Improving Operating Rhythm
What’s changed with these tools is our operating rhythm for faster problem solving, better insights and faster response time to minimize disruptions. Globally, these tools are now standard for our operations, so we have a common operating model and expectations.
Before we could reap the rewards of this work, we went through a holistic change-management practice to drive cultural changes across functions – manufacturing, engineering, master planning and scheduling, and digital transformation, and focused on what would be required of the people affected by these changes to drive the desired business outcomes.
We put ourselves in the shoes of the people using the technology, describing not only what will change but why. We built a functional specification scoped around the business touchpoints and developed the right data structures for data fidelity. For example, some operations were planned or managed in hours, some in units. We had to agree on one way to measure so we were speaking the same language.
Now, we’ve defined the business rules, reduced the complexity of our operating model, and are close to plug-and-play. Reduced complexity is driving productivity through better visibility, more accurate scheduling and improved rigor around our engineering constraint data and ultimately delivering improved schedule attainment driving customer satisfaction.
So, before you think too far across the spectrum of transformation and technology selection, look first at your supply chain’s cultural maturity to evolve and your ability to deploy that technology for true transformation.
For further information on this topic, listen to our Management Perspectives podcast, which features more in-depth discussion about supply chain agility and resilience. Learn more: Creating a More Agile, Resilient Supply Chain (Part 1).