The Wheels on the Bus...

Thomas Built Buses to use supply chain planning solution to keep its manufacturing operations rolling

Newport Beach, CA  July 29, 2002  webplan Corp., a provider of supply chain management solutions for manufacturers worldwide, announced that Thomas Built Buses Inc. has selected the webplan eSupply-Chain solution set for its manufacturing operations.

Thomas Built Buses, located in High Point, N.C., is a $500-million manufacturer of commercial transit, school bus and specialty vehicles. Since their first bus rolled off the assembly line in 1936, business, as well as the complexity of the company's supply chain, has grown. With deliveries scheduled to suppliers every day of the week it is critical to Thomas Built Buses they receive their materials on time.

According to webplan, Thomas Built Buses has chosen one of webplan's eSupply-Chain planning and visibility solutions, Manufacturing Insight, to reduce supply chain complexity and increase operational efficiencies so they can deliver within the required window.

Kent Garno, material control manager, Thomas Built Buses, said webplan provides his company with a flexible tool to manage its inventories at multiple plants with varying delivery needs and methods. "We can simulate deliveries based on just-in-sequence, kitted or bulk item deliveries without having to regenerate [materials resource planning] within each plant. With this collaborative tool, we can provide customized demand information, allowing both the supplier and customer to make adjustments and fine-tune our processes. As a result of implementing the new solution, operational planning expenses will be significantly reduced," he said.

Using Manufacturing Insight, webplan said Thomas Built Buses is going to be able to bring data from disparate sources, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, into a single Web-based data model, for a complete picture of their supply/demand chain. They will also have the ability to model "what if" scenarios for almost any event, so they can assess the impact of last-minute changes in supply and demand.

webplan explained that this proactive approach to planning and analysis will enable Thomas Built Buses to assess the impacts of both planned and unplanned events on their manufacturing operation. They will also have visibility into how things are now, and plan for how they might be in future.

"We chose webplan because we needed a solution that could be implemented quickly and without disruption to our business" said Garno. "With Manufacturing Insight we now we have a supply chain planning tool that will allow us to work more closely with our suppliers to increase our operational efficiencies and drive superior results for our customers."