High Tech and Electronics, Logistics, and Manufacturing Best Practices
In a recent podcast, we've discussed how digital solutions can help companies meet today's challenges and position their supply chain to be more resilient, sustainable, and employee-friendly.
What are the Challenges that COVID-19 brought to the Manufacturing Industry and, in particular, to the High-Tech Electronics Industry?
In the past two years, we've all been hit by the COVID 19, which had a severe impact on manufacturers.
The COVID 19 pandemic has shaken the global supply chain in such a brutal way that even semiconductors have become a scarce commodity. They are most likely to remain so in the future.
In the European Commission, there has been an ambitious target set to double the production of computer chips by 2030. Today, Europe is counting about 10% of global production. The idea is to double this by 2030, which means getting to 20% of the worldwide production of semiconductors and processors.
Now, let's bring these to the practical level.
We expect a significant increase in manufacturing activities being re-shored off to Europe. Electronic manufacturers should become organized to ensure that this boost in production activities is finding them prepared.
Today for a manufacturing company to follow up on the market trends and the demands coming from the market is most likely means to get an ERP system and facilitate, through the use of a modern ERP system, the planning of their manufacturing activities and their logistics routes. And now that's where Boyum IT products come into place.
One of the significant benefits you get from implementing Beas Manufacturing and Produmex WMS (which are wonderfully integrated, including all workflows) is that you can:
- Plan all your manufacturing work orders
- You can be sure that your warehouse and logistic processes are streamlined
- You have complete control of where your goods are stored, where they're shipped, and how they're shipped.
- And you can know in advance what materials you need for manufacturing your products and how much productive capacity you will need to have to face market demands.
Is the recent war between Russia and Ukraine bringing more Challenges to Manufacturing and Logistics activities of High Tech and Electronics?
We're seeing significant concerns that the conflict will exacerbate the ongoing critical chips shortage.
For example, Ukraine controls about 70% of the world's supply of neon, according to TrendSource. Neon is a critical component in the manufacturing of semiconductors. And obviously, semiconductors are critical in the chips.
So, with the uncertainties of that war, we are looking at continued supply chain challenges. In this context, electronic and high tech manufacturers need to make sure that they have the right tools for two primary business-critical tasks:
- Correctly plan the required materials for production
- Finding powerful tools that keep the manufacturer and costs under control and enable you to act fast as market prices and conditions fluctuate for your raw materials.
So, with Beas manufacturing, you get a powerful tool out of the box with feature-rich capabilities, such as:
- cost pre calculations.
- cost post calculations.
- version control enables you to keep track of each variation or change of your manufactured goods.
You can track everything you're producing, including the cost of each of the manufactured items from the standpoint of what we expected the cost to be (pre-calculating) and then the actual costs incurred after (Post calculation) as a result of production.
These allow you to react as fast as possible to the changing and evolving conditions that we see in today's markets.
What are some of the other challenges for the Logistics side of the High-Tech and Electronics Business?
One of the things we're seeing is that many people feel a lot of stress under their supply chains. Land-Based supply routes between Europe and China, typical transit by train, and the new silk road corridors have recently seen increasing volumes. They provide a vital connection between far east Asia and Western producers.
Some of these routes have gone through Russia. There are concerns about the ongoing efficiency and availability of those networks, putting a lot of pressure on manufacturers to find alternate routes and optimize the routes they already are using.
All of that leads to additional costs, complications, and time impacts in bringing raw materials into the production facility. Some manufacturers operating within Russia are just being forced to halt operations or scale back production.
For example, Toyota announced that they'd be halting their Russian operations because of supply chain challenges. Toyota's plant in St. Petersburg employs about 2,000 people, and they make about 80,000 vehicles a year. That's, that's a tremendous amount of production which just sucked out of the world's supply chain. And that's just one example.
What's important to consider is that there are a few ways that Produmex WMS can help high-tech and electronics manufacturers optimize their global supply chains.
One of the vital capabilities is to track inbound containers.
These containers might contain your raw materials or sub-assemblies. Maybe you've outsourced manufacturing specific components overseas, and you need to bring those in. These are all being tracked via Produmex WMS container management. This applies whether the containers are transiting via land, sea, or air.
Produmex WMS tracks the entire transit of the container from the manufacturer's facility:
- Through a user-defined outbound port as the container is on the water.
- Then the container lands at the domestic port and goes toward its own various inspections and other factors.
- And As the container then makes its way through inland freight on the way to your facility.
Keeping track of those containers and having clear visibility of what's in those containers is vital to today's manufacturers in this challenging environment.
The other thing that we see as a substantial value for our Produmex WMS customers is that the same containers are used to optimize and maintain the efficiency of the receiving process because we're receiving against the contents of the known container.
So it improves that workflow process and optimizes that container turnaround requirement. We see many of our distributors challenged by they've typically got two or three hours to turn that container around.
Another example is an optional capability in Produmex WMS called Advanced Shipping Notification. ASN allows reception of inbound material to happen efficiently by basically using the vendor-provided advanced shipping notice.
There are a lot of smaller vendors who can't provide this kind of capability. Still, larger vendors are already doing this to comply with other supply chain partners' requirements. So this feature can dramatically streamline and optimizes the flow of material once it arrives at the manufacturer's dock, and those materials can be directly put into production.
What is an Advanced Shipping Notification?
When a vendor makes a shipment to a customer, it doesn't matter if it's a case, pallet, or whole container. They can send a transmission of data containing details about that container's contents.
