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“It seemed as though, whichever parts were made, they were not the parts that were needed that day at Franklin. Expediting of individual part numbers was the norm” as eKanban) from Datacraft Solutions, a leading demand driven supply chain technology firm based in Durham, North Carolina. The Luvata team quickly decided that based upon the initial success of the digital kanban system at Franklin, the Buffalo facility should take advantage of Franklin’s experience with digital kanban. In addition, both plants would now have a common supply chain management software that could be implemented easily, quickly, and affordably in Buffalo. The Buffalo/Franklin team worked with the technology provider to define the project costs, benefits and time schedule. “The primary objectives of reduced working capital (25 percent inventory reduction), improved delivery reliability (avoid stock outs), easy to use scheduling modules, and quick implementation time appear to be well within our budget and timeframes,” reported Ball. “The team is also highly confident that the large amount of time currently devoted to expediting material will be virtually eliminated from their daily routines.” Stephen Parker, CEO of Datacraft proudly noted: “The ability to manage outside processing to increase visibility to all material and work-in-process, both on- and off-site, allows companies to better manage sub-contracted processing such as heat treatment, sheet metal operations and component manufacturing. For the first time, material managers have real-time inventory and scrap data for all Supply chain 17 material at their outside processors. This allows manufacturers to reduce production cycle times by days (and sometimes weeks) while significantly reducing unnecessary raw and component material inventories. The ability to track and identify scrap rates also improves inventory accuracy while holding suppliers to committed performance objectives.” Luvata has high expectations for the real-time digital kanban provided as SaaS (software as a service) as the primary driver to achieve cost reduction goals. With copper prices hovering at $4.00 per pound, a 25 percent inventory reduction will lead to very significant savings for the Luvata Group and create the desired solution for both the Buffalo and Franklin plants. July 07 Thomas R. Cutler is the President & CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based TR Cutler, Inc., www.trcutlerinc.com Businessexcellence

Businessexcellence July 07 18 Temporary logistics hiring practices are proving increasingly important as $4 per gallon fuel looms on the horizon, says Thomas R. Cutler Lean logistics