Unipart and Rolls-Royce plan new joint venture
Rolls-Royce and Unipart, the manufacturing, logistics and consultancy group, have announced their inte...
Rolls-Royce and Unipart, the manufacturing, logistics and consultancy group, have announced their intention to form a joint venture company that will help manufacturers bring their products to market faster.
The joint venture, called MetLase, will initially create some 30 high-end, technical engineering jobs at its new headquarters on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. It will use technology initially developed by Rolls-Royce to support a wide range of new customers from different business sectors.
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Manufacturers need expensive and often complex suites of tooling to help create finished products. But current methods of tooling development and manufacture can often take weeks or months, slowing down the time to get the finished product to market. The technology licensed to Metlase which uses lasers and patented joining techniques, will enable the rapid creation of innovative and cost-effective tooling products and solutions which will improve productivity for its customers.
The application of this technology saves time and will enable products to be brought to market more quickly and at lower total cost. The joint venture will focus initially on opportunities in the aerospace, automotive, motorsport and medical industries. Hamid Mughal, Director of Manufacturing, Rolls-Royce, said: “We view this joint venture as an excellent opportunity to partner with a well-established cross-sector partner with complementary capabilities. This will help greatly to accelerate the development of the MetLase technology and to increase its use across a broader range of applications and products.”
Unipart Chairman and Chief Executive, John Neill, said: “We’re very pleased to be taking this important step with Rolls-Royce. Productivity is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK, today and the automotive industry and the aerospace industry are seen as leaders. “According to the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England the prize for the British economy if productivity in the UK economy as a whole had grown in the same way as the car industry could be £1/2 trillion.
This planned joint venture is a practical example of the way in which the aerospace industry and the automotive industry can combine their technical and operational excellence skills to enable their customers to improve their productivity. ” ends Notes to editors: About Unipart Group Unipart Group is a leading UK manufacturer, full service logistics provider and consultant in operational excellence. Operating across a range of market sectors, including automotive, manufacturing, mobile telecoms, rail, retail and technology, Unipart offers a breadth of services from third party logistics to expert consultancy. Unipart achieved five stars – the highest rank – in the Business in The Community corporate responsibility index. For further information about the 2015 CR Index including the full list of 2015 ranked companies, visit www.bitc.org.uk/crindex.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.