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Unlocking 400% gains in speed

This world´s leading automotive company has spent the last century building a brand synonymous with reliability, safety and status. Over the last century, its vehicles have defined and dominated the global luxury car market.

As the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) grew and evolved, its supply chain became increasingly complex and interdependent. A spur of innovative, sustainable, high-tech features—and manufacturing processes—had deepened its dependencies on a mounting list of Tier 1 components suppliers.

While critical to its success, the OEM’s dynamic supply chain was exposed to many potential vulnerabilities. Even a minor delay at one point along its complicated supply chain could significantly impact capacity and revenue down the line.

To limit its risk exposure and boost efficiency, the company’s CEO made supply chain resilience a business imperative and endeavoured to reduce friction in its global network and better optimise for region-for-region sourcing.

In the long term, these initiatives would establish back-ups, reduce transportation costs and safeguard components. However, to get there, it would require new ways of working and the arduous task of enabling thousands of Tier 1 suppliers to work within new processes—and fast.

A digital transformation success story: Watch how one automotive leader re-imagined supplier engagement

The challenge

One such process aimed to streamline the automaker’s call-off process by connecting it—and its 2,000 suppliers—via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). The automaker had hired a service provider and set a two-year goal.

But the onboarding process was time-consuming and manual, largely reliant on phone calls and spreadsheets. And there was narrow visibility into the efforts to date, including where each supplier was in the onboarding process and which supplier should be onboarded next.

Four years had passed, progress had stalled and supply chain challenges were ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated disruptions. The automaker needed to accelerate progress—exponentially.

In a race against the clock, the automaker needed support from a team with:

Digital transformation experience and a track record for quickly digitising operations for rapid value. The ability to act as an extension of the organisation’s team. Well-proven and scalable process with less manual effort Deloitte, backed by ServiceNow, was prepared to deliver.


Tier 1 suppliers


increase in onboarding speed


the output of enabled suppliers

“Disruptions in a supply chain as complex as this one are inevitable, but disruptions in supplier onboarding shouldn’t be. Deloitte and ServiceNow not only made the onboarding process faster and easier, we reduced the risk of disruption from things like missed deadlines, lack of training or IT ticketing to almost zero.”

- Deloitte manufacturing client

The solution

Deloitte and ServiceNow hit the ground running with one overarching objective: Completely digitise a manual onboarding process to improve efficiency and build supply chain resilience.

Armed with Deloitte’s deep logistics knowledge and extensive experience with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the team was able to quickly develop and deploy a new ServiceNow-based onboarding process using its “Advise, Implement and Operate” framework.

Advise: Deloitte initially conducted a process analysis, identifying different measures the company could take to quickly improve the onboarding pace and the supplier experience.

Implement: Using ServiceNow, Deloitte digitised onboarding workflows in ways that automated supplier outreach and project tracking. The Deloitte team established an on-site development team to efficiently manage the client’s customisation requests, eliminating the need to create tickets through the company’s IT department. This accelerated progress, enhanced transparency and reduced the drain on the automaker’s internal teams.

Operate: Deloitte activated those digital workflows in a ServiceNow workbench to organise and automate the process workflows, deliver digital checklists to suppliers and track due dates and statuses with automated reminders. Additionally, suppliers could access EDI training and timely support through ServiceNow’s self-learning path and built-in knowledge hub.

The impact

Deloitte and ServiceNow lead a digitally transformed onboarding process, setting the pace for a 400% increase in onboarded suppliers per week.

After a four-year stall, Deloitte and ServiceNow established an efficient method for supplier onboarding, one that ultimately quadrupled the number of onboarded suppliers per week.

Suppliers now onboarded via the automaker’s EDI are connected to real-time delivery schedules, rolling updates on cumulative order quantities and data-driven forecasts. Any expected delivery or demand fluctuations can be quickly communicated, mitigating the potential for a disruptive bull-whip effect along the supply chain.

Moreover, as the automaker’s supply chain grows increasingly complex, emerging digital solutions can be more readily deployed—even as its suppliers grow in scope and scale. Backed by a scalable, automated and data-driven way to onboard suppliers to any number of resilience-focused solutions in the future, the 100-year-old company is positioned to flex and thrive no matter what the next century brings.

Power resilient supply chain operations.

Automate supplier engagement to enable rapid pivots.

Digitise and integrate call-off processes to mitigate disruptions.

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