Durham, NC, September 26, 2006 --(PR.com
)-- Manufacturing journalist Thomas R. Cutler profiled Demand Driven Supply Chain Networks in the current issue of Material Management & Distribution Magazine.
According to Cutler, “The scope of Kanban has grown to e-Kanban and now digital Kanban. Demand Driven Supply Chain Networks, by default incorporate the kanban process. Enabling companies to sign up with software as a service (SaaS) model creates immediate realized value and visibility to the supply chain.”
According to Stephen Parker, CEO with Datacraft Solutions, and manufacturer of Signum, one of the few digital Kanban technology solutions, “Demand Driven Supply Chain networks provide the most optimum platform. The demand / pull which starts from the customer, drives the whole supply chain for the organization.”
A demand driven supply chain:
• Has the ability to dynamically respond to changes and conditions faster than traditional supply chains to truly achieve competitive marketplace positioning
• Is supported by applications and an open architecture that can enable instant or real-time, accurate information visibility inside the company, as well as outside its four walls
• Uses real-time information to sense shifts in the marketplace and dynamically redirects resources to address these shifts
Align Inventory Levels with Actual Consumption
Electronics companies must align inventory levels with actual consumption often with a closed-loop replenishment process that sends a signal to the supplier to produce and deliver a new shipment whenever a kanban card or “lot” of material is consumed. Every card must be tracked throughout the replenishment cycle bringing unprecedented visibility to both buyers and suppliers.
Parker also noted, “New Kanban users are often very concerned about how and when they will increase or decrease Kanban loop sizes.” There are several tools to assist electronics manufacturers in this area:
• The system will automatically send a recommendation to consider resizing whenever daily usage is above or below normal. Material managers can then review recent trends in item usage to decide whether they need to resize or not.
• Whenever noted, material managers are alerted and they can instantly see whether an increased daily usage or delays from suppliers are causing the risk of stock-out. If increased consumption is causing the stock-out, then they can instantly resize that item, all items consumed by a work-center, or all items within a product line.
• Kanban loops can be automatically resized by importing production schedules or forecasts. The digital kanban technology will then increase or decrease loop sizes in advance of the forecasted demand to ensure that suppliers have the time to deliver the needed material.
Datacraft Solutions specializes in providing their clients with the tools they need to rapidly replace outdated manual systems with technology that speeds process flow and improves accuracy. Datacraft’s premier product, Signum has been developed around the Kanban concept of replenishment, and provides an invaluable tool for manufacturing companies to monitor process flow, lower administrative transaction costs, and improve decision-making ability.