Nissan N.A. Optimizes Production

Taps attribute-based planning capabilities in auto industry solution from Manugistics

Rockville, MD  February 20, 2003  Nissan North America has gone live with a manufacturing solution for automakers from Manugistics in a bid to optimize production scheduling at its Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant.

The Smyrna facility produces the Frontier, Altima, Xterra and Maxima models and has been recognized for the last eight years as one of North America's most efficient assembly plants. It is capable of producing more than 475,000 vehicles annually.

Nissan is using the Manugistics solution to produce smoothed and blended production schedules based on the unique attributes of vehicles in the order pipeline. Manugistics said its manufacturing solution, which features attribute-based planning (ABP) capabilities, is the first such solution designed specifically for the scheduling of automotive finished vehicle assembly plants.

Constraints that are taken into consideration for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) include, among others, trim levels, engine size, body type, supplier constraints and body paint. The solution addresses both monthly and 10-day production scheduling.

The ABP capabilities can help enable Nissan's Smyrna assembly plant to develop an optimized production schedule within hours, a significant reduction from what generally has been a two-day process.

Nissan is due to roll out to other assembly plants in the coming months.

Nissan North America previously has worked with Manugistics, along with Austin, Texas-based Trilogy, on a demand-chain solution to power its Integrated Customer Ordering Network (ICON) project, intended to allow the company's Web customers to locate their desired cars at a Nissan or Infiniti dealer and receive a guaranteed delivery date. The solution was designed to reduce customer order-to-delivery time by linking manufacturing facilities to customer-level demand.

More recently, the automaker tapped Viewlocity to provide solutions for supplier performance management and supply chain event management.