Johnson, Inc. (HJI) is a Louisville-based, ISO 9001-2008 certified, minority-owned company and a WBENC certified women’s business enterprise. Founded in 1987, Houston-Johnson provides logistic services to the largest automotive manufacturers and parts suppliers as a Tier 1 or Tier 2 supplier. These services include sequencing, modular assembly, kitting and rework operations with automotive suppliers and consumer products.
Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant on Louisville’s East side produces the F-Series Super Dutytrucks as well as the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigatorlarge SUVs. The 4.6 million square foot facility is located about 10 minutes from Houston-Johnson’s main operations. This close proximity to the plant is crucial for Houston-Johnson as a just-in-time supplier since there is a very short timeframe in which to deliver the parts once they are requested.

As the sequence of vehicles is planned for assembly, the vehicle identification numbers (VINs)are broadcasted to all of Ford’s suppliers along with information regarding the trim level and parts required for assembly. It is up to the suppliers to decode this information and ship the proper parts to the plant in the correct sequence. If parts arrive out of sequence, or if they are not delivered in the time specified, heavy fines can be levied against the supplier. “We are in a business that we may get a dollar for a part we send out but if it is wrong we pay thousands of dollars because of the impact to the supply chain that is has”, says Daniels.