Next steps may be inputting actual inventory levels and the calculation of future inventory trends. The amount of information to be collected depends on the granularity wanted by the clients: At what level should data be entered now and in the future? What impact do supplier constraints have on the maximum quantity of produced vehicles?
The Structured Approach Wins
The idea of this structured approach comes from Japan, sei-han-zai, which translates into the common planning of production, sales and inventory. This method has been used in Japan for decades, but usually without appropriate software tools. OEMs have typically tracked data with spreadsheet solutions that lack the capacity to manage today’s more complex inputs. Only with an integrated system do automotive manufacturers have a tool they can use to transparently balance their inventories against production, and efficiently align, produce and deliver to real market needs. This results in the creation of a new level of collaboration and transparency between dealer inventories, capacities and potential investments.
Especially in times of increasingly scarce resources and tougher global competition, the need for this type of inventory planning is growing exponentially.
Shay Sidner is the director of operations for flexis North America, a company that focuses on sales and operations planning, as well as advanced planning and scheduling. Sidner has more than 10 years of experience with supply chain optimization in manufacturing industries. For more information, contact Sidner at Shay.Sidner@flexis.com.