Placed on 27/02/2015
Recent months have been a busy and eventful time for VB-Airsuspension and its employees. On 1 December we all held our breath as the new ERP system Microsoft Dynamics AX went live. Many months of planning and hard work had gone into preparing for this moment, and the thought “fingers crossed it all runs smoothly and there aren't too many hiccups” could be seen written across every face.
At this point all the hard work that went into the preparatory groundwork paid off and, with the exception of a few initial teething problems discussed later in the newsletter, the switchover was a success. The biggest challenge was launching the go-live at the same time as a large intake of orders, the new logistics system and the switch to barcodes for all locations and parts. The warehouse was closed while the switch to AX took place to allow for stocktaking and related activities.
This and the unusually high number of orders around this time meant we fell significantly behind with the picking of orders, resulting in slower delivery times than our customers would normally expect from us. However, we put a huge effort into clearing the backlog and since the end of February have been more or less up to date again.
The number of orders has well exceeded expectations for some time now. To keep up with this unstoppable flow of orders, we needed to step up a gear. First and foremost we set about increasing the staff complement, and took on more personnel in the warehouse to enable us to keep up with demand. Beyond this, we were also suffering from a lack of work, packing and storage space resulting in the need for physical expansion. As a short term solution we have rented an additional unit to provide work and storage space. Several packaging lines will also be set up here to enable us to work more quickly and flexibly in a “one-piece flow”. To facilitate this structurally, we are planning to make some alterations to the premises this year. Read more later in the newsletter.
VB-Airsuspension also works continuously on improving the organisation ‘from the inside out’. Various schemes are in place to develop and improve management, staff satisfaction and overall strategy. A questionnaire was distributed to staff asking for feedback on their experience of working for the company and where improvements could be made. The results of the survey show a high level of job satisfaction among our employees, but also pointed up areas of weakness. Since then, we have made significant efforts to improve on these points.
Additionally, we have developed a new strategy by which we are aiming to achieve 1 million “smoothers” by 2020. “What are smoothers?” I hear you say. Smoothers are people whose daily lives we make smoother. Smoother stands for many things: for greater comfort, but also for good working relationships, for satisfied customers, for trouble free vehicle testing, but also for new projects that quickly and flexibly turn out new products for you and your customers. Everyone who has a good experience of working with VB-Airsuspension and receives expert and appropriate service from us (to name just a couple of the buzz words) is a “smoother”. The figure currently stands at 370,000 smoothers. Expect to hear more on this in the future!
To conclude, VB-Airsuspension is looking forward to 2015 as a year in which we take on the challenge of making growth a reality. We are doing this in quantitative terms by increasing staff numbers and work space, and qualitatively by investing in our organisation and our people. In this way, together we will reach our goal of “one million smoothers”!