The Evolution of Planning and Execution in Manufacturing

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Aug 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Think about the process of writing an email for a moment. How do you go about this task? Do you compose the email in one session without filtering what you want to say or the information you want to convey, only then to go back and reread and edit the email at some later date? Or (and perhaps mostly likely, at least for many people), do you compose the email and edit as you go, deleting phrases, substituting words, or changing ideas and adapting the information in the moment as necessary for the best possible communication?

Odds are the most common method of emailing is the latter where edits and alterations are made in real-time as thoughts, ideas, and information hits you during the composing process. Where the first example may be a relic of the past when typewriters or handwritten correspondence was the norm, digital communication and the capacity to edit, rewrite, and revise in the moment means greater maneuverability in creating moments for effective, streamlined, and more productive communication. Where writing and editing/revising were at one time two distinct processes, today these functions are more or less integrated into one function with a greater level of process efficacy.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Industry 4.0, End-to-End (E2E) Visibility, Demand Capacity Planning

The Challenges of Supply Chain Integration

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Aug 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM

For all the bluster about the latest and greatest technological advancements and developments in today’s global supply chain management, it’s important to remember what the true essence of supply chain logistics revolves around: putting the right product in front of the right people at the right time. It may sound simplistic, but as global partner networks continue to expand and already variant-rich industries continue to diversify, it becomes increasingly difficult to execute a very basic premise.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Industry 4.0, End-to-End (E2E) Visibility

Integrating Planning and Execution in Today’s Supply Chain

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Jun 29, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Flash back 10 to 15 years ago in supply chain management and you’ll find pretty fine divide between the planning and execution stages of production programs. At one time, long before the advent and proliferation of lean manufacturing principles, real-time data and reporting, and sophisticated technology platforms, planning and execution were viewed as two distinct processes where the impact each had on the other was far from realized.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Industry 4.0, Sales & Operations Execution (S&OE)

What Is A Truly Digitized Supply Chain?

Posted by Nick Ostdick on May 23, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The term digitization pops up again and again as a critical value proposition for companies to leverage growth and viability in today’s manufacturing industry. The trouble is, many manufacturing companies don’t truly understand what is meant by a digitized supply chain. Is a digitized supply chain simply swapping outdated technology for the latest and greatest technological platforms? Is it merely a system of systems and solutions with the ability to communicate with each other? Or it a complete redefining of supply chain management to optimize processes and streamline planning and production strategies?

In fact, the digitized supply chain is comprised of a little of each of these statements. A completely digitized supply chain does rely on intelligent, integrated solutions rather than manual inputs or human intervention; the digital supply chain does incorporate advanced systems capable of communicating and data sharing for optimal workflows; and a digitized supply chain is a holistic reimagination of how manufacturing companies operate their supply chain management strategies from procurement to the production floor to the customer’s front door.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Supply Chain Logistics, Logistics, Digitization, Supply Chain Management

What We Talk About When We Talk About Postmodern ERP

Posted by Nick Ostdick on May 2, 2017 9:00:00 AM

There are some terms or concepts in today’s modern supply chain management landscape that even industry insiders have difficulty defining or understanding. Whether it’s because the lack of visibility surrounding these concepts or a failure to fully embrace them as part of lean manufacturing and supply chain management, postmodern ERP is perhaps one of the most least understood or realized element of manufacturing and supply logistics. Not only does postmodern ERP have the potential to transform a company’s manufacturing and supply logistics, but it’s a key element in cutting the complexity of global supply chain management and leveraging enhanced operational functionality.

The question becomes: Why is postmodern ERP such an important value proposition for global manufacturing companies lacking visibility and understanding? What is it about postmodern ERP that proves difficult for planners and managers to embrace? What do we mean when we use the term postmodern ERP?

