Today’s blog entry features a brief Q&A with flexis Vice President of Research Hansjörg Tutsch about flexis’ job shop management and scheduling solution.
In today’s global, automotive supply chain, end-to-end (E2E) visibility is a core driver in promoting growth and profitability, and flexis JSS platform is a key value proposition for companies in leveraging a lean, streamlined supply stream. With its flexibility in medium and short term planning, flexis JSS ensures transparency and agility for production programs and allows planners to take control of their planning strategies for increased customer satisfaction.
As such, Tutsch believes flexis’ JSS solution should be a top priority for companies to enhance productivity in a competitive industry. We began our discussion about JSS solutions with Tutsch discussing the status of digitalization and production in today’s automotive supply chain and how JSS solutions fit into that conversation.
flexis blog: Can you explain the digitalization of production in the current automotive supply chain and discuss how flexis’ JSS solution factors into that digitalization?
Hansjörg Tutsch: Static production lines - or what used to be static production lines - are actually becoming less and less static in today’s production and supply network. That’s in part due to the globalization of the supply chain, but also because of other factors like increases in the number of variances, shorter lead times, and shorter product life cycles. The result is that planning has become embedded with execution - essentially, planning must now be closer linked to execution because of the amount of data and information available in real-time, which means planners and managers must be able to respond and react to changes in production rules on very short notice. This also means office planning (mid to short term planning) and shop floor planning (actual execution) are blurring into each other.
Planners and managers need a technology platform that cuts through this complexity - that’s where flexis JSS comes in. Because our JSS solution combines order creation, machine and personnel mapping, and the optimization of the flow process for each individual job, planners can leverage more detailed, accurate planning with the agility necessary to alter production programs as new rules or constraints arise.
You mentioned the complexity of planning and execution and how these two functions are becoming increasingly linked for today’s supply planners and managers. Is there one or two specific aspects of your JSS solution that empower companies to navigate that complexity?
First, our JSS solution provides real-time data, reporting, and feedback which allows planners and managers to create adjustments, reallocations, or even replanning strategies to avoid bottlenecks or disruptions at the production level. That is a key driver for companies today especially as production sites are spread across the globe with different access to materials and resources. Secondly, our JSS platform allows for modeling and the creation of detailed ‘what-if’ scenarios for order creation and daily adaptation to changes or modifications in production parameters. This helps planners and managers provide better, more accurate data and timetables to customers, but also creates enhanced visibility across all touch points of the value chain.
Are there other features of your JSS solution which make it unique in today’s market?
Cost-effectiveness of planning solutions is always a critical driver for planners and managers especially in variant-rich industries. The use of flexis JSS leads to cost savings due to minimum set-up times and idle times as well as optimized process runs not only in the production, but also in communication areas. The flexibility of production and logistics is used more efficiently and the result is an increase in productivity and the development of financial benefits.
In addition, the capability to archive and access successful planning and process optimization strategies is also a value-added service. flexis’ JSS solution models the objectives and restrictions of the job shop planning in a structured way. The provided algorithms make the rules easy to comprehend and user friendly. Too often today knowledge and process know-how is only available in the minds of a few employees, but with the flexis system this expertise is formalized and archived.
Let’s look at the functionality of flexis’ JSS solution, particularly in the era of digitalization in production. What are some of the core drivers when it comes to how flexis JSS platform performs as a software-as-a-service?
First, our JSS solution offers a user-friendly, intuitive interface via fast modeling of rules based on a standard library to achieve optimized planning. This in turn reduces instances of manual dispatch or intervention efforts, which results in increased optimization and automation. The capacity for rescheduling of resources using a drag and drop technology and the ability to view and analyze work content, machinery status, processing times, and resource utilization are other core functions that allow companies to leverage a more lean, streamlined supply stream.
Lastly, I’m curious as to the concrete benefits or value propositions for companies. What can flexis’ JSS solution bring to the table for planners and managers in terms of fostering increases in productivity and growth?
Overall, you have to look at the stability in planning and production - we haven’t discussed stability much, but that’s a critical concept in a variant-rich industry with facilities and hubs scattered across the globe. Our JSS solution creates an optimized, buildable and reproducible production program under the consideration of resources, personnel, material and tool availability. This creates transparency for planners and managers across the entire planning and production process, from order generation to resource management to scheduling. This of course reduces the potential for bottlenecks or disruptions, which we know are costly and damaging for companies to troubleshoot and correct.
But also, as we discussed a little earlier, flexis’ JSS solution provides real-time reporting and data analysis, what-if or modeling capabilities, and synergy through efficient planning to help planners gain increased control over their planned production programs and achieve enhanced visibility on the current state of their supply situation to leverage cost-effective, productive decision making.
We’d like to thank Hansjörg Tutsch for his time and insight into flexis’ JSS solution and the state of planning and production in today’s automotive industry. More information about JSS solutions is available on this blog or by visiting the flexis website.