Ultriva Blog

Medical Surgical Supplier McKesson Goes Lean

Posted by Susan Taylor on 4/11/16 4:30 AM

McKesson, the leading pharmaceutical distributor providing medical supplies and healthcare IT and driving more than $120 billion in annual sales, engaged with Ultriva by Upland to perform an onsite diagnostic visit to evaluate McKesson's supply chain "vital signs.” This pilot program identified multiple areas for improvement.

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Topics: inventory, lean manufacturing, ekanban, supplier kanban, Supplier Collaboration, pull, six sigma, supply chain visibility

Automotive Industry Leader Finds Ultriva to Align with Their Lean Manufacturing Initiative

Posted by Susan Taylor on 4/7/16 4:30 AM

A commercial truck manufacturer was tasked with eliminating waste in its manufacturing process as part of an enterprise-wide continuous improvement initiative. The solution has to implement Lean Manufacturing principles and a pull-based electronic inventory Kanban system.

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Topics: inventory, lean manufacturing, ekanban, supplier kanban, Supplier Collaboration, pull, supply chain visibility

Laboratory Equipment Manufacturer Collaborates More Effectively with Suppliers Through Ultriva by Upland

Posted by Susan Taylor on 4/4/16 9:48 AM

Ultriva by Upland recently completed a comprehensive lean solution for a leading laboratory equipment manufacturing company which designs, manufactures, and sells scientific equipment and instruments to customers worldwide. It has approximately 39,000 employees globally and supplies customers within hospitals, research facilities, labs, and pharmaceutical companies.

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Topics: supply chain, collaboration, inventory, ekanban, Supplier Collaboration, pull

Dedicated Inventory Locations and Integrating Quality in the Supply Chain

Posted by Susan Taylor on 3/15/16 12:08 PM

 

Dedicated inventory locations, while not required, are much easier to establish and maintain when a part is on supplier eKanban for two reasons. First, with supplier eKanban the supplier is required to ship materials in standard lot and container sizes which often dictate the type of storage. Secondly, maximum inventory levels are more predictable with eKanban allowing you to plan dedicated storage space for each item. Maximum inventory for an eKanban item = (Total # of kanbans in loop) x (standard kanban lot size).

According to Nandu Gopalun, Professional Services leader with Upland, Ultriva by Upland provides loop size variability. He outlined the distinct advantage that can be achieved with dedicated inventory locations. The grocery store always keeps items in the same place making the shopping experience easier. Similarly, loop size variability helps the material handler to handle the inventory so they do not have to chase the parts needed.

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Topics: kanban, inventory, ekanban, loop, inventory location, maximum inventory

Ultriva by Upland: The Only Company with 17 Years of Successful Supplier eKanban Programs

Posted by Susan Taylor on 3/7/16 11:07 AM

For the past seventeen years Ultriva by Upland has implemented successful supplier eKanban programs.

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Topics: kanban, ekanban, optimization

Supply Chain Partners Access Same Data

Posted by Cindy McGowan on 2/29/16 2:02 PM

Jessica Twentyman wrote for the Financial Times that when it comes to ordering materials and components, managing inventory levels, or organizing the delivery of finished goods to customers, companies are forced continually to chase business partners – mostly suppliers, logistics companies and retailers – via a messy stream of emails, phone calls and even faxes.

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Global Expansion by Fortune 1000 Companies Drives End to End Pull Demand Driven Solutions

Posted by Cindy McGowan on 2/19/16 2:00 PM

After five years of anemic economic recovery, manufacturers continue to add inventory to their books much faster than GDP growth. In order to better manage inventory levels while still ensuring the right part is in the right place at the right time, manufacturers are increasingly relying on advanced information management solutions, according to a survey released by PwC US in collaboration with Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

Further, inventory turns – which indicate whether the supply chain is getting more efficient at moving goods from suppliers to customers – have declined steadily since 2011. PwC and MAPI surveyed senior executives from 75 global manufacturers (with U.S. headquarters) to better understand this decline in inventory performance and polled respondents on the effectiveness and benefits of using advanced inventory data management strategies to reduce inventory.

