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07/03/2012

Lean integration - part 2

The problem of integration is related not only to in house applications and processes but also to the ones of the company and its supply chain. In the previous post we have described a lean and flexible solution for the internal integration and in this post we suggest one for integrating with suppliers. On the suppliers side is increasing the number of relationships where, also without a formal blanket order, suppliers produce more than requested for a confirmed order, being aware that the surplus quantity will be consumed by future orders. For the customer, the purchase lead time for surplus quantities of previous orders can be very different from the lead time for new productions and conditions production plans and delivery dates to customers very much. An agile solution in this situations is modeling in the APS the stock in the warehouse of the supplier and using the multi-warehouse MRP to manage distinct lead times for stock transfer and new production runs. The data source to be used by the APS for the stock at the supplier site can be a spreadsheet, periodically updated by the supplier with the quantities for every item supplied. This spreadsheet can be sent by e-mail by the supplier to the customer and put by the planner at the customer site in a folder of the internal network, where is read directly by the APS. Or we can use a folder, shared between customer and supplier, containing the spreadsheet and automatically synced with Dropbox.