In part 1 of this series, we discussed how best to define sequencing solutions and the value they can provide a company’s integrated production and supply streams. In today’s article, we’ll discuss sequencing as a process and examine sequencing as a value-added proposition for companies to remain competitive in today’s global supply landscape.
Sequencing As Process
Now that we’ve established a concrete definition of sequencing software solutions, it’s time to examine sequencing as a process to better understand the value propositions it can provide a manufacturer.
As we eluded to earlier, stable production processes are the backbone for running a lean, efficient assembly and production system, and sequencing software provides stability and agility through:
- The analysis and breakdown of the entire order pool. Each new and existing order a manufacturer receives is transferred into the sequencing program for a holistic view of the overall order pool. Planners can add and remove orders due to changes in production requirements and can also view all production orders and their attributes and capacity violations in an effort to promote enhanced visibility and planning.
- Optimized modeling capabilities. Once a planner has reviewed the order pool, he/she can then create or use a pre-defined detailed sequencing model based on standard or individualized rules and constraints. The selected model is then applied to the order pool to generate an optimized sequence in order to assist the planner in implementing the best strategy based on the defined constraints like block, transition, and spacing rules.
- Analyzing the results. Obviously, predictive modeling and detailed forecasting are only key drivers when properly analyzed and reviewed, and sequencing software solutions allow planners to review data and even engage manual rescheduling or sequencing should it be necessary. This analysis will also provide the planner with a list of violation-free sequences for optimal production and assembly processes.
Sequencing As a Benefit
Sequencing software solutions offer a number of value propositions companies must leverage in order to keep pace in today’s global manufacturing and supply landscape. With so many companies reaching into new and expanding markets, the ability to administer lean, efficient assembly and production systems will be key going forward, especially taking into account external factors such as part and resource availability and other interruptions such as severe weather or other catastrophic events.
Adopting sequencing software solutions into an already existing production cycle can provide:
1). Increased assembly line production - Sequencing software engenders reproducible production plans based on past success with increased transparency for the planners and schedulers. This help reduce bottlenecks or disruptions and yields reductions in personnel and resource waste with increased in productivity and production logistics.
2). Archiving of planning and process strategies for later use - As we just discussed, sequencing solutions allow planners and schedulers to create detailed models before implementing a sequencing strategy. These models can be archived and replicated as necessary, which diminishes the impact from personnel changes or turnover - in other words, data and information will always be available and does not rest with one planner or scheduler.
3). Greater synergy and collaboration - Because sequencing solutions remove the veil commonly associated with the assignment of production tasks and schedules, more individuals throughout the entire manufacturing and supply network will have access to production and assembly information, paving the way for increased collaboration and sharing of ideas. This not only fosters increased ownership of orders and projects, but can also result in creative and innovative methods for increasing productivity, reducing costs, and maintain steady growth.
Fast World, Faster Solutions
In the last few years, the pace with which manufacturing and supply logistics have increased in complexity is something rarely seen in other industries. Manufacturers must be quick on their feet to address assembly and production issues in order to remain viable in a world when more and more manufacturers are expanding and establishing hubs in all corners of the globe. In an industry that is more and more about completing just the right task at just the right time, sequencing software solutions are a key driver in optimized production and offering greater overall customer satisfaction.