Proton on mission to optimise parts delivery

PETALING JAYA: Delays in getting spare parts for servicing or accident repair works have been a common refrain by car owners in the days of the pandemic and the massive floods of 2021.

It's a headache many car companies struggled to overcome.

The situation has since improved and complaints about delays in getting spare parts have eased considerably as a result of collective efforts by the auto industry to improve the supply chain.

In Proton's case, it was eager to show it has been making meaningful strides in facilitating ready access to parts for customers so that they can get their cars serviced or repaired in a timely manner.

Main entrance

It held a media tour for the first time to its subsidiary Proton Parts Centre Sdn Bhd last week.

The Proton Parts Centre in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, forms a pivotal link in its distribution network as it is the main hub for parts to be deployed nationwide and to its overseas markets such as Brunei, Pakistan and South Africa.

It was set up in 1992 and began operations in 1993.

It is backed by regional parts centres in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching that focus on the respective states of Sabah and Sarawak.

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In the last two years, the parts hub had invested in expanding warehousing space by over 35% from the initial 28,700 sq metres in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak to ensure more parts can be stored and delivered quickly.   The Shah Alam premises currently sits on  26,700 square metres  of space.

Parts inventory has increased by 1.5 times now to ensure they are ready to be sent out even at short notice.

At present, Proton Parts Centre is holding stocks of more than 30,000 parts valued at RM130 million. Stock transfers to Sabah and Sarawak have increased by twice the previous capacity. The two regional parts centres have some autonomy as overseas vendors can deliver directly to them instead of going through Shah Alam first.

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Proton said parts availability for current models have improved from 84% in previous years to 94% in 2023.

The Shah Alam hub can handle 2,500 - 4,500 line orders, while its Kuching regional centre can process 150 to 500 daily orders. The Sabah centre is expected to scale up to achieve the same volume as its Kuching counterpart once it relocates to bigger premises by the second quarter of 2024.

According to Proton, back orders have been cut by 60% through effective order purchasing, support from procurement and manufacturing.

There has been a 35% increase in average daily deliveries to cater to increased order volume from its network. At the same time, work-in-progress has seen a 63% reduction compared to previous years to ensure minimal waiting time.

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Proton is not stopping there.

Going live later this month is a new warehouse management system that should optimise distribution further for Proton Parts Centre. The system is the result of collaboration between Proton and China's Geely to gather user requirements, share best practices, and focus on digitalisation and process optimisation.

Hosting the media tour were Proton deputy chief executive officer Roslan Abdullah, Proton Edar sales and aftersales vice-president Edmund Lim, Proton Edar aftersales director Wan Hazran Wan Mustafa and Proton Parts Centre director Sam Zhang Lixin.

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Roslan said it was important that the public are made aware of the situation at Proton and what pro-active measures it is taking to remedy system shortcomings.

"The unveiling of our new warehousing system (in late March) reflects our relentless pursuit of innovation in ensuring optimal solutions for our valued customers and we will continue making efforts to improve aftersales service and deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction."

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