“Inventory is often considered by manufacturers to be the most valuable category of assets on their books; however, it can tie up large amounts of cash and diminish in value for a host of reasons,” said Stephen Pillsbury, principal in PwC’s U.S. industrial products practice. “As a result, it has become common practice for manufacturers to minimize inventory as much as possible without hurting customer service levels. While they continue to focus on managing inventory, they seem to have reached a point of diminishing returns and are now turning to advanced information management solutions to further reduce their inventory.”

Nandu Gopalun with Ultriva by Upland recently shared some of the benefits of effective real-time information management solutions.  He noted, “Real-time information helps to ensure correct scheduling, planners and buyers to plan components accurately, and suppliers to react quickly to the changes”.

When it comes to enabling agility, responsiveness and operating flexibility, 37 percent of respondents reported that their core ERP system was either not very effective or ineffective. Conversely, the other respondents with effective ERP systems were quite bullish on the usefulness of their supply chain visibility (SCV) systems when it comes to replacing inventory and costs with actionable and timely data.

Interestingly, companies with ineffective ERP systems experienced an average annual margin erosion of 3.5 percent while those with effective systems in place experienced an average growth of 2 percent. Companies with both effective ERP and SCV systems had even higher margins at 2.4 percent. Put another way, we found a clear connection between strong margin performance and effective ERP implementations.

Gopalun noted that solutions like Ultriva by Upland are not in conflict with ERP solutions and in fact complements ERP.

In regards to inventory turns, almost half of those surveyed said their supply chain system was effective or very effective while one third said their system was not very effective or ineffective at replacing inventory and costs with actionable and timely data. When comparing the two groups, the companies with effective SVC systems outperformed the ineffective ones by 30 percent.

 “Information management systems matter because they get the right information to the right place at the right time in order to improve effectiveness,” said Cam Mackey, SVP, Operations and Partnerships, MAPI. “To that end, many companies have invested a great deal of time and money implementing ERP and SVC systems. Together, these platforms can provide manufacturers with detailed information including orders, lead times, stock quantities and locations. Effectively integrating these information systems enables manufacturers to do a better job of synchronizing supplier deliveries with production schedules and customer orders, resulting in improved customer service and less overall inventory.”

Gopalun said, “In an effort to improve supply chain management, many companies are embracing SCV systems – enabling companies to track and manage raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods across the extended supply chain. It reduces inventory across the supply chain, not only with in four walls of the plant but also with their suppliers and with their customers.

Of those surveyed, 70 percent reported having a SCV system in place.

As effective systems drive better margin growth and higher turns, companies are still experiencing inventory growth and supply chain issues. When asked about the factors having the biggest impact on supply chain visibility, uncertainty of supplier deliveries and unpredictable customer demand were among the responses most cited. While SCV systems are intended to link customer demand to production schedules and supplier orders/deliveries, respondents continue to cite problems with forecast accuracy.

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Manufacturers Look to Improve Inventory Performance

Posted by Cindy McGowan on 2/12/16 9:13 AM

After five years of anemic economic recovery, manufacturers continue to add inventory to their books much faster than GDP growth. In order to better manage inventory levels while still ensuring the right part is in the right place at the right time, manufacturers are increasingly relying on advanced information management solutions, according to a survey released by PwC US in collaboration with Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

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The Real Meaning of Supplier Collaboration

Posted by Cindy McGowan on 2/5/16 10:26 AM

Paul Myerson, professor of Practice in Supply Chain Management at Lehigh University recently reported that while the integration of your external supply chain is critical, companies should first make sure that their internal supply chain is truly integrated and collaborative to reach the full benefits of a lean supply chain.

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Ultriva by Upland Supplier Portal Customers

Posted by Cindy McGowan on 1/29/16 3:00 PM

Magellan Aerospace, CareFusion, and Emerson have one thing in common: Ultriva by Upland. The leading corporations have each achieved significant success through complete supply chain visibility provided by the supplier portal.

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