Ford Consolidates Service Centers

When overnight shipping became a reality in 2000, Ford decided to reevaluate its service center relationships. Discover why Ford chose AER.

The Client

AER’s partnership with Ford Motor Company dates back to the early 1960s when AER began remanufacturing Ombudsman radios for the automotive giant through Visteon, a Fortune 500 global supplier of auto electronics. In the early 2000s, due to the Visteon spin-off from Ford, the automaker decided to bring the auto electronics manufacturing network of over 25 service centers for radios and clusters back under its own umbrella at Ford Component Sales (FCS).


The Challenge

As FCS absorbed the auto electronics business, they also decided to reorganize the service center network in an attempt to cut costs, reduce inventory, and focus on an increasing quality in products and services. With the advent of faster shipping, and the advancement of technology, there was no longer a need for a large number of service centers. As a result, FCS gradually reduced the 25+ service center network down to 5, and later down to 2. Through each consolidation, Ford needed a remanufacturing partner that could exemplify their strong emphasis on delivering the highest quality products. The gradual consolidation would require the remaining service centers to tackle the additional inventory and meet demands.

The Discovery

There are numerous reasons why FCS chose AER as one of the remaining service centers, with the long standing and close relationship being a large factor. Additionally, AER obtained the Q1 status attainment award in 1992, which also weighed heavily on the decision to continue the partnership. Ford later required all service center partners to certify under ISO 9001 standards, which caused a small amount of fall out among service centers as not all could obtain the certification.

Finally, AER’s investment back into its facilities, employees, and brand to provide better quality service to its customers benchmarked all other competitors around. The consolidation down to 5 service centers began in 2008 with audio consolidation, then again in 2010 with cluster consolidation, and by 2012, only 2 service centers remained. During the transitions, AER took on over 4,000 pieces of audio inventory from other service centers, as well as 3,000 clusters to seed the program. To be able to accommodate, AER created a separate production line, hired additional managers, added a second shift to accommodate business needs, and staffed accordingly with additional technicians, testers, electronics assemblers.

If I needed assistance, I called AER. They got things moving.

Robert Van Antwerp

Former District Manager & Technical Service Manager at Ford's Technical Training Centers in California and Arizona

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The Impact

Ford Motor Company was one of the first American pioneers of innovation and global industry. When overnight and next day shipping became a reality in 2000, Ford decided to reevaluate the relationships it had with over 30 remanufacturing centers scattered across the US and consolidate its remanufacturing needs to a select fraction of service centers, one of which was its longtime trusted partner, AER.


Managed 7,000+ additional Ford units as a result of the consolidation.

2 Shifts

Ran an additional production line, and designated 2 additional shifts.

Q1 & ISO 

Obtained Q1 status and ISO Certification to remain a top competitor. 

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