Yard Hold is one of the escalation tools used by some customers in the automotive industry. It can pose many problems in terms of cost, loss of customer satisfaction and reputation. For this reason, it is worth knowing how to manage it.
As the name says, this escalation is related to the fact that the customer blocks all vehicles on the shipping yard until certain activities are carried out by the supplier.
This is a very critical moment as the lack of a proper response plan can result in a serious financial burden. This is due to the fact that a full shipping yard dramatically limits or even stop the manufacturer from producing cars.
So when Yard Hold can be triggered then?
Yard Hold Initiation Conditions
Each of the clients, as part of the “control gates”, perform an Final Product Audit. Unlike the same activity that is performed by suppliers, our client tests the car.
It is this activity, and precisely its negative result, that is one of the main conditions for Yard Hold starting. We must be aware that as part of such an audit, the client performs a static assessment with verification of specific functions, e.g.:
– checking the operation of the lights
– verification of the correct operation of the window lifts
– measurement of the gaps between the bumpers and the car body
The second stage is the road test. During the audit, the person who is performing the Final Product Audit checks whether there are any problems with:
– vehicle driving
– braking distance
– the appearance of certain signals on the display indicating a problem with the proper functioning of the system
If a problem with a potential safety impact is observed during such a test, the Yard Hold procedure may be initiated.
Another common scenario is the initiation of YH after feedback made while moving a car during the standard manufacturing process. During car building, starting from the assembly department, the car is transferred several times in order to perform certain operations, checks or adjustments.
If a problem is noted by the operator during such movement, this may be the starting point for Yard Hold kick-off.
Time – Important piece of the puzzle
In a situation where we are informed that all cars have been stopped at the shipping yard, we must be aware that time is not our ally.
For sure, the client will ask us for a few things, among which there will be:
Analyze performing as soon as possible
A small note here. In a world of globalization, many customer locations are on other continents. Of course, this affects the time of receiving a given component for analysis. If it is possible, it is worth using the resources of our organization from a plant located in such a location.
Most often, the client’s representative will participate in the analysis.
Procedure definition and implementation for blocked vehicles checking
As for the first part, the support of the engineering department may be required. Why? Because the manufacturing plant may not have all the technical knowledge about the design of a produced component. This is especially important for parts with electronics subcomponents. Of course, the client still has to approve it.
Defining and validating is only part of the stage. Now the organization must define who will physically test the locked cars. Here we have three options:
– we carry it out with our own resources
– we carry it out with the resources of our organization from a plant located close to OEM plant
– finally we hire an external company or resident if he/she is assigned to support our plant
What else is worth knowing about Yard Hold
Most often, along with the launch, we will also receive a properly defined complaint. We must remember this because it affects our final rating in the client’s bid list (score card). It may happen that these two factors will make us “red” in the final assessment. Thus, we will not be able to participate in the quotation for new projects.
Yard Hold is not a special status. We do not have to inform the Certification Body of this fact.
Finally it is used, among others, in cooperation with Stellantis ex-FCA and ex-PSA.