By Doug Bartholomew Two automotive manufacturers are looking to high-level supply-chain planning software from SynQuest Inc. to help them improve product flows and streamline their logistics. Ford Motor Co. will use software from Atlanta-based SynQuest to help determine the routes and frequency of delivery for every part used in its assembly operations. Ford operates 21 assembly plants in North America, served by 4,000 suppliers through 4,500 shipments per day of some 46,000 parts. Similarly, Honda Express Co. Ltd., through its One World Logistics of America, will use SynQuest's inbound logistics planning package to evaluate its customers' North America inbound distribution networks to determine delivery routes and frequency of deliveries. "SynQuest has shown us a new way to optimize our customers' logistics network for the lowest total delivered cost," says Yoshi Ohara, senior managing director at Honda Express and president of One World Logistics of America. "For the first time, we can quickly and completely model complex inbound networks, which includes balancing transportation, inventory, plants, suppliers and returnable container costs, while respecting the constraints we encounter in the real world of global logistics. The comprehensiveness of the model, combined with SynQuest software's profit-and-loss driven optimization technology, has shown us savings that we believed were not achievable in the past." Ford also is looking to use SynQuest as a means to help cut costs in logistics. "The SynQuest solution's ability to readily model our complex logistics network allows us to more quickly respond to changes in demand or model option mix," says Pam Stec, manager of Ford's North American Material Logistics. "Using SynQuest, we and our logistics partner can get through the logistics network redesign process faster, allowing Ford to capture a larger share of the potential savings opportunities."