Supply Chain Flow
Management of the flow of goods, services that transform raw materials into final products
Flow is the main objective of our continuous improvement effort, and the most important concept. Production should flow continuously all the way from raw materials to the customer and we work toward that ideal through production system change. This allows everyone to work towards continuous flow for products, information, and people.
Product should move from operation to operation only when it is needed and in the smallest possible increment, with single pieces being the ultimate target. Our ideal state is where batch sizes and lot production are replaced by working on one product at a time. While this is not practical for operations with low processing times and correspondingly high change over times (both values defined by Takt Time), it is nevertheless our goal to achieve single piece flow in every operation possible.
All logistic processes and sub processes are documented by us in a step by step depiction. Through this process we ensure it is well understood what is necessary for goods to travel through an organization to the customer, as well as how to achieve cost effectiveness while meeting SLAs for customer delivery.
Internal flows refer to the circulation of materials during the supply chain’s production and transformation processes. External flows are supply flows, designating a supply process that goes from the supplier to the distributor and upstream flows, referring to the supply of products from the production warehouse to the customer.
We also review reverse logistics concerns, the return shipments of goods or packaging that covers items such as the return of unsold products, defective goods, goods to be refurbished or repaired, reusable packaging, or the disposal of waste.
Information is a key supply chain driver which enables the other supply chain flows to work together to create an integrated, coordinated supply chain. We equip enterprises to make decisions for customers based on how much inventory is in stock, and the knowledge of when more products should be produced or shipped. In short, we facilitate the management of all information required to provide supply chain visibility, allowing managers to make decisions to improve the supply chain’s performance.
The type of information that flows between customers and suppliers includes quotations, purchase orders, delivery status, invoices, and customer complaints. For your supply chain to be successful there must be constant interaction between supplier and customer. In many cases, your other partners like distributors, dealers, retailers, and logistic service providers are also involved in the information network.