With changes in consumer behavior and alternative purchasing channels to maintain competitiveness small and mid-sized manufactures need to differentiate themselves within the global marketplace based on a combination of factors such as innovation, product quality, lead-time, price and customer service.

Presuming innovation, product quality, lead-time and price are constant, the manufacturer’s only option is to increase levels of customer service for example:

  • Correct engagement and timely response
  • Deliver the right product on time and in the correct quantity
  • Clear product identification and labeling
  • Accurate invoicing and pricing
  • Improving on-time customer deliveries

The starting point to improving on-time customer deliveries, with its side effect of improving cash flow, is the setting of customer expectations by providing accurate delivery dates for quotes and sales orders. To support this business process the sales team and production planners require the necessary tools, for sales it would be functions such as available to promise (inventory) or capable to promise (inventory and capacity), while for production, visibility of the inventory, current planned schedule and available capacity.

Having visibility is great, but the production planner requires the flexibility to make changes to the schedule, based on factory floor events such as machine stoppages or unplanned tool repair, and to simulate possibly strategies to determine if there will be any negative impacts to customer required delivery dates.

Produmex Manufacturing a cross industry solution for SAP Business One provides within its core a scheduling tool which supports the requirements of the production planner to balance the factory, and to visually understand how resource capacity is being allocated and consumed, while the sales department can automatically calculate the customers delivery date based on the centralized production schedule.

Image: Resource Usage Chart