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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

Supply Chain Transformation: Watch Your Step

Warning Watch Your Step Sign

We were recently approached to tender by a company looking for a forecasting and procurement solution. The tender included all the buzzwords of the moment: AI, big data, and a system that could process millions of planning actions per day (sic). When we talk to this company to understand their context, we quickly realize that … Read more

Intuiflow Auto Pilot: Inventory Buffers Made Simple

Auto Pilot Start Button

Since the introduction of computer-based material planning solutions, planners and supplier chain managers have been scratching their heads trying to determine how to properly size inventory buffers and safety stock settings. Try a Google search today reveals a multitude of different theories and formulas on how this can be done. Yet, planners today are still … Read more

Unlocking Nuanced Supply Chain Planning

Rainbow colored wooden fence

When the world becomes more complex, a little nuance doesn’t hurt… A binary approach doesn’t usually solve problems. This adage also applies to the planning of our supply chains.  Our management systems, by definition, are binary – running on computers more at ease with zeros and ones, true/false, than with progressive, nuanced gradation. The material … Read more

Redesigning the Supply Chain for the 21st Century

Pair of hands breaking a chain

The fact is, we have, and will continue to have, more and more destabilizing events for our supply chains.Your company may have a supply chain that was conceived in a different context to that of today. In the heyday of globalization, sourcing components from the other side of the world was the norm, and the … Read more

Resiliency (finally) in the Supply Chain Spotlight

Kormotech presentation at eh 2023 Supply Chain Planning Summit in London

It took Brexit, the end of international law, a pandemic, a few near-global wars, and other vicissitudes for the Supply Chain planet to finally (almost) begin to free itself from the dictate: “Make accurate forecasts and you’ll ensure your company’s success by having the right product at the right time in the right place”. The … Read more

Kanban loop or DDMRP buffer? 

Kanban DDMRP Buffer

When you mention a Kanban board to the younger generation, they immediately think of a visualization board for to-do / in-progress / completed tasks – and the Agile project management method. Just do a web search, and that’s what you’ll find… For veterans like me, a Kanban loop is a replenishment management method – when … Read more

Benefits of a Supply Chain Best Practice Reference Framework

Stopwatch at Sunset

Particularly in the supply chain, good performance is above all the result of good processes, followed by committed teams… To establish these processes and define a supply chain improvement path, you need a compass. In my professional experience, I have been successively responsible for the supply chain of several companies. From the very first weeks … Read more

Combining Productivity and Agility: the Planning Wheel

Pinwheel inside of a factory

Production planning means striking a balance between shop floor efficiency and the agility required to meet customer needs. Planners and schedulers are torn between the injunctions of customers, production, and finance – reducing lead times, serving new urgent orders, resources optimization, limiting the time spent on changeovers, stabilizing the schedule, not being under constant stress … Read more