What is AutoSphere?

What is AutoSphere?

AutoSphere is a large community of automotive OEMs and suppliers, who have come together to use a common set of processes and data transactions in order to more effectively manage their packaging and parts supply chain transactions.

Why does AutoSphere exist?

AutoSphere’s massive collaboration delivers an unprecedented level of visibility and control, over packaging and parts supply chain transactions, between OEMs, suppliers, and their transportation service providers.

This increased level of visibility and control reduces cost while greatly increasing supply chain efficiency.

Cost reduction opportunities include packaging and part loss mitigation, reduction of expedites, reduction in the use of corrugated packaging, increasing reusable packaging availability, granular part location, labor reduction, reduced production interruptions, and transportation optimization.

Who are AutoSphere members?

During the fall of 2017, five automotive OEMs and a number of their representative tier-one suppliers and transportation service providers came together to form a community focused on creating an advanced methodology for managing the location and distribution of reusable packaging and associated parts. The founding OEM members include Honda, Toyota, FCA, Nissan, and GM.

OEMs have begun sending letters and presentations to their supply base, to introduce them to AutoSphere, provide basic information, and schedule launch dates.

At this point, over 600 tier-one suppliers have been contacted and have been given expected deployment schedules.

What is Surgere's role?

Surgere has been selected to provide the technology hub that collects, shares, and analyzes the community’s transactions.

During the initial solution design meetings, AutoSphere members selected passive RFID as the common technology used to support the group’s processes and data management requirements.

Surgere provides software, hardware, and RFID tags that conform to AutoSphere architecture.

COS is the Surgere software solution used to connect the community, maintain and share information, and analyze the individual user and community data.

What should I expect by being a member?

As a member of the AutoSphere community, you can expect to use and access COS’ shared information regarding reusable packaging and parts attributes, such as location, dwell, population, utilization, loss, and inventory turns.

You will be invited to attend ongoing AutoSphere meetings aimed at enhancing the overall effectiveness of the community supply chain, and you will have the opportunity to help create and take advantage of AutoSphere best practices.

In summary, you will be able to participate in the most advanced, wide-reaching, and effective supply chain management process in the automotive industry.

What is the value of being a member?

AutoSphere membership requires data collection accuracy to be 99.99%.

The highly accurate data will be shared between member OEMs, suppliers, and transportation providers.

This level of visibility will reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of managing a reusable packaging and part-centric supply chain.

Surgere software, COS, will be used as the system of record, providing single determination into location, dwell, population, and supply chain alerts across the entire supply chain.

Packaging and part outages will decrease, and forensic data analysis will provide insight into problem cause and improvement. Negative operational impact caused by lack of containers will decrease, and the overall goal of having the right asset, at the right place, at the right time will finally become a common paradigm.

What activities and processes are required by our staff in order to participate?

RFID is an autonomous technology that primarily collects useful, timely, and accurate information independently. There is not a lot of intervention to make the solution work.

There are two processes that do need to be operationalized, which support the community’s visibility and data accuracy requirements:

Lane Assignments

Using COS to log door, trailer, carrier, and destination information

Cycle Counts

Using a COS mobile device to inventory a location’s assets during a walk-through

What technology will I be using?

There are several basic technologies which will be used to construct the overall AutoSphere solution.

COS – Surgere software supporting member and community transactions.

RFID – Hardware portals, handheld mobile devices, robots, and drones

RFID Tags – Very specific RFID tags are selected and used for each asset type.

Depending on existing hardware, one or more of these will be utilized: the need to communicate data to an ERP system or desire for advanced capabilities.

SensorLink – Installed on each RFID reader to transmit data directly to AutoSphere

SensorLink Pro – For those looking to send data to an existing ERP system as well as to AutoSphere, this middleware is installed on a server (virtual or physical) and can transmit data to both.

SensorWare – For our advanced users looking to implement application-based intelligence. This middleware software collects and transmits RFID data, locally while also monitoring the system’s health.

The process of selecting the right tag, placement, and portal settings is called a Sandbox.

How do I get started?

The most effective way to begin working with the community is by filling out the contact us form. A member of the Surgere team will reach out to you right away.

What is the onboarding process?

  1. Connect with a member of the Surgere team. They will begin by introducing you to AutoSphere, the technology, and the deployment process. They will work with you to come up with the solution that best meets your needs as a company as well as from a supplier perspective. The Surgere team will visit your site, ask about system integrations, and make a personal recommendation to help you see the biggest ROI.
  2. Once a solution is identified, you’ll be given financing options and introduced to your project manager to determine deployment needs.
  3. Once deployed, Surgere will help ensure you are getting the most value possible from your technology investment. You’ll have access to the Surgere Team for ongoing education and system support.

How long does the onboarding process take?

Once a deployment date is scheduled, the entire process should take between 90 and 120 days to complete.

Supply Chain Analytics and Business Optimization will be ongoing.

What do I need prepared, from our side, to begin installation?

  1. All a new member needs to do is to name a Project Champion who will act as the client’s primary contact and interface to the Surgere Project Manager.
  2. We highly suggest that a new client conduct an internal company introduction to the AutoSphere strategy and program.
  3. Each location where an RFID portal will be deployed (e.g., door), a Power Over Ethernet (POE) drop will have to be installed to provide both power and communications to the RFID portals.
  4. A local server will need to be provided for local hosting of SensorWare software.
  5. Permissions will need to be granted for passing data through the client firewall.

Also, Surgere will need time to train users and answer questions during the onboarding and acclimation process.

Need more assistance? Send us a question.

Join the Revolution

You’ve found it. The automotive industry’s most effective supply chain management process – delivered through massive collaboration. Experience more efficiencies and cost savings by having the right container and rack assets, at the right place, at the right time. Simply put, it’s a quantum leap in automotive supply chain management. Welcome to the revolution. Welcome to AutoSphere.