When it comes to the everyday maintenance of a well-oiled supply chain operation, managers need to have all the information in front of them in order to make informed decisions. This is especially important when planning how much of a product to stock in the warehouse and how much to ship to endpoints (both retailers and individual consumers).
When resources are based on a specific capacity, rate-based planning can be used to constrain based on the production rate of the facility in question. This method can help organizations meet requirements and enhance efficiency for the long term, along with improving resource allocation and supply chain planning in general.
Essentially, organizations can’t create products from thin air – they can only use the resources available to them at any given moment. So companies need to figure out a way to predict resource constraints based on production rates – in other words, they need to utilize rate-based supply planning.
What’s the challenge?
Let’s say a company that produced a high volume of thousands of small-end products needed to come up with an effective supply chain planning strategy. Over a 10-year period, this organization established the preferred production rate for a given facility and laid out specific product mix profiles that reflected both production and ergonomic constraints.
The goal here was to use these rates to determine the number of resources available based on actual production rates. However, the company, which needed a solution that would encompass discrete manufacturing activities and incorporate specific rate-based and product mix constraints into the strategy, controlled all production planning via spreadsheets instead of efficiently modeled in supply chain planning software. This solution would be cumbersome and inefficient.
Supply and demand is king
Supply chain planning isn’t just about resource allocation – it’s also about taking stock of how long it takes to produce certain materials given time and mix constraints, especially in a discrete manufacturing situation. An effective supply chain planning operation brings several specific advantages to the table.
“A well run S&OP process can also prevent the business from overselling its installed capacity to produce finished goods,” wrote IndustryWeek contributor Tony Verlezza. “By understanding both the demand and supply details of the business, it can better control both revenue and cost profiles.”
Failure to accurately assess supply and demand, however, can mean bad news for the company as a whole.
The solution is…
With tight deadlines and tighter resourcing restrictions, enterprises simply don’t have time to waste trying to figure out and synchronize complicated spreadsheets. According to TechTarget, effective supply chain planning and execution software will consider the physical status of goods, management of materials and financial information of all players along the supply chain.
With Advanced Supply Chain Planning tools from Inspirage, organizations can effectively strategize around production rates and resource availability instead of relying on outdated scheduling methods and spreadsheets. For instance, for the hypothetical company from the above example, a solution would be to create constraints within the software based on resources available – both on the labor side and the product mix side.
Get in touch with the experts at Inspirage today for more information.