How “Real” is Your Real-Time Monitoring Solution?
Nancy Sarpolis - February 14, 2023
Managing supply chain production planning without real-time monitoring technology is like trying to drive with a foggy windshield. You can tell something is coming your way, but are not exactly sure what it is.
The ability to locate a part or product’s position in the supply chain as it travels downstream towards the end customer is critical in today’s fast-paced and competitive environment. The days when planners and managers could wait until the end of the day, week or even month for productivity and efficiency data are long gone.
“Companies can manage their supply chains only when they have a clear picture of each link,” according to McKinsey. Unfortunately, 45% of survey respondents said they had either no visibility into their upstream supply chain or that they can see only as far as their first-tier suppliers.
The value of real-time monitoring
Tracking supply chain activity as it’s happening can give manufacturers the edge they need. Whether it is planning strategy, material procurement, order allocation, or warehouse and container management, real-time insight into the supply pipeline through intelligent solutions and software can form the basis for more efficiency and productivity for manufacturing operations.
Industry 4.0 technologies such as Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) solutions can help planners build agile production schedules around supply chain constraints and customer demands to ensure that operations are as effective and efficient as possible. In a digitalized manufacturing environment, APS solutions allow production planners to access real-time data showing the current inventory of raw materials, parts and other resources. A sequencing workflow takes real and forecasted production orders and creates a balanced work plan. Total material needs are then compared to real-time information about parts availability and constraints, to help manage both the ordering of materials and inventory management in an optimal way.
As real orders come in and forecasted orders change, the new needs are compared with the organization’s existing stock and orders in a dynamic way, so parts shortages or disruptions caused by large, unexpected orders can be avoided.
Visibility at the parts level
Like the foggy windshield, some production planning systems can only provide part of the picture. Many only offer an alert when a product order can’t be fulfilled, but there’s not enough detail to pinpoint exactly what part or component is impacting the order. Without more information, production managers are limited in the actions they can take to correct the problem.
However, there is now the possibility of linking the ERP solution or APS solution via an interface with a real-time monitoring solution, such as that from flexis, for example. Via a digital twin, this monitoring solution provides real-time data at any time and makes bottlenecks visible. The Monitoring solution takes this visibility one step further by identifying the specific part (or parts) that are causing the disruption. Some even allow you to drill down to the components within those parts, such as microchips. This level of granularity enables planners and managers to analyze current data as it becomes available and take the steps they need to eliminate bottlenecks and optimize production. The more detailed the view, the better the ability to plan.
The global manufacturing industry still has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to reacting to breakdowns, bottlenecks, and other production hurdles, especially in terms of information provision. But technologies like Advanced Planning and Scheduling solutions combined with a Real-Time Monitoring solution, e.g. like the one from flexis, can be a clear advantage when navigating the increasingly bumpy supply chain road.
If you want to learn more get your Guide to Multi Dimension Monitoring
In this Guide you will learn:
- The Advantages of Multi Dimension Monitoring
- Perspectives from a production or a transport point of view
- Potentials for Planners and Dispatchers