We will be successful together

From delivering 700 dining room seats to Volvo in the 1950s to the development of tomorrow´s trucks.

It is a collaboration to be proud of. Among Volvo Group´s more than 50,000 suppliers, Proton Engineering proves a long lasting relationship with number eighteen on the list. And the joint journey continues with the development of the trucks of the future.

The foundation is a common vision

– Innovation and sustainability are at the top of our agenda and Proton Engineering has an important role to play in this, says Marc Delobelle, Purchasing Manager Volvo Group. As purchasing manager, he has a special responsibility for Volvo´s and Renault´s trucks, which for the past five years has meant almost daily contact between the purchasing team in Lyon, France as well as Gothenburg and Proton Engineering in Skillingaryd.

But the collaboration between Volvo and Proton goes much further back in history. The order from Volvo, which changed the direction of former Anders Krahner, came as early as the 1950s, and from there the story has evolved.

A common vision is the cornerstone when Volvo Group builds its long-term business relationships. And that also applies to Proton Group.

– That is why it is so important with transparent and continuous communication to make sure that we share the vision and have the same priorities. There should be no room for surprises, Marc says. What Volvo Group is looking for in its subcontractors is the ability to perform and transform. Performance is about quality as well as delivery precision, and here Proton Engineering has delivered throughout the years.

– Quality always comes first. Volvo is a premium brand and when it comes to quality, we can never compromise, Marc says.

The management within Proton Group has over and over and again provided evidence of transparency, of the ability to anticipate and be proactive, to understand and correct, to see what needs to be done and to solve it.

Marc Delobelle

Purchasing Manager, Volvo Group

Be the benchmark of the industry in customer satisfaction

As a supplier to Volvo, you must also be the industry´s benchmark in terms of customer satisfaction, Marc explains. You need to be reactive, flexible and proactive. Stay tuned for continuous improvement and focus on how you can create added value. For example, by investing in production equipment and automation solutions and thereby increasing cost efficiency.

– Proton Engineering has been very good at doing this, and that´s how we become successful together, Marc says.As an example, Marc mentions Proton Engineering starting a production site in Lithuania as an important competitive advantage that has given increased flexibility. Another advantage is the fact that Tier 2 is within the Group, with Proton Finishing.

– The management within Proton Group has over and over and again provided evidence of transparency, of the ability to anticipate and be proactive, to understand and correct, to see what needs to be done and to solve it, Marc says.

The future lies in green solutions

What about the future then? As previously mentioned, long-term business relationships with Volvo Group are also about the potential for development, and according to Marc, an exciting future lies ahead.

– The automotive industry will face more changes in the next ten years than we have seen in the last fifty. Our goal is to reduce the CO2 footprint at all levels by electrifying the driveline and working closely with our partners, Marc says. The competition is tough on the market. Volvo Group is challenged, not only by traditional OEMs and manufacturers but also by newcomers, for example in the USA and China. All aiming for the top in the innovation race towards electrified vehicles with automated ecosystems and smart, connected trucks.

– That is why it is so important for us to set the strategy together with our suppliers to ensure that they also pursue this goal with their own suppliers, Marc says. Focus must remain on green solutions all the way. This involves, for example, weight optimization of materials for vehicle parts to compensate for heavy batteries. It is also needed do further develop systems for recycling materials and finding green solutions in terms of surface treatment.

– Here, Proton Group has great opportunities to stay on top with their good ideas, Marc Delobelle says.

The photos in this article belongs to Volvo Truck Corporation.

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