Proton Parts Centre upgrades operations to improve aftersales services

A car has, on average, 30,000 parts if you count right down to the nuts, bolts and screws. Apart from requiring all these parts when making each new car, a carmaker also needs to stock additional parts for replacement either due to wear and tear or when the car is repaired. Generally, the carmaker is required to supply parts for its models up to 10 years after the final production year of a model.

This requires huge warehousing facilities to keep the tens of thousands of parts and this is the function of the Proton Parts Centre (PPCSB) which has its headquarters in the HICOM Glenmarie Industrial Park in Shah Alam, Selangor. This facility, along with the nearby Proton Casting Plant, are among the oldest in the industrial park, having been constructed in the early 1990s when the area was newly cleared.

Proton Parts Centre
The Proton Parts Centre site in the HICOM Glenmarie Industrial Park in Shah Alam, Selangor. The smaller facility (on the right) with another 3,200 square metres of warehouse space started operations last year.

Managing domestic and overseas parts supply
The PPCSB headquarters, which today includes another smaller site on an adjacent lot, manages the parts supply in the Malaysian market as well as for overseas markets. It receives the parts from local suppliers as well as those from China, Japan and some other countries. As Proton’s mission has always been to develop localisation of parts, most of the parts come from local vendors.

Due to the distance of the East Malaysian markets, Proton also has additional regional parts centres in Sarawak as well as Sabah (to be opened in the second quarter of 2024) so that waiting times for service centres and customers would be shorter in those regions.

Proton Genuine Parts
PPCSB provides Proton Genuine Parts to authorised service centres throughout Malaysia as well as to parts stockists, and also exports parts to distributors overseas.

The parts are supplied to 354 authorised service centres and stockists around the country, the latter taking about 15% of the volume of parts shipped each month. As for exports, PPCSB currently sends parts to 26 distributors overseas which would then supply them to their own aftersales network.

Improved capacity and efficiency
As one of the carmakers with the largest number of vehicles on the road in the country, Proton has strived to ensure that parts are readily available. Over the years, PPCSB has improved its capacity and efficiency to ensure stock sufficiency and prompt deliveries.

Over the past 2 years, with sales surging, Proton has made investments to increase warehouse space in both the Glenmarie site as well as the sites in East Malaysia. A smaller parts centre was also set up in Batu Tiga nearby to handle lubricants as well as support the activities of PPCSB.

Proton Parts Centre

PPCSB has 26,700 square metres of warehouse space (of which 70% is utilised) and stores over 30,000 items. This number is 1.5 times greater than that stocked a year ago and the total value is said to be RM130 million. The parts are for all current models as well as older models. Surprisingly, there are also parts for the much older models like the early Sagas, Wajas and even Tiaras, though these would be in limited numbers.

Proton Parts Centre

Up to 4,500 orders daily
Each day, PPCSB handles between 2,500 and 4,500 orders and while the collection of parts from the racks is a manual task, the processing is automated to a large extent. The processes will be improved further this year as an integrated parts management system is set up. This has been developed with support from Geely IT and Geely Logistics with a focus on digitalization and process optimisation, and will be operational by the end of next month.

Proton Parts Centre

In the meantime, a lot of effort has been put into ensuring parts availability as well as reducing waiting time. Compared to previous years when parts availability for current models was 84%, it is now at 94%. There has also been a reduction of 60% in back orders, while average daily deliveries have increased by 35%. To speed up supply to East Malaysia, overseas parts vendors now ship directly the warehouses there instead of having to pass through Peninsular Malaysia first. Additionally, the capacity of stock transfers to East Malaysia has been doubled.

Proton Regional Parts Centre Sarawak
The Regional Parts Centre in Sarawak is one of two hubs in East Malaysia set up to shorten delivery times to service centres and stockists. These two facilities also receive parts from overseas vendors directly, instead of having to pass through Peninsular Malaysia.

Processing time for orders
While this means that parts can reach service centres faster, customers may still find that repairs of their vehicles might not be faster in some cases. This is not necessarily due to parts supply and may be related to the process of insurance claims for repairs. The normal procedure is that an adjuster has to first determine what is to be repaired and the cost, and this will then be approved by the insurance company. Only then will parts be ordered, but this can sometimes take time although it may not be evident to the owners.

Proton Parts Centre

Proton Parts Centre

A PPCSB manager explained that orders are processed promptly

but still has certain procedures that will take a day or two, so by the time the part actually leaves the warehouse, it may be a few days after the order has arrived. After that, the rest should be fairly straightforward unless some unexpected issues arise, eg additional parts are required which had not been identified by the adjuster earlier. Then the whole process has to be followed again unless the part is available at the service centre.

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Just as its models progress in technology, Proton will also ensure that the parts side of its  business will keep being improved. “Our new warehousing system reflects our relentless pursuit of innovation in ensuring optimal solutions for our valued customers and we will continue making efforts to improve aftersales service and deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction,” promised Proton’s Deputy CEO, Roslan Abdullah.

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