By Howard Roddie, FuturMaster Managing Consultant (@HowardRoddie)
Your supply chain is unique. It’s non-standard. Nobody else has your issues. In that case, here’s a short list of things you ought to be doing…
- Manage your master data and allow quality time to do it. Don’t do it whilst managing operational issues. Then keep reviewing your master data. Things will change. You will learn things by reviewing this data.
- Keep your master data in one place. Keep your notes here too. Make this data available to all who need it.
- Make sure you have systems that are designed for purpose. That is; to meet your unique needs, but according to best practice.
- Ensure those you hire are good at solving short term logistical issues. Systems should give the information needed to spot issues and allow the users to make decisions.
- Make sure your systems can tackle planning issues such as gathering and allocating demand data, handling multiple bottlenecks and enabling the management of many plants at once.
- Treat your many and varied plants, your distribution network and demand points as part of a single managed network.
- Consider where you hold your inventory. This will determine how much you need to hold. It will maximise your agility and ultimately, reduce inventory levels.
- If you have consistent issues at scheduling level, these are usually caused by a failure to plan. So, first, you should Invest in planning to gain the best value. Once you have the planning solution in place you can evaluate the remaining scheduling issues before deciding if you need a system. Alternatively, you can invest in a scheduling system straight away and continue to fight the same planning issues, but with a prettier screen.
- If you are running just in time for materials, sequencing your plan in a simple way will ensure that your requirements can be made visible in the correct buckets. Typically, a weekly plan can be broken into the correct days.
- Your people are unique. Use them to manage the things that make your supply chain unique and let the system give them data they need to make good decisions.