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Lean Manufacturing Articles

THE FORCES ON THE SMALL TO MEDIUM-SIZED MANUFACTURER

The primary change to all manufacturing businesses in the twenty-first century is the movement from a sup­ply-driven to a demand-driven global economy. No longer can any company just focus on reducing cost or on providing excellent service. To thrive a company must do all three of the following, not just one:

1.      Manage cost.

2.      Meet customers' expectations.

3.      Flexibly change as customers/market needs change.
With becoming demand-driven, new operating rules

emerge. To manage cost, we must aggressively eliminate inventory and non-value-added activity. To meet customer's expectations, we have to mute the tradeoffs that were acceptable in a supply-driven economy. To have the flexibility to change, we must have the tools and pro­cesses to manage information and to align strategy and tactics. This combination of information management and alignment allows us to make adept changes, react­ing quickly to your customers and markets.

With becoming demand-driven a new awareness also grows. We cannot manage only within the walls of our facilities. We need to be equally aware of the movement of information, goods, and services between our suppli­ers, customers, and partners. Ignoring any part of the chained link between the final customer and the first supplier can leave us sluggish in response while at the same time too expensive, unable to meet our customer/ markets expectations. This focus on the major links within our business and their connections to suppliers and customers lead us to want to become demand-driven. The tools and processes to support this emerg­ing awareness are the supply chain management processes.

THE COMPONENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE SUPPLY CHAIN

The presentation will show you how to make your sup­ply chain processes demand-driven. It clarifies the func­tions required to meet the demands of your markets and shows you how to make them effective in your business. It breaks out the major links in the supply chain: de­liver, make, and source. The first link in any supply chain, deliver, covers the processes to connect to your customers/markets. These deliver processes deal with new approaches to understanding, managing, and re­sponding to your customers/ markets. The most impor­tant of these deliver processes is to provide the tools that allow the small to medium-sized manufacturer to align and balance their capability with market demands. These processes include sales and operations planning, master scheduling, and resource planning. With these tools, the small to medium-sized manufacturer can strategically direct their business in a continuous pro­cess to achieve significant competitive advantage. This approach allows your company to integrate customer-focused plans with the management of their supply chain, increasing both flexibility and control.

The second supply chain link, make, synchronizes the manufacturing process to customer demand. Here you gain an understanding of the tools and processes to more closely make to customer demand. The benefits from this approach arise out of both synchronizing the flow of your manufacturing processes, and then eliminating waste— non-value-adding activities. The centerpiece of this sec­tion of the presentation is an understanding of how you can create synchronous flow lines in your manufactur­ing operations, supported by the tools to attack the forms of non-value-adding activity and waste that prevent you from synchronizing production today. The make process is supported by effective scheduling approaches, geared to your business and conditions. Effective schedules help attack the obstacles to balanced supply, particularly changeover/ setups and poor quality. Synchronizing the flow surfaces the need to address the causes of lumpy demand and smooth that demand.

The third supply chain link, source, presents the tools to improve supplier performance. This section focuses on sourcing, establishing effective relationships with our suppliers, while dramatically reducing costs. It provides a set of proven processes and tools to clearly communi­cate to your suppliers what you need and when you need it. The tools address establishing a productive relation­ship, an understanding of your interdependencies, and an approach to support the legitimate objectives of both you and your suppliers. The presentation also supports keeping communication at a level and context that pro­motes team-building and an effective understanding of performance requirements, costs, and accountabilities. This means changing the traditional tactics and ap­proaches to supplier relationships and negotiations, to dramatically improve the result.

All three links in the supply chain focus on remov­ing complexity and bringing demonstrated benefit to your business and your supply chain partners.

 

The parallel learning framework is a collaborative technique piloted and honed with small manufactur­ers. It teams six to eight companies in a result-focused series of workshops on each of the three links. Its power is that it delivers results toward clear business needs and objectives. The approach harnesses the positive aspects of peer pressure and healthy competition. It allows small to medium-sized companies, in a cost-effective way, to gain the competence and tools to effectively compete with any global company.

The presentation concludes with the discussion of how to establish parallel learning as a viable approach in your manufacturing community. It focuses on the effort, resource, and potential return, highlighting ways to get started.

BENEFITS TO YOU

      Understand an effective new approach to delivering
real business results.

      Learn how to achieve improved customer service with
significantly less inventory.

      See how to establish significantly more productive
relationships with suppliers in 180 days.

      Discover an approach to dramatically reduce lead
time and total cost of manufacture.

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 14


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