How Flexible Logistics Enable Manufacturers To Meet Dynamic Demands

How Flexible Logistics Enable Manufacturers To Meet Dynamic Demands
Consumer Goods

A scenario from PSFK’s Future of Manufacturing report shows how a flexible supply chain is able to circumvent issues and meet shifting demands

  • 20 july 2017

Successful manufacturing requires the most meticulous orchestration of internal teams, suppliers and external partners situated in different locations and often across time zones. Real-time data and advanced communication technologies enable transparency and flexibility at every step.

PSFK’s Future of Manufacturing report, a collaboration with Microsoft, details a scenario in which a global supply chain incorporates a new product, circumvents a major issue and anticipates a spike in demand.

The excerpt below is a snapshot of the analyses provided in the Future of Manufacturing report. Click here to download the full free report, which includes expert insights, key scenarios and enabling technologies.

The Transparent Manufacturing Journey: A Scenario

The manufacturing journey is comprised of a breadth of locales and requires communication between multiple suppliers and partners. With higher expectations to meet market demands with faster delivery times, manufacturers need to identify opportunities to implement agile supply chain practices without sacrificing the quality of their products.

By leveraging technologies that provide them with real-time insights to logistics, delivery or fulfillment systems, manufacturing coordinators can monitor their inventory flow and respond to any hazardous disruptions in real time.

Scenario #4 – On The Road: Meeting Supply Chain Demands With Flexible Logistics

For the highly anticipated launch of their latest smartphone, a mobile device manufacturer is integrating new microchips with faster processing power and a brand new form factor. To make this happen, the company’s development coordinator Cheyenne must work across her global production and distribution centers to bring new vendors into their supply chain and work with existing partners to implement changes.

  1. Phil is the supply chain manager for a vendor that will be supplying the new microchips. To better track their shipments, the company tags each packaged box with RFID technology, which allows Cheyenne to use a blockchain ledger to track their progress in real time.
  2. To accommodate the new form factor for the phone, Cheyenne must be able to securely share files with her vendors over the cloud. She posts the device’s schematics to a private server so the screen manufacturer can create a test run using various materials and thicknesses. She receives alerts any time the files are accessed along with user credentials.
  3. During the shipping process to Cheyenne’s factory, several pallets of microchips are exposed to extreme temperatures, which will likely impact their viability. Phil and Cheyenne are immediately alerted to the issue with the number of units affected.
  4. While Phil’s company is unable to replace the lost units in the necessary time, Cheyenne is able to turn to her supplier quality analysis platform to find an alternate provider who is able to fulfill the rush order.
  5. When the screen prototypes are completed, the manufacturer is able to remotely sync with Cheyenne and her company’s design teams so they can preview mock-ups of phones equipped with the various screens, and review the impacts on total cost and weight and place their initial order.
  6. As material shipments are received at the factory, they are allocated to the production line with the goal of holding limited inventory in the warehouse to keep costs at a minimum. Through a single interface, Cheyenne can see where particular materials are in the supply chain in real-time and how this impacts production targets.
  7. As finished phones come off of the production line, they are automatically distributed to retail partners, with additional stock directed to regional warehouses where demand is highly forecasted at launch.
  8. A month after launching the initial production run, real-time sales data informs the manufacturer that demand is greater than expected in the Northwest region. Cheyenne is able to adjust her supply orders to account for the spike and automatically reroute outgoing shipments of finished products to meet the demand.

Highlighting The Opportunity

64% of manufacturers cite cloud and IoT solutions as a key factor in improving connectivity and communications with suppliers. 2016 State of Manufacturing Technology. Plex, 2016

The digital factory will have important ramifications on product quality levels and related processes, as manufacturers are expecting that 10-20% of cost savings can be found in this area. Digital Factories: The Renaissance of the US Automotive Industry. Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA), Roland Berge, 2016

“What we are trying to do is derive insights which are both more predictive – they allow us to see what is going to happen, going forward – and prescriptive – now we know something, what should we do about it?” Suresh Acharya, Head of JDA Labs

Cloud-based platforms for manufacturing are expected to grow more than 20% between 2017 and 2018. 2017 Top Ten Trends in Modern Demand-Driven Manufacturing. Synchrono, 2016

“Supply chain transparency continues to grow in importance for shippers and third-party logistics providers. This is driving significant technological change for third-party logistics and shippers alike as they collaborate and share more real-time information to enable data-driven business decisions and meet the growing needs of consumers.” Marc Althen. President, Penske Logistics

What Trends Are Driving This?

  • Dynamic Logistics
  • Transparent Supply Chain
  • Responsive Optimization
  • Agile Development
  • Predictive Analytics

The 30+ page report includes:

  • Insights into the evolving manufacturing landscape and how to prepare for increased supply chain pressure
  • 5 forward thinking scenarios illustrating the digital landscape
  • 10 trends shaping connected manufacturing
  • Four industry disruptors influencing makers
  • Actionable takeaways for business and information technology decision makers

In partnership with Microsoft, PSFK presents the Future Of Manufacturing report, an opportunity playbook that explores a new era of supply chain management and the technologies that enable faster, more agile manufacturing operations. Tune into for a 10-week in-depth look at expert insights, key findings and detailed scenarios, or download the full report here.

Lead Image: Worker programming print screening machine via Shutterstock

Successful manufacturing requires the most meticulous orchestration of internal teams, suppliers and external partners situated in different locations and often across time zones. Real-time data and advanced communication technologies enable transparency and flexibility at every step.

+consumer goods
+future of manufacturing
+internet of things

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