Often overlooked in lean manufacturing initiatives is the supply chain; in particular supplier replenishment. Global multi-national manufacturers can use supplier replenishment as the ultimate tool in lean manufacturing best-practices.
Supplier Replenishment is lean because it
- Improves supplier on-time delivery performance by enabling better collaboration and data sharing between buyers and suppliers.
- Improves buyer and planner productivity by automatically flagging and communicating new and changed orders to suppliers, eliminating unreliable communication modalities.
- Eliminates stock-outs by tracking order status and proactively alerting buyers to high risk situations.
- Reduces Inventory levels by providing better inventory on-hand data and continuous improvement analytics.
Lean manufacturing principles require a variety of inventory replenishment methods, including: schedule-based replenishment, discrete POs, min/max, consignment and VMI (vendor-managed inventory) replenishment methods. With supplier replenishment, manufacturers can drive replenishment from production schedules, publish forecasts to suppliers, and automate purchase order releases and receipts through a collaborative Internet portal.
A Collaborative Internet Portal is designed to help manufacturers digitally manage all forms of material replenishment with suppliers. This internet portal will allow manufacturers and suppliers to view forecasts and Kanban signals, release purchase orders, track orders, and manage receipts.
Supplier replenishment is designed to eliminate stock-outs and resulting expedited deliveries while reducing inventory levels, all while streamlining processes and dramatically increasing buyer and planner productivity.
In today’s fast-paced economy, manufacturers must constantly find ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency. A collaborative supplier replenishment system is a great way to accomplish your lean goals.