Jim Shore, the Principal of Quality Lean Solutions, recently contributed his second post on the Synchrono Demand-Driven Matters blog. In the guest blog series, Shore shares experiences implementing supplier quality and Lean Manufacturing initiatives, with a focus on eKanban software.
Shore suggested the first step toward successful execution is to develop a good process, or value-stream map. For an eKanban project, this would involve documenting the flow of the current, manual Kanban or inventory replenishment process. Next, document the process for the future state – using an eKanban system – and note the gaps. The goal is to identify the processes that do not provide value (e.g. waste) so they can be eliminated or improved upon.
Some manufacturers experience supplier resistance to a new electronic Kanban solution. This push-back may stem from the perception that they are being forced to adopt new technology, pay the price, and/or hold the risk.
“One manufacturer I worked with had a unique solution to this dilemma. First, they started their eKanban implementation with a software pilot in a controlled area of their organization – and engaged just their top three suppliers. The manufacturer approached these three suppliers and entered into to a contract with them where they would assume half of the risk. Then they created a test environment where they could get the suppliers comfortable with the software. The suppliers received training on various scenarios, became familiar with email communications they would be receiving – and gained visibility into the supplier portal where they could monitor the manufacturer’s consumption and/or receive replenishment signals,” noted Shore.
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Synchrono (www.synchrono.com) demand-driven manufacturing software synchronizes complex manufacturing environments in real-time, to drive business results. For almost twenty years, Synchrono systems have helped discrete manufacturers, engineer-to-order manufacturers, and others manage constraints, improve flow and drive on-time production.
When integrated under the Synchrono Demand-Driven Manufacturing Platform, lean and demand-driven initiatives achieve new levels of excellence, transforming businesses by synchronizing people, processes, machines, materials, and data to drive production flow from order inception to delivery.
The award winning Synchrono Demand-Driven Manufacturing Platform offers five system components, including a planning, scheduling, and production management system and ekanban software for real-time inventory replenishment and supply chain collaboration. The Synchrono Platform has a unique a data collection, historian, and automated workflow engine along with an application that generates automatic alerts, escalation and action plans to minimize disruptions. Perhaps most importantly, this technology platform also includes a real-time visual factory information system.
Synchrono systems allow for the simultaneous exchange of data across systems and resources, the ability to respond to constraints and changes in demand as they occur, and to predict, pre-empt, and prioritize issues. The Platform components may be implemented independently or collectively to enable the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), providing an unprecedented foundation for communication, collaboration, and continuous improvement.
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