Today’s Build to Order manufacturers are finding that as businesses grow they become more complex and therefore design capabilities have to be matched by business and manufacturing efficiency. Their customers will have very different needs and delivery expectations, so manufacturers are looking to lean practices to allow them to be more responsive and retain their competitive edge.
K3 Business Technology Group (K3) has developed its SYSPRO ERP report writing capability to give manufacturers precisely the planning and scheduling tools they need to gain this business agility.
For example, the leading UK manufacturer of contract seating, Boss Design, is making use of SYSPRO’s report writing functionality to revolutionise its shop floor planning. This has reduced lead times and wastage. SYSPRO automatically produces a dispatch log detailing which orders are to be dispatched and on which day.
Working back from this data, the planning reports and work too lists are produced, which schedules work so that final assembly occurs just one to two days prior to an order’s dispatch. "Everyone now understands what they’re supposed to have ready and when – it’s brilliant," says Virginia Seaward, the group’s Head of Operations.
With the ability to plan, Boss Design is now moving towards a general four-week lead time, although some standard products do have a two-week turnaround. The group has also introduced a rapid response, seven-day delivery for key customers. This is based around another SYSPRO generated report, which instead of working out dispatch based on geography, works to delivery date, and from this, report planners prioritise these orders through production.
As Seaward reports, "By almost eliminating order mistakes and combining this with vastly improved visibility of demand and the ability to effectively schedule work, we have seen lead times come down, there is much less waste – both in terms of manpower and material – and improved customer service is constantly improving all while still achieving massive growth."