The lifecycle of an AFL supplied part

AUTO-FASTENERS is highly specialised in the sourcing, supply and distribution of automotive fasteners and small parts. Our unique relationships with manufacturers spread across a globally connected network, enable OEM and 1st Tier customers to source a large number of ISO TS16949 approved parts made from high quality graded and certified raw materials.

Following the journey of a single stainless-steel washer reveals AUTO-FASTENERS interconnected sourcing expertise, stockholding, quality control and packaging capabilities, exemplifying how each process is enhanced by our high standards and efficient scheduling to add a unique value to every part supplied to our Tier X and OEM customers.

High quality Global Manufacturing and Sourcing.

The journey of a stainless-steel washer begins with our stand-out approach to Global Sourcing due to unique relationships with multiple manufacturers. In particular, AUTO-FASTENERS’ ability to source from high-quality engineering expertise available in the Far East provides a flexible and agile alternative approach to that of the larger incumbent manufacturers. In forming and shaping relationships with these alternative manufacturers, we are able to address issues of speed of response, competitive unit cost and low minimum order quantities, adding value to the automotive aftermarket supply and the parts within it.

Our strong relationships with global manufacturers and suppliers allow for a rapid response to quotation requests, providing a seamless fast-acting service that allows for this steel-washer to be obtained quickly and effectively so its value exceeds that of similar parts available from other suppliers.

Quality Control and Environmental Standards.

Once landed at our UK Hub, a random sample from our steel washer’s batch heads straight for our quality testing and inspection laboratory. Here a range of quality tests are conducted including hardness testing, dimensional tolerance inspection, tensile testing, fault detection, corrosion and fatigue testing and more. If the part fails in any way the batch is pulled. Our on-site testing and inspection capabilities are backed up by ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and VDA 6.3 accreditation, whilst all our manufacturing suppliers operate to the internationally recognised ISO TS 16949:2009 quality standard.

Unique Stock Control and Inventory System.

At AUTO-FASTENERS we carry all stock on a ring fenced individual customer basis, meaning no stock is shared between customers. Therefore, as our steel washer enters stock control, it is immediately allocated to its specific customer.

This enables super accurate and immediate stock management, driven by our bespoke ERP and stock control systems. This gives the customer complete flexibility to either call off the washer to a predetermined schedule, or alternatively for immediate dispatch.

The system also allows for the detailed analysis of re-ordering patterns, guaranteeing a continuous supply of parts to meet fluctuating demand. All the time, every AUTO-FASTENER partner remains super-connected thanks to EDI data interchange technology.

Kit Assembly and Bespoke Customer Packaging.

Our particular steel washer is destined to be assembled into an aftermarket fitting kit. It is manually packed to the highest possible standard, to guarantee the specific requirements of its customer’s packaging are met – both in terms of branding, labelling and instructions; but also including any necessary materials to protect the part either in transit or customer storage.

Delivery Schedules and Meeting Demands.

Getting the right products to the right locations at the right time and in the right condition is one of the core pillars of the AUTO-FASTENERS service. In the case of our washer, aftermarket demand from its large OEM customer means it is loaded for almost immediate dispatch. Whilst our International Distribution Centre in the UK serves a global customer base, this part is destined for a shorter delivery journey, arriving at its destination – a domestic dealership parts department – just hours after we receive the initial order.

The following day the kit containing our washer is booked out to the dealer workshop by a technician fitting a crash replacement front bumper to a customer’s car. The day after a very satisfied customer collects the vehicle. Blissfully unaware that her shiny new bumper is being held together by a whole range of quality automotive fasteners which we have moved halfway around the globe, and taken through a multitude of advanced processes.

Each step of AFL’s unique supply system ensures the highest quality product and service. Our ability to source ISO TS16949 approved materials from a large network sits at the root of the company’s performance whilst the high quality of materials is reflected through the service provided from sourcing right through to Aftermarket support. Stocks are maintained with backups after initial delivery to ensure a continuous JIT supply for repeated and fluctuating demands, reflecting how each step of our supply process produces a kit of the highest value.

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