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The Ecosystem of Large Systems

White collar worker sitting in front of two monitors

When you’re looking for IT systems to manage your supply chain, chances are you’ll be directed toward large, complex, and expensive systems. This trend dates back to the advent of ERPs in the 90s and is self-sustaining for an entire industry. If a system – an ERP, for example – is complex, it will require … Read more

Manufacturing Back to the Future

De Lorean vehicle from back to the future in all it's splendor

In the ERPs of most factories, at any given time, there are many production orders with an end date in the past. A production order in the past means: “We will produce this product last week”. Spoiler alert: it won’t happen!… Unless you have the secret to going back in time, or a De Lorean. … Read more

Mastering Production Orders to Combat the ‘Fear of Heights’

Pilot flying over picturesque terrain

The graph below shows the production orders created for a line of strategic finished products in an aeronautics plant. These are production orders, not planned orders. Each bar represents one day. Blue bars are production orders released to production: the workshop has the right to work on them. The gray bars are orders created, but … Read more

How Old are your ERP’s Arteries

Image of old IBM I Main Menu

In the early 90s, I was in charge of IT at a Philips industrial site and had the good fortune of being in charge of our IBM 38 replacement with the brand-new AS/400 implementation, which had come out in 1988. This was a huge step forward, including for the planet (which wasn’t our concern at … Read more

Static or Dynamic Stock Buffers?

Colored Pencil Wave

One of the strengths of the DDMRP methodology is its ability to efficiently manage dynamic stock buffers. A DDMRP buffer with three zones (red/yellow/green) describes a replenishment loop that continuously adapts to changes in the pace of demand. The reorder point (top of yellow) increases during periods of high demand, and decreases when demand slows … Read more