Author: Shrikar Indaram
Following the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, facility managers, production supervisors and material planners are fighting to deliver against increasing demand for their products and global supply shortages. A common thread for their struggles is the need to generate visibility around their critical shop-floor processes and workflows.
This visibility is crucial for these production decision-makers to:
• Enable them to proactively buffer against risk
• Prioritize shop-floor tasks
• Communicate and collaborate in a streamlined manner
• Identify bottlenecks affecting day-to-day operations.
This tech note looks at:
• Challenges Faced by Production Leaders
• How a Production Control Tower Addresses these Challenges
• What Makes TADAs Production Control Tower Different?
Let’s look at some of production challenges from the perspective of the following functions:
Material and labor related constraints have been forcing facilities to re-think their firm schedules and execute changes to near-term build plans. This rescheduling in-turn cascades into recurring changes to the EDI signals shared with suppliers, thus causing uncertainty around subsequent material receipts. Even more troublesome, facilities were unaware of real-time changes to their master schedules, creating a black box around operations.
Considering material and labor related constraints are the primary source of missed builds, Planners require a streamlined and easy-to-use system to record their correspondence with Suppliers. Last-minute production changes arises from a lack of information about material availability, which leads to a decline in available manufacturing time and workforce utilization and, consequently, a direct loss in facility throughput. Seamless communication helps keep priorities current in a constantly changing environment and enables line supervisors to make changeover decisions based on latest material availability.
Building upon the challenges faced by Material Planning, line supervisors are forced to conduct unscheduled changeovers. In many instances, poor material planning and material unavailability forces many line supervisors to close assembly lines. In addition to lost dollar value incurred from lost production, these closures lead to a decline in worker-morale and attrition in an already-constrained labor environment.
Given the number of spreadsheets and silos of data used by the facility, leadership both within the plant as well as at corporate have little-to-no visibility around daily and monthly production process. Furthermore, with a lack data aggregation at a single source of truth, facilities find it increasingly difficult to identify root causes of throughput loss and act on them from a continuous improvement standpoint.
Control towers solve these challenges faced by entities across the entire supply chain, regardless of industry. Gartner defines "control towers" as a concept combining five elements — people, process, data and organization supported by a set of technology-enabled capabilities for transparency and coordination. This concept applied to a manufacturing facility is defined as the Production Control Tower.
A Production Control Tower leverages the Digital Twin of a manufacturing facility to inter-connect functional silos, track material movements, and resolve bottlenecks ahead of time. It is a digital solution that is layered over a pre-existing ERP to connect disparate data-sources and can be implemented within a 6-8 week timeframe. This solution aims to provide not just a high-level outlook of the facility operations for senior management, but also to facilitate a forum for the plant personnel to access daily task lists, share production progress, and collaborate over a unified platform.
Overall, the Production Control Tower aims to deliver enhanced throughput for a facility by means of improving visibility around production bottlenecks, increased team efficiency, reduced changeovers and material expedites, and proactive risk management. It is a solution that requires no special IT capital investment and can work with available data-sources and systems. Furthermore, it is a modular solution that can be configured at speed, enabling customers to see benefits within a few months instead of years.
TADA has been enabling industrial clients to implement industry best-practices around production and unleash the full potential of their facility operations using the Production Control Tower. Our process starts with the customer’s production team to understand their current system and identify the gaps to determine the use cases and needed capabilities that will enhance the production performance.
We achieve these objectives by focusing on 4 primary workbenches including: Scheduling, Material Planning, Manufacturing, and Production Governance.
TADA creates a common database for recording material availability to ensure that the facility has a comprehensive and real-time view of critical material shortages. Through our Production Control Tower, facilities and suppliers have up-to-date information on facility-wide inventory to drive meetings and essential actions. This solution had a place for material planners to update inventory positions, ASN, and receipts information.
Built-in intelligence instantly validates a build plan against the corresponding Line-Model takt time, ensuring that the facility follows an executable schedule accounting for run-time, set-up time and planned changeovers.
TADA's Production Control Tower creates certainty around the ‘Clean to Build’ schedule by giving Line Supervisors and Material Planners a proactive approach to risk mitigation. The Production Control Tower provides data on critical parts that must be expedited, alternately sourced or replaced to execute a complete build. Through our solution, manufacturers avoid unscheduled line changeovers due to lack of material availability, enhancing the utilization of assemblers and equipment.
TADA’s Production Control Tower offers a simple, streamlined portal for recording daily schedule attainment. It highlights critical material and non-material related issues affecting schedule adherence. The solution also enables ease of reporting through multiple tiers of production, including line operators, line supervisors, facility managers & corporate leadership.
Visit TADA’s Production Control Tower product page to learn more about how our solution has been driving profitability for multiple clients or request a demo to experience the capability of the Production Control Tower first-hand.