Have you ever had the chance to visit the production facilities of a truck manufacturer? Not yet? You definitely should; not only will you learn tremendously about purchasing, logistics, supply chain, production itself or even sales, but you will also get an insight of sustainability and environmental-related topics at least at DAF. On December 18th, members of the Young Professionals Logistics and Supply Chain Management Luxembourg (YPL²) joined together with members of the BVL Germany a cooperation event of Jong Logistiek Netherlands (JLN) at the DAF truck production site in Eindhoven.
After welcoming, we attended presentations, which gave us a first impression of the production site, purchasing procedures, production lead-times and sales structure. Who doesn’t dream of a five-week fixed horizon without changes in the production line, at DAF this seems feasible. The company currently employs around 6000 people on an area of 1 Million square meters!
We were supposed to sit on a train that drove through the whole production line from source to sink, close to the point of use – one of the most impressive visits we had so far. We were able to see the production of an engine, the assemble of the truck until it’s finalized and ready to be shipped. As there is no production without an order as the trucks are made to respect the specific wishes of the customer, no long stocking after production is needed, a typical pull system. With a production of around 200 trucks a day, I think we were all speechless. Only one question crossed our minds, who will drive those trucks as the transport industry is facing a lack of specialized truck drivers?
The competence and hard work of the employees is recognized. A good worker not only knows his or her job, but also knows how to do it the most efficient way, respecting the procedures put in place by the company. This is one of the reasons, compared to OAM, that DAF is not willing to automatize every step of production in order to stay as flexible as possible. The inspiring point was the merit the company seems to give to its employees whose competence is recognized and promoted as with their policy of rewarding the employees with a percentage of the economies the company makes by the improvements they suggested and which finally were adopted by the committee.
One of every three trucks in the Netherlands being a DAF will make this visit unforgettable, as we will cross one of them each time we are on the road. Moreover, for further business we will keep in mind that there is a DAF for each one of our needs.
The company is for sure a very interesting and sustainable one, not only have we learned about their core business but we have been reminded the difference between global warming and the air pollution and even got a refreshing lesson about lean management.
Thank you DAF and JLN for the visit. Let’s proceed with special cooperation events and raise the awareness of what we would like to archive together!