So if that container has 200 units of inventory that may be spread across four different items, you would get all the packaging detail, serial number detail, and quantity detail in that file. And that file would be identified by a single reference value, which is typically the pallet identifier.
So they scan that pallet, and the system already understands all the contents of that pallet.
The challenge that supply chain partners have is to be confident that the data they've received in their advanced shipping notice is precisely in sync with what's physically in the container. And once they've achieved that level of confidence, this becomes a tremendously efficient way to handle the reception of raw materials.
What are some of the most exciting trends you've seen in the High-Tech and Electronics Industry?
Let's look at what has been happening in the past years in both US and Europe.
We can safely state that manufacturing has been offshore down to far east, or let's say to more cheap markets in terms of costs for manufacturing goods of any kind, especially in the semiconductors industry.
This has been happening predominantly in Europe. We are seeing the need to increase production, mainly to reassure this production.
This means that we will surely experience, or we are most likely to experience, manufacturing companies bringing back operations to Europe or to the national soil, which will most likely increase national security.
And, you know, the fact that we will be independent or more independent from various countries in terms of manufacturing.
But the critical question here is if we increase this self-sufficiency which would most likely have an effect in the long term on security and self-sufficiency, are we not also increasing costs and making the cost of production higher than it used to be in the past years?
The answer would surely be yes because, as we all know, the cost of labor is higher in Western countries that have been in the far east.
That's where the concept of a circular economy can come into place.
Now, imagine, nowadays, only small amounts of materials can be reclaimed from individual products such as smartphones. New disassembly techniques to enable high-volume and low-cost disassembly are needed to recover and reuse microchips, precious metals, etc.
There will be an increasing demand for refurbished products and older lithography equipment systems upgrades.
There is a high possibility that new standards and industry corporations will be creating secondary markets for reused microchip conductors companies, semiconductor companies, and manufacturing companies should consider certified secondhand ships.
So a mechanism that allows to take a previously owned device, pass it through a quality control process that ensures that it meets sufficiently good quality standards, and puts it on the market again.
And that's where Beas manufacturing from Boyum IT can greatly assist manufacturing companies that will choose our software. We do have, for example, the possibility of having flexible production orders. You can quickly turn these orders into disassembly orders with a tailored bill of materials with a button click.
At the same time, you have an easy way in Beas Manufacturing to create rework production orders that will allow these work orders for refurbishing to go through the quality control process and make sure that you receive at the end of the process refurbished product meets high-quality standards.
How can Boyum IT products come into the picture other than what we already discussed?
What we must understand is that technology is a critical component today.
In solving problems for any industry or manufacturer, especially in the electronic industry where you must meet high standards, you need a high-quality standard technology in your company to manufacture your products.
With Beas Manufacturing, you will get a set of features out of the box that can help in very different ways.
- An out-of-the-box comprehensive quality control system - When you install Beas Manufacturing, you can track anything related to the quality of products you are purchasing from external vendors or even products you are building inside your own company or refurbishing products.
- Suppose you are doing assembly and refurbishing your products. In that case, you also have an advanced lot and serial number tracking with Beas Manufacturing outside of the box in the latest versions of bears.
- You have the possibility of implementing item version control, which is a crucial feature for electronic manufacturers. You can calculate your inventory in your MRP can go and tell you what you have to purchase and what you have to build based on the versions of items you are simultaneously maintaining at one time in your manufacturing plant.
- You got extensive inventory control to react to the market and customer demands quickly. You can add an advanced planning and scheduling module to do precise and analytical planning of your manufacturing orders. Meaning, you can plan your orders to be delivered in time, manufactured based on the customer requested deadline, or you can in advance inform your customers that products will have to be shipped at a later stage because of material shortage. So you will also have a better level of service.
- And all of these can be backed up by predictive analysis with the Boyum dashboards and with the tools we offer out of the box. So to be sure you're helping the customer needs and the customer business demand without incurring overages or shortages or products.
We're very excited about the optimization that Produmex WMS is bringing to the high-tech manufacturing world. With features like:
- Produmex WMS has this concept of "scan when it happens," which is vital when trying to synchronize your physical inventory levels with the systems inventory. So with Produmex WMS, you don't have paper moving around the organization. You don't have delays in recognizing the receipt of inventory. So you can put that inventory to work as soon as it's received.
- Produmex WMS adheres to the GS1 global tracking concepts and standards. This enables you to use the same set of standards that many of your customers and vendors already use when labeling and identifying pallets and items and all other manners of components in your supply chain. This feature alone dramatically reduces friction throughout the supply chain, GS1 standards.
- Produmex WMS also supports the same serial number capabilities that the Beas manufacturing system handles, providing full forward and backward traceability throughout your supply chain.
- The analytic dashboard gives you critical insights into all of the operations throughout your warehouse.
It enables you to do what was essentially a managed-by-exception approach. So when everything is working smoothly, you don't see anything going on. Still, it highlights and brings to the attention that issues you're having may be quality issues, or certain operations may take longer than expected. The analytics are tremendous at that.
Integrating Beas Manufacturing and Produmex WMS
The integration between the Beas manufacturing and the Produmex WMS enable our customers using both solutions to operate in a single facility where raw materials are received via Produmex WMS containers.
And as soon as they're received Beas manufacturing system produces Produmex WMS pick tickets to pick up those items that were just received via mobile devices.
You wind up with a very seamless flow of materials and information between the warehouse management system and the Beas manufacturing. And we're very excited about that.
If you're interested in seeing any of our solutions, you can always contact our sales team or go to our website to schedule a demo, and one of our experts would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.