Published: 16 November 2020

Research from Surrey Business School improves supply chain performance in the vintage car sector

Skills shortages within the vintage car sector are causing major supply chain issues, putting the industry in an increasingly vulnerable position. Research led by Professor James Aitken, titled ‘Improving supply chain practices in the vintage car sector’ has helped businesses in the sector by providing knowledge and insights, resulting in improved supply chain performance.  

Nearly 35,000 people are employed in the vintage car sector in the UK, however many businesses that make up the sector suffer from lack of investment in people, skills and modern manufacturing processes, making the supply chain extremely vulnerable.

Surrey Business School’s Professor Aitken, Dr Rosie Cole and Dr Wolfgang Garn worked with Vintage Bentley, market leaders in the restoration of vintage Bentleys, and it’s supply base, to identify areas of risk and facilitate the opportunity for the firm to develop a roadmap for future security of supply.

Extensive research was conducted into the processes of suppliers managing Vintgage Bentley orders, which uncovered communication issues and differences in perspective around scheduling and delivery.

Professor Aitken’s underpinning research in the sector also provided knowledge and insights into the various challenges and possibilities of utilising workshops to collaborate better with the supply chain, improving quality, cost and delivery across the different business.

The research resulted in better communication and collaboration with other parts of the supplier chain through workshops, and the reengineering of components to replace obsolete manufacturing processes. By recognising and managing these issues, the supply chain became more reliable, leading to a substantial growth in Vintage Bentley’s turnover.

“From the support of the University we have seen significant gains in our operations, supply chain and sales. With an increase in sales of over 20% during the period”, Vintage Bentley M.D.

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