Manufacturing 2.0: Supply (and Demand) Chain

The more pragmatic application of process improvement expertise continues to extend beyond the shop floor as well as beyond the four walls of the company. This work involves pricing, product innovation, traditional business forecasting and more traditional forms of supply chain optimization designed to address fluctuating fuel and transportation costs, regulatory changes, demand for product customization and the ever-present need for greater speed and transparency. More manufacturing sectors calling on their procurement engineers to develop “should” costs before they go out to suppliers. These companies want specialists to reverse engineer the cost rather than simply relying on the competitive bidding process to determine cost. Additionally, product and service differentiation has become increasingly important. Customers also have higher expectations regarding technological innovation and the pace of change.

These expectations are driving manufacturers to change their production and supply operations to enable the manufacturing of customized products via shorter production runs. More customized products will increasingly demand more modular manufacturing approaches, increased use of extreme forms of delayed product differentiation … [and] improved management synchronization of supply with closer monitoring of product life cycles.

Consulting efforts designed to address all of the areas described above require some form of IT support. As is the case in most recessions, many IT projects were put on hold. There is a pent-up demand for IT services. These services include, first and foremost, a big-picture understanding of a manufacturer’s overall IT cost structure and portfolio followed by an assessment of how to make that investment more effective. Manufacturers are taking a step back and looking holistically at their IT strategies and systems. This holistic view includes work related to adding new ERP functionality, business intelligence (BI) and business performance management (BPM) applications as well as traditional manufacturing applications related to planning, production and execution applications. Many manufacturer want to give their customers the ability to check on the status of where the product is in the manufacturing process as well as where it is in the warehouse once it’s produced.

MRP Consulting is available, at ZERO cost to you, for a 1-day onsite visit in which we will map out your current processes and measure them again your current systems. Sometimes a “tune-up” is all that is needed to keep your business running as it should. We can all agree that having the right software will not only improve internal processes and productivity, but will also improve customer relationships.

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