As we reported a few weeks ago, Scania has invested further in new parts distribution centres in various states recently, and  the company’s Western Australian operation has moved into a new, much larger parts warehouse in Welshpool as part of that investment.Scania says  that the new WA facilty will enable it to better service the needs of its growing customer base of both on- and off-road trucks, as well as buses and coaches.

The new 2000 m2 facility is more than four times larger than the warehouse it replaces, and Scania says it allows the Kewdale-based company-owned sales and service facility to supply its state-wide network of independent authorised service dealers, and customer workshops, with a higher rate of first pick.

As we said,  the move follows a similar expansion of the Scania Australia National Parts Warehouse in Melbourne in order to support the growing numbers of Scania vehicles in service across the country.

“Scania has attracted many more customers across a broad spectrum of applications over the past 7-10 years in WA, and we see no sign of this growth slowing,” said Michael Berti, Scania WA’s regional executive manager.

“We have increased our warehousing floorspace by a factor of four and the value of inventory we will hold by a factor of three. This provides us with vastly improved ability to service our customer base here and now, and importantly the capacity to scale up to meet future demand. Supply to the new Welshpool facility will primarily be direct from our global distribution centre in Europe, with access also to supply from regional warehouses in South East Asia, and of course, Melbourne.

“With the new facility we will be able to receive and unpack more quickly, as well as pick and dispatch orders more efficiently, cutting the wait time for parts for all our customers and dealers in the West. We will bring to this facility scanning technology, initially on the inbound side of the inventory flow, with a plan to integrate this technology also into our outbound flow. This will improve not only our efficiencies in pick, pack and put-away but will also improve inventory accuracy.

Outbound consigning will be streamlined thanks to equipment designed to automate the process of weighing and measuring packages with software that links this data directly to the carriers’ freight system. These improved metrics are critical to our continued success with mining customers in particular, where unplanned downtime is very costly,” he said.

“The success of our New Truck Generation has resulted in a steady influx of new customers to the Scania family, well above the rate of growth of new truck sales and the minerals extraction boom. No matter the customer application, time is a critical commodity, and in line with Scania’s commitment to customers to maximise their uptime, we believe the new warehouse will allow us to meet their needs more effectively,” Michael said.

“The larger capacity warehouse will allow us to hold a broader and deeper range of parts on hand, in line with current and future needs, for example our Hybrid and electric vehicle ranges which will undoubtedly arrive during the life of this facility.

“Leveraging the benefits of the Scania Fleet Management System, which globally has 500,000 connected vehicles, we’re far better able to project when components will require replacement, and pro-actively launch preventative maintenance campaigns, again aimed at bolstering uptime for the customers’ assets.

“No-one wants a vehicle off the road with a failed component, and scheduling in a vehicle for preventative maintenance at a convenient time will always be a more efficient and cost-effective solution,” he said.

“Scania’s Kewdale branch has always been a strong performer in over-the-counter parts sales within Scania Australia, and we aim to improve this. If customers are confident that we will have the part in stock they are far more likely to return, especially if they need a major component replaced.

“For example, a blown gearbox costs a lot of money in downtime for the operator, but being able to call up the Scania customer parts webpage and see that there’s a unit in stock at the warehouse, and then order it online, and then turn up to collect it or have it delivered, provides a very efficient solution, not to mention a good deal of peace-of-mind,” Michael said.

“The new regional warehouse in Perth also helps us build some additional resilience into our supply chain within Australia,” says Ben Nicholson, National Parts Manager for Scania Australia.

“The reality of this situation has been brought home to everyone in the industry during the COVID pandemic, with state borders being snapped shut, compromising logistics networks,” he added.