SKF is investing SEK225m (US$24.219m) upgrading its distribution centres across Europe and India, aiming to improve customer lead-times, while also contributing to reducing stock levels throughout the supplier's logistics chain.

Recently completed investments in India and Belgium total SEK35m, with a further SEK190m to be invested in upgrading existing distribution centres in France, Sweden and Italy during 2017 and 2018.

"These investments complement our efforts in modernising and digitalising our factories," said SKF Bearings Operations, Luc Graux. "With a more flexible, digitalised manufacturing and logistics base, SKF and its customers will be better able to compete on the market."

SKF's India Distribution Centre in Pune was inaugurated on 13 December. The purpose-built facility allows for the closure of 15 of 27 previous stocking locations across India, whilst improving product availability for customers and distributors.

SKF's European Distribution Centre in Tongeren, Belgium, was upgraded during the first half of 2016 with a "goods-to-man" workflow, which involves using automated goods retrieval systems and improved handling mechanisms.

This results in a more efficient and ergonomically correct working environment, maintains the company and reduces the time needed to pick, pack and ship customer orders.