Results vs. Promises
In our exuberance
we may have promised more than we could deliver. A number of our
latest and greatest concepts have proven to be more of a fad than a
fix. Tangible results were often lacking and onlybroken promises
remained. Our leaders want us to deliver tangible results now.
The cornerstone of
the APICS body of knowledge has been MRP. MRP has now evolved
through MRP II into ERR To our leaders, the promised results seemed
to be just one acronym, software, or hardware upgrade away.
Even ERP, the
latest fad, has several potential design flaws that have the
potential for creating another round of broken promises. The first
is a lack of user-friendliness that necessitates excessive training
and screen manipulations. The second is a void of seamless
processing of information from customer ordering through
manufacturing, shipping, invoicing, collecting, warranty and
product service, and finally profit and loss reporting. Thirdly,
there remains in many systems a lack of seamless integration of the
ERP world and the PDM world in which the engineers design, test,
introduce, and improve products.
of new strategies, systems, and technologies has historically been
categorized by missed target dates, cost overruns, and operational
glitches. Many of these have resulted in lost profits, missed
opportunities, and interruptions in customer service.
Our leaders want us
to adopt the motto, "There are no excuses." New enhancements should
be implemented in such a fashion that they are invisible to the
customer. Prior planning should allow new equipment or new
procedures to be installed, tested, and made operational without the
customer realizing from a negative standpoint what is transpiring.
Moreover, the enhancements should be accomplished on time and under
For example, a
manufacturing company has one product line that comprises 40 percent
of its total sales. It is an assemble-to-order product. The present
customer service goal is to receive the order on day one, assemble
the unit on day two, ship on day three, and mail the correct invoice
the morning of day four.
Two of the critical
parts are machined from ductile castings in one NC work cell. The NC
machine must be replaced due to age. There is no way to run the old
and the new in parallel because of space constraints. APICS leaders
must develop a strategy to accomplish improvements like this so
that they are transparent to the customer. Installation costs must
be minimized in order to maximize profits. Can you develop and
execute the strategy to fulfill the stated criteria? The answer will
be yes if that is your focus.
Reality vs. Theory
service-oriented marketing leaders are tired of hearing about lot
sizes and time fences. To them this means that APICS theory builds
walls to keep their customer from getting what they want, when they
environments, APICS theory has been embraced by manufacturing. The
thought process that has resulted is epitomized by several
all-too-familiar comments. "Why doesn't marketing sell what we are
making?" "We aren't scheduled to start those for two weeks." "We
don't want to tear down a setup for this part until the EOQ has been
satisfied, although we already have what we need to meet current
customer orders. The part you need for a customer order today will
just have to wait."
To Be Continued