Individual supply chain planning

Supply chain solutions for global manufacturing companies

Global companies are currently in a state of emergency due to the Corona crisis and have to deal with new challenges in supply chain management. Some of these challenges are described below as examples; the ifp consulting approach to responding and adapting to them is explained.

Serving increasing demand by building a new site

In order to expand production capacities and thus meet the change in demand, regionally available production halls in particular are increasingly being purchased. Due to the physical distance to the headquarters, the operational business suffers from a costly material flow, coordination difficulties and frequent complaints.

In the first step, requirements for the characteristics of the new site are defined together with the customer (including the space required for production, logistics and offices, floor loading, special requirements, e.g. for wastewater technology). Depending on restrictions in the search radius, potential sites can either be defined at the county level using the ifp regional database, or suitable sites can be searched for directly if the search radius is small. The property search is carried out by analyzing platforms as well as by personal contact with the municipalities in the defined search radius. Subsequently, the potential properties are evaluated based on the defined requirements and criteria. A recommendation for a preferred site is made as a result.

Customized products with short delivery times through supply chain optimization

Example: A globally active company in the field of special machine construction finds itself exposed to increasing competitive and cost pressure. Therefore, in the medium term, the company is pursuing the goal of producing 80% of the equipment to customer specifications in 6 weeks, while limiting WIP and finished goods inventory. This requires an overarching and sustainable transformation of supply chain processes. In addition, it is necessary to achieve a common understanding of roles and support for the supply chain idea within the company. The defined goals from the initiation as well as the collected and analyzed data from the basic investigation form the basis for the development of a sustainable supply chain management. For optimization purposes, fields of action are identified and evaluated and prioritized in terms of their potential impact on the project objectives. Based on this, an implementation concept for holistic supply chain optimization is developed. In addition, a comprehensive change management concept is developed to actively support the transformation process.

Adjustment and optimization of production planning due to a change in the demand structure

The consolidation of the customer market in the construction industry is evident from the fact that 80% of sales are already made with 20% of customers. The change in the demand structure will have an impact on diversification in the product range. The aim is to optimize the planning process and define a uniform scheduling logic based on a sound data foundation. The basis for the optimization of the planning process is the determination of the fundamentals – consisting of process recordings and data analyses.

Project outline: Process recordings are carried out to create an understanding of the ACTUAL processes, identify potential for improvement and, based on this, design optimal TARGET processes for planning. In the data analysis, batch sizes, setup times, inventory levels and scheduling behavior, among other things, are examined in detail. The results serve as the basis for the subsequent segmentation. Segmentation can be by product (e.g., material, geometry), production (e.g., process type, inventory concept, lot sizes), or market (e.g., regions, sales volumes, volatility). The next step is to select a control model independent of the segment. Here, models ranging from Make-to-Stock with low individuality and short delivery time to Engineer-to-Order with customized development and long delivery time are considered. Based on the control model, an overarching Sales & Operations Planning process is designed. As part of the process definition, both the requirements for systemic support are derived and the organization with roles and responsibilities are jointly developed.

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