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Mazda Creates Auto Industry First with New Inventory Management System

- New inventory control system will result in less customer wait time -

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HIROSHIMA, Japan--In an automotive industry first, Mazda Motor Corporation will launch its Mazda Materials Management Planning (M3P) advanced inventory control system throughout Japan in April 2005. As part of the ongoing evolution of its stock management system, M3P enables optimized inventory levels, improved supply efficiency and streamlined business practices for Mazda retail and service operations in Japan. And customers will reap the benefits: better service, faster response times. The rollout of M3P is the first in a series of gradual deployments around the world in Mazda’s efforts to create the auto industry’s leading inventory control management system.

The point of sale (POS) management system is ubiquitous in the retail industry--convenience stores and supermarkets, for example--and permits outlets to record all product sales information. The aggregate data can then be used in an inventory control system. Mazda is the first company in the automotive sector to introduce the POS system for the purpose of inventory control. The M3P system will cover 240,000 parts that Mazda handles.

POS inventory control will enable Mazda’s M3P architecture to manage standing inventory at parts franchises, implement multilevel inventory control, and revamp demand forecasts.


Automated dealer inventory management
POS management automates inventory control for more efficient use of existing dealer methods of customer handling and finance, achieving greater work efficiencies. Specifically, each dealer’s range of products and parts inventory will be periodically reviewed to promote needs-based control without any manual input. This enables 90 percent of regular maintenance at dealers--parts replacement or vehicle checkups are examples--to be performed within one hour. Trials have already been completed in Japan and full nationwide rollout starts in April 2005.


Optimized multilevel inventory management
Parts inventory historically have been managed independently at each dealer, each parts distributor, and at Mazda Motor Corporation itself. M3P’s multilevel inventory management enables better demand forecasting and optimized inventory management at all three levels by tracing customer orders throughout the supply chain from the point of sale at the dealership through the entire Mazda operation.


Upgraded demand forecasting
Based on three-plus years of order performance data, M3P can handle demand fluctuation. It has improved accuracy for demand forecasting--up to one year in advance. This reduces surplus inventory and improves delivery time, and an aim of 98 percent or higher fill rate.

For Mazda, use of this state-of-the-art system is being driven by the desire to achieve better customer satisfaction and greater confidence levels between customers and dealers.