From local warehouse to global distribution centre – development together with GEODIS in Poland



In order to have the conditions for steady and dynamic growth, companies need professional support from their business partners. This support applies to many areas of operation, but one of the key ones is contract logistics. Focusing on their core business, companies tend to delegate other areas of operation to external partners who specialise in a particular field. Contract logistics services offered by GEODIS in Poland are an effective support in the development of its customers. They allow customers to focus on their core business areas, leaving logistics to the professionals.

As an example of such cooperation, which has resulted in development and continuous improvement of the market position, is the cooperation of BorgWarner, owner of the Delphi Technologies brand, with GEODIS in Poland.

The history of the partnership dates back to 2016, when Delphi Technologies decided to outsource its warehouse operations to GEODIS. The project initially envisioned warehouse operations in three logistics centres across Europe. GEODIS’s task was to operate a 10,000 sqm automotive spare parts distribution centre in France, in the Lyon area, and a similar centre of 12,000 sqm in Poland, in the Lower Silesia region.

The factors that determined the choice of GEODIS as a logistics operator were its flexibility, advanced IT solutions, synergies associated with the launch of two warehouses in different countries with the same IT system, the declared speed of project implementation, and a quality approach – the so-called continuous improvement mindset.

Regarding the latter, it should be noted that GEODIS, in the area of contract logistics services, relies on the following principles to support the efficiency and quality of services offered.

  • DMAIC, the problem-solving approach that drives Lean Six Sigma. It is a five-phase method – define, measure, analyse, improve, and control – for improving existing process problems with unknown causes.
  • RCA, or root cause analysis, which is defined as the factor that caused the nonconformity and should be permanently eliminated through process improvement.
  • Kaizen, or rapid improvement processes, is often considered to be the “building block” of all lean production methods. Kaizen focuses on eliminating waste, improving productivity and achieving sustained, continuous improvement in an organisation’s operations and processes.
  • 5S, defined as a methodology that results in a clean, orderly, safe and well-organised workplace that helps reduce waste and optimise productivity.

In 2018, two years after the launch of the project, due to growing sales and the consequent increase in the number of products and assortment, the space in Poland was expanded by another 3,000 sqm, resulting in a final warehouse of nearly 15,000 sqm. At the same time, the area of distribution of products from the Polish distribution centre was expanded to include other countries and regions, and the range of services provided also included returns.

This was not the end of the development of cooperation between BorgWarner and GEODIS. The year 2022 brought further strategic decisions. In view of the exemplary cooperation, the quality of services provided, the cost aspect, and the benefits of improved speed of delivery to many eastern markets and easier demand planning taking place jointly for many markets, BorgWarner made the strategic decision to move the activities carried out by the distribution centre in France to a warehouse in Poland. Thus, the GEODIS warehouse space in Poland allocated for the project now totals 20,000 sqm.

In addition to the transfer of standard operations, BorgWarner decided to transfer additional tasks to GEODIS, related to the establishment of a special VAS (value added services) zone. The task of GEODIS was to comprehensively prepare the infrastructure to ensure safe and effective VAS operations. Starting from the purchase of appropriate tables, equipment, preparation of connections, ending with the configuration of the WMS system for additional functionality. The configuration of the WMS system required its expansion and additional modules. All the required options were successfully implemented in the time required by the client, and after the full testing phase, they were accepted by the client. All communication between BorgWarner and GEODIS takes place via EDI, this applies to both VAS services and other operations taking place in the warehouse.

Step by step, more tasks were handed over:

  • Reverse Logistics – a return management service for BorgWarner’s customers, who are contractually entitled to return a certain batch of unsold goods, based on contractual terms. GEODIS conducts activities related to the receipt of the above-mentioned goods, quality verifications, then, according to the instructions of the customer, performs activities related to repackaging, withholding or disposal of returned goods.
  • Core return – service of injectors and pumps for diesel engines. The service consists of receiving and classifying goods related to the possibility of destination of products for reconditioning. Classification is based on BorgWarner’s detailed instructions. Goods qualified for repair are sent back to reconditioning points in the UK and Poland. If the equipment is not qualified for repair, it remains at the customer’s disposal or is sent for disposal.
  • Service of OES products – activities involving the preparation of injectors and pumps supplied directly from the manufacturer for further shipment to car manufacturers. From the manufacturer’s bulk packaging, the goods are repackaged into individual packages and shipped.
  • Service of diagnostic equipment – the cherry on top of additional services provided by GEODIS in Poland is the service of BorgWarner diagnostic equipment. The service ranges from simple tasks such as repacking cables in company packaging, to checking heads to look for potential damage.
    It is also GEODIS’s responsibility to configure the last component of the diagnostic kit, which is
    a laptop. GEODIS employees in Poland install the software and connect all three components together. The software has different language versions depending on the country the equipment is intended for. Once everything is completed, the ready-to-use kit is shipped to the recipient in special cases.

Currently, for VAS services, a few hundred square meters have been set aside from the 20,000 sqm warehouse; with growing needs, this area can be expanded. As part of a cooperative project with BorgWarner, GEODIS in Poland manages more than 20,000 stock-keeping units (SKU), with a full database of about 50,000 SKUs.

Due to the customer’s geographical area of operations, GEODIS in Poland provides a full range of customs services for BorgWarner. This applies to both import and export shipments.

GEODIS in Poland also provides road, multimodal, air and sea freight transport services. Thanks to
a comprehensive offer and advanced IT tools, GEODIS in Poland is able to handle the entire supply chain.

Comment from BorgWarner’s Mark Cook (Supply Chain Excellence & SC EMEA director): “The Poland GEODIS (Wroclaw) team have proven to demonstrate excellence of service, flexibility in developing services with our business’ requirements with dedication and professionalism of change management, WMS solutions, warehousing operations and valued added services. GEODIS Poland now is BorgWarner Aftermarket’s (Delphi Technologies brand) largest DC globally suppling all Continental Europe IAM customers & key Export markets ”


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TSL Biznes 04/2021
Truck & Van 03/2021

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