Next time you’re doing laundry, take a look at the inside label on one of your shirts. These labels usually contain a wealth of information about the shirt like the size, the kind of and proportion of material used in creating it, place of origin or production, washing instructions, and more. And if you were so inclined, you could easily sort your entire wardrobe using these parameters and make decisions on the best clothing choices for each day based on these data sets.
When it comes to manufacturing and supply logistics, the concept of Plan for Every Part (PFEP) is essentially a shirt tag for reducing the complexity of the production and supply stream and increasing productivity and cost-effective decision making. Just as those small tags inside your shirt are the DNA of the garment, so goes PFEP for intelligent demand and planning capabilities, especially for variant rich or mixed production operations looking to retain competitiveness in a 21st Century manufacturing and supply landscape.
Simply put, PFEP solutions allow for manufacturers and suppliers to monitor and manage the inventory and replenishment of parts and components across the entire span of the supply chain - production to delivery. Each part of the fabrication process is accounted for and recorded, providing those throughout the value chain with vital information about the product such as a description of the part; its facility or hub of origin; dimensions; packaging details; storage condition; location within a warehouse; manufacturing lead time; and more.
As part of lean management principles, PFEP data and associated databases increase the speed and visibility of product information to all points of the supply network. While many companies already have existing strategies to gather data and information comparable to that of PFEP solutions, the inability to curate, share, review, and analyze this data in real-time often creates cross-organizational silos that inhibit collaboration and stunt growth and profitability.
Because so many companies still utilize demand and planning strategies based on spreadsheets or other manual modes of data sourcing, they lack the end-to-end visibility and transparency PFEP solutions offer. BOM management, for example, along with PFEP strategies, illuminates production and supply opportunities, offers adjustment capabilities based on inventory and demand, and allows for in-depth calculations and analysis to identify potential gaps in inventory, transportation logistics, and more.
Value Propositions of PFEP
Aside from creating a more holistic, 360-degree view of a company’s production and supply logistic network, PFEP enhances a company’s capacity for agility and flexibility from the conception and production of a product to when it arrives in the customer’s hands. Thinking back to our shirt analogy, PFEP also allows manufacturers and suppliers to better tailor products or projects to a customer’s exact specifications by maintaining and sharing detailed records of a product’s entire lifecycle - if you’re buying a shirt for your friend, you need to purchase the correct size, which is clearly labeled on the inside tag.
With that in mind, here are 3 reasons PFEP solutions should be a key driver in any company’s supply strategy.
1). Control. Whether control of inventory, distribution, or transportation, PFEP provides the ultimate control and flow of products throughout the entire supply cycle. The sheer volume of available information and data about the composition and status of a product enables planners and managers to monitor and adjust the production and movement parts without altering existing organizational structures.
2). Greater problem solving. Imagine you wake up one morning and need to wear a blue button-down shirt for a special event or occasion, however, you’re not sure if you even own this kind of shirt and where it would be located. With a PFEP solution, you have the power to inventory your wardrobe, identify a demand solution, and implement a data-supported solution. PFEP enables a company to identify potential gaps or bottlenecks and take appropriate action to avoid these disruptions in all areas of the supply stream including assembly, distribution, transportation routing, and delivery.
3). Integration with powerful technology. As mentioned above, incorporating PFEP solutions in conjunction with modern BOM strategy can be a key driver in maintaining a lean and efficient supply stream. But blending PFEP capabilities with the powerful, intelligent computing and processes platforms of today’s production and supply stream have the ability to significantly increase productivity and ROI. Big Data, in-memory databases, and cloud computing all factor into PFEP’s capacity to provide a centralized, accessible entry point for data sourcing and analysis.
flexis offers powerful, responsive PFEP solutions and platforms to provide companies with the control and insights necessary to create lean, effective supply chain management strategies via seamless development, integration, and implementation.