Flow

For small and medium enterprises, the question of upstream supply chain vs. downstream supply chain management does not arise. The factory is in direct contact with the company’s customers, and the supply chain team handles the end-to-end planning process: sales forecasts, order taking, production planning, procurement, inventory management and distribution. In large, multi-site groups, things … Read more

production schedule - stopwatch

Industry 4.0 and digitalization are on the rise. Technology is moving into our shop floors. LCD touch screens are gradually replacing physical boards and post-its. However, we must recognize that the vast majority of our workshops, however complex, are planned or scheduled in Excel, right? The promise of scheduling algorithms Scheduling solutions have existed for … Read more

flow profile

Flow Profiles vs Inventory Buffer Profiles For DDMRP inventory management, buffer profiles are defined. A buffer profile groups together articles with similar characteristics – replenishment times, demand variability, supply variability. This will allow to assign identical buffer sizing rules to all these articles (red, yellow, green zones, detection of demand spikes, etc.). When it comes to building a … Read more

material flow - musicians

Music, Rhythm, and Material Flow If you are a musician, or just a music lover, you probably have the rhythm in your skin! From classical to pop, rock, electro, or the “flow” of a rapper, music is a flow, isn’t it? The common point in most of these forms of music – at least Western … Read more

Let’s be zen in the VUCA world. What is Heijunka? In the implementation of a Lean pull flow derived from the Toyota production system, the Heijunka is an essential mechanism whose key role is to level load the flow. Typically, a Heijunka controls the pace and sequence of production on a given flow. As paradoxical … Read more

Developing an agile supply chain means reducing lot sizes, reducing lead times, and increasing replenishment frequencies. All this is virtuous to speed up flows, but can conflict with real and legitimate production or transport constraints. If you’ve been involved in Lean initiatives, you’ve probably faced these trade-offs. Reducing batch sizes increases the number of changeovers, … Read more

Four years ago I was invited to introduce DDMRP to a team from a medical device company, a subsidiary of a German group. Supply chain, purchasing, production, quality were in the room. They wanted to know more because they were suffering from long lead times, too much stock, unsatisfactory service levels, and faced many emergencies. The company had … Read more

Pull Flow, an Old Story… 

In 1987, as a young engineer at Philips, I had the chance to take part in a study trip to Japan and visit about ten companies there. In most of them you could see in each workshop card boards. In one of the factories I asked our guide what it was. He was astonished that I asked the question – it was so obvious: it is a Kanban board, to replenish supplies. That is normal. It was a non-event, a practice that was not questionedhad been in place for decades… but almost absent at the time from our western factories. Kanban dates to the ’50s. Drum-buffer-rope dates back to the ’80s. These are old concepts. Are they adapted to our modern, technological age?  

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When I was a kid I learned to play ping-pong on a homemade table. The boards were not made from one piece, but were made from planks that had been assembled. With time and playing in the garden, the wood had worked, the boards had spread, bent, deformed – it never stopped us from playing hard games, but the bounces were quite unpredictable!  

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Have you ever watched a relay race? Each runner gives the best of his performance for his portion of the race, and passes the baton to the next runner in a predefined area. In a 4x100m relay, to pass the baton there is a 20m transmission zone: 10m before the 100m, and 10m after. This … Read more

A Demand Driven Buffer, what’s that? In the Demand Driven jargon we talk about “buffers” of different types. What are they used for? How do they work? This post introduces some basic concepts, which are explored in detail in the Demand Driven Institute’s training courses. Buffers and variability. If you have any experience in supply chain you … Read more

In one of my previous lives, I was responsible for a supply chain where most of the suppliers were in Asia, supplying our European factories and distribution centres by sea. Historically our service was poor and our inventory was overflowing everywhere. Our Chinese or Thai suppliers only accepted monthly orders, and imposed at least 2 months of firm orders on their production plan … Read more

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