In the automobile manufacturing game, the secret to success is equipping oneself for the future. Volvo is aiming to do that by opening its first North American assembly plant in Ridgeville, South Carolina. According to Assembly, the Swedish automaker announced in May 2015 that it planned to build a factory in Berkeley County, scheduled to be up and running by 2018.
A History of Progression
As Assembly explained, while this is Volvo's first assembly plant in North America, the company is far from inexperienced in the art of efficiency and innovation. In the 1970s, Volvo laid claim to the first "human factory" in Kalmar, Sweden. This novelty in auto manufacturing capitalized on small workstations that could work at their own paces - a more individualized plan for Volvo workers. This understanding that assembly lines aren't one-size-fits-all will prove an integral part of Volvo's strategy in later years.
Keeping up with the Times
The move to North America for assembly duties marks a response to business growth and changes in the automobile industry. According to the Washington Times, Lex Kerssemakers, the CEO of Volvo North America, explained that when the company broke ground on the $500 million plant in September 2015, it marked another step in its global mission.
"This is the one and only factory where we are going to produce the S-60. Global customers all over the world will drive a car made in this factory," he said.
Just how much growth will this plant contribute to Volvo's bottom line? The assembly factory is expected to produce 100,000 cars each year.
Faced with such tremendous progression, Volvo must have strategies to align its business capabilities with the fast-paced acceleration. According to an RFgen white paper, "8 Signs You Need an Automated Data Collection Solution," business growth is one indication that it may be time to adopt a mobile data collection system that integrates with the company's existing ERP system. Not only does calling on modern data collection systems ensure organizations can leverage their current growth, but it also sets them up for success in the future.
Beyond having the best automated data collection solutions, Volvo has also picked a geographical location that puts them in line for growth. As the Post and Courier explained, more than 250 auto suppliers are in South Carolina, and this industry continues to expand in the state.