Saturday, October 31, 2009

Taking Responsibility for Materials Management on a Mature Program or Product

I've already given an overview of the process I go through when doing material planning for a new product. This was based on successfully launching multiple new programs simultaneously, and I absolutely loved being involved at the early stage of a program or product. Being there in the beginning, a master scheduler or production planner has the opportunity to influence the way bills of material are configured, demand is loaded, and planning factors are set.

In contrast to this is planning for a mature product or program. I am taking over a mature program with a family of very complex assemblies on Monday, and this weekend will be spent preparing. Except for when I'll be watching the Florida-Georgia game. I do have my priorities, after all.

I plan to "live-blog" the process as much as I can without giving away any proprietary information. To set the groundwork, the program is very important to my company's current and future business and is generally considered a cash-cow. It is not without challenges however; inside lead-time demands, material shortages, and the sub-optimal impacts these have on inventory, operations, and profitability.

Step one in this effort:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Product & Start-up Material Planning is really simple, I swear

JTAG board 1I'm not giving away any secrets in this post. Material Planning professionals all know that the key to on-time delivery performance is to extend supply chain visibility as far as possible. This is the key to Sales & Operations Planning, but if your company does not have a robust S&OP process, you can still close this loop by inserting yourself and the planning organization in the sales pursuit.

I've been involved early in the sales pursuit process several times, as well as had products/programs "thrown over the transom" as they say. I have a simple process I follow to manage the material planning function on those programs where I've been involved early. I follow the same process on those "over the transom" programs to place the challenge into perspective for management and the program team so recovery decisions can be made as appropriate. Here it is in a simplified flow chart:

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Logical Approach to Safety Stock, Without Statistics

dandoodlescan065-inventory is wasteIn it's entry on Safety Stock, Wikipedia states that some of the more common reasons for safety stock include:
# Supplier may deliver their product late or not at all
# The warehouse may be on strike
# A number of items at the warehouse may be of poor quality and replacements are still on order
# A competitor may be sold out on a product, which is increasing the demand for your products
# Random demand (in reality, random events occur)
# Machinery Breakdown
# Unexpected increase in demand

There are many reasons and methods for calculating safety stock,