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Postmodern ERP, Supply Chain Logistics, Supply Chain Planning, Automotive Industry

5 Key Elements of Industry 4.0

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Apr 20, 2017 9:00:00 AM

So much in the discussion of modern manufacturing surrounds the subject of Industry 4.0 and its influence on the daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual processes associated with the global manufacturing industry. In fact, one could argue the term Industry 4.0 is tossed around by industry insiders without truly understanding its place in the context of manufacturing and supply chain processes on a global stage.

Whether it’s misinformation about how Industry 4.0 came to be or the ways in which manufacturing companies can deploy the concept of Industry 4.0 as a core driver of moderneized, intelligent production, there’s still much supply chain planners and managers can learn about Industry 4.0 and its applications in today’s global manufacturing and supply streams.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Industry 4.0, Supply Chain Logistics, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Lean Manufacturing

How Machine Learning Can Shape the Future of the Auto Industry

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Mar 28, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The idea of robotics or artificial intelligence in the automotive supply chain is not something new or novel. In fact, OEMs and other manufacturers have been deploying robots on the production floor for many years to streamline processes and enhance efficiency. But what is new, at least in the last half decade, is the push for a completely digitized manufacturing platform that can enhance supply chain management at each touch point across the value chain.

Looking at machine learning in this way — a holistic reimagining of the planning and production process as opposed to at the production facility alone — puts machine learning on a grander stage in terms of shaping the future of the automotive supply chain. Not only does machine learning help planners and managers increase the efficacy and productivity at the planning and production stages, it also helps OEMs leverage lean manufacturing principles, which are critical to remaining competitive and viable in a crowded, variant-rich industry.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Digitization, Supply Chain Management, Lean Manufacturing

5 Competitive Advantages of Embracing Industry 4.0

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Jan 26, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The widespread introduction of Industry 4.0 in the automotive supply chain has been a truly disruptive force for planners and managers in rethinking how they conceive of intelligent supply chain management. With an emphasis on lean manufacturing principles, Industry 4.0 has not only pushed OEMs, manufacturers, and suppliers to adopt more streamlined planning and production practices, but it also provides companies with more holistic, robust reporting capabilities to better serve demand planning, forecasting, and modeling platforms.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Industry 4.0, Automotive Industry, Supply Chain Management, Lean Manufacturing

On the Benefits of Reference Sequencing

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Dec 20, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Order planning in aggregate and component plants is a complex process, especially in today’s global supply landscape. Planners and managers have to take a number of factors into account when engaging in order planning on this level to ensure smooth, continued production programs that meet customer demand, delivery dates and quality control benchmarks.

Streamlining and enhancing the efficiency of order planning as part of lean manufacturing principles is a core driver for OEMs and manufacturers in fostering a responsive, transparent, and agile supply stream — all of which result in increased E2E visibility across a company’s entire value chain.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Sales & Operations Execution (S&OE), Demand Capacity Planning

4 Myths About Machine and Resource Scheduling

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Nov 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM

In any business, the right proportion of personnel and resources are critical drivers in fostering productivity, efficiency, and success in both the short and long-term. Companies must have the right people in the right positions with access to the right tools in order to ensure tasks are completed effectively, on-schedule, and with a high-degree of accuracy and quality. Shortcomings or misallocations in either personnel or resources can spell disaster for companies, particularly those competing in variant-rich industries on a large, global scale.

Much the same can be said for OEMs in the automotive supply chain especially when it comes to allocating machines and resources within a given hub for planned production programs. Planners and managers must leverage a finely-tuned strategy of available machines and resources in order to create effective short and mid-term planning platforms. Such platforms are then critical in ensuring on-time delivery, combating potential bottlenecks or breakdowns, and fostering robust, efficient production programs with the visibility and agility necessary in today’s ever-evolving supply stream.

Principles like machine and resource scheduling - along with intelligent, integrated planning solutions like job shop scheduling - provide planners and managers with the insights necessary to properly assign production programs based on a number of defined parameters, restraints, and rules.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Planned Production Programs, Production Control, Job Shop Scheduling, Sales & Operations Execution (S&OE)