Getting Lean does not mean cutting corners, a workforce reduction or using cheaper supplies to deliver a less-costly product. Getting Lean is all about increasing your customer base through the delivery of higher-quality products, superior services and a better customer experience. The addition of Lean initiatives will give you an opportunity to achieve real growth.
Manufacturers who produce a large mix of complex products, using shared production, and have highly erratic supply and demand can often have a hard time understanding how to achieve their Lean objectives. Lean principles advocate a “pull” process that is often incompatible with the “push” methodology used in traditional ERP systems. A pull process allows manufacturing to respond directly to customer demand, a customer being the next point of use in the process, internally or externally.
Lean software and ERP control manufacturing based on different methodologies. ERP maintains control based on multi-level bills of material, work orders and inventory transactions. While this structured approach provides control, it often lengthens the overall manufacturing and supplier lead-times and these processes are usually managed by a knowledgeable few. Lean promotes the establishment of simple, visual controls based on a consumption-based, material replenishment process referred to Kanban. Kanban is based on sizing material requirements dependent on factors such as average daily demand, lead-time and ideal container or lot sizes. Production is sequenced based on due dates, set-up matrices, product family relationships or other criteria. Once Kanban and production sequencing rules are established, manufacturing is executed based on visual signals, eliminating the non-value added activity and extended lead-times associated with traditional shop floor control. Lean promotes assigning responsibility, ownership and execution as far down the hierarchy as possible, using simple, visual systems.
In the past many IT organizations have struggled with understanding how to balance the business requirements that are supported by ERP systems, with the unique system requirements to support Lean initiatives.
Most manufacturing companies have a hybrid environment with complex, low volume goods and higher volume, more repetitive products or components. In order to support these diverse requirements, Cincom now provides a full suite of Lean functionality by way of its partnership with Ultriva. The Ultriva Lean Suite provides Cincom users with a fully integrated solution to support their Lean business requirements.
“Ultriva sits on top of Control and provides a set of Lean execution capabilities while Control manages the other phases of the business” explains Dick Pearse, product director at Cincom Systems.
By combining the power of these two proven solutions, Cincom is able to bring the advantages of a Lean ERP system to complex manufacturing companies, simplifying the manufacturing process with supporting the business requirements for the rest of your business.