Say you're a multinational with operations spread around various countries. You need to know where you can perform your operations most economically and efficiently, and you also need to factor the corporation tax you pay in different countries....continue reading
Smartville’s Logical Layout
The Smartville layout combines flow and process. The modular concept improves flow, but necessitates cell processes, so a purely linear layout is not achieved. Instead, virtual linearity is achieved. Modules are installed sequentially upon the frame, which acts as a mobile convergence point....continue reading
The Nature of Supply and Demand: P to D Ratio
“P” = production lead time “D” = delivery time/ demand lead time (time customer will wait)...continue reading
Non-Specific Causes of Lead Time Extension
- Suppliers are not supplied at the same frequency.
- Components are not of uniform complexity: hence individual components will have unique lead times.
- Sequential interdependence of assembly stages means knock-on effects of delays are felt downstream.
Set-Up Times and Stock Levels
Gearing machines to produce right-hand drive components poses disruption to flow due to switchover times. For this reason, production runs will have to be estimated. MCC and its partners must factor in some level of buffer stock for these components. Since it is possible that MCC will run short on these components, and reconfiguring machines in the middle of a standard left-hand drive run will not be immediately possible, stockouts could result. Unplanned switches between sidedness for single units will be impracticable. To counter this, some degree of batch planning for right hand-drive components will be necessary.
Leanness, Stock, and Supplier Strain
In the current supply chain management literature, “lean thinking” principles hold that high stock or inventory levels within a process leads to problems. These may be as simple as storage costs, inconvenience, or cash flow problems. However, excess stock can mask many serious problems within an organisation’s supply chain, such as overlong set-up times and bottlenecks. This is demonstrated in the “River and Rocks” analogy: reducing inventory enables management to identify potential problems and address them. Progressive inventory reduction could also be seen as a kaizen principle of continual improvement, since kaizen promotes attainment of efficiency through reductive measures (Schonberger, 1982)....continue reading
Testing and Measuring Quality and Performance
Complex, multipart components, such as engines, have a higher probability of failure so must undergo check processes more frequently than simpler swappable parts or fittings. Benchmarking must identify the subcomponents most prone to failure. Checking processes must be frequent and thorough. Failed components are removed from the system; achieving components are installed....continue reading
Basic Complementarities Afforded by MCC’s Performance of Final Assembly
The centrality of MCC and the Smartville information system means the manufacturing process resembles a closed loop/MRP system. The following table reports the benefits of MCC’s acting centrally by performing the final (main) assembly:
The customer’s order is translated into a production order that draws material and components from suppliers. Assembly and dispatch follow....continue reading