Planning for Small, Midsize Manufacturers

Revised tool combines supply chain management for high throughput

Indianapolis — March 18, 2003 — Enterprise business systems provider Made2Manage Systems Inc., in a bid to help small and midsize manufacturers determine a cost-effective shop floor plan, released M2M Advanced Planning 5.01. The provider said it is an enhanced version housed in the providerÕs supply chain management module (M2M SCM) of the Made2Manage Enterprise Business System.

According to Kyle Sanford, product manager for M2M SCM, when faced with a series of sales orders that cannot all be satisfied on their request dates because of capacity or material constraints, managers often rely on manual data searches, customer priorities or simple guesswork to build shop floor plans.

Therefore, he said Made2Manage Systems offers tools that will maximize small and midsize manufacturers' unique production environments, such as those for forecasting, planning and scheduling, and they can be executed separately or in any combination, according to the manufacturer's specific needs.

For instance, repetitive manufacturers with relatively simple, lean shop floor operations can rely on finite planning tools to build a capacity-feasible daily build plan. More complex environments, such as make-to-order and engineer-to-order manufacturers, would employ the combination of infinite planning and finite scheduling tools to streamline production.

"With the module, managers can respond to demands, and users don't have to plan jobs with wishful due dates and then run detailed finite schedules to get realistic due dates. Instead, they can evaluate various demand opportunities and then build a plan that delivers the most profitability — without any detailed scheduling."

Additionally, drawing from a shared, real-time database with Made2Manage Systems' enterprise resource planning tools, M2M SCM leverages the enterprise-wide data from a manufacturerÕs back office for more efficient supply chain planning.