Authored by John Clemons, MESA Marketing Committee Chair, based on an interview with Khris Kammer, MESA Model Sub-Committee Member
The new MESA International Smart Manufacturing Model is under development and will be released very soon. It is different from the other smart manufacturing models out there in that it’s not academic, it’s not descriptive, and it’s not meant as a reference to sit on the shelf.
It’s prescriptive, providing very specific recommendations on how we can be smarter in managing the lifecycles of manufacturing operations. It provides recommendations on the lifecycles that impact manufacturing operations including supply chain, personnel, order to cash, product, production, and production assets.
Let’s look at what’s going to be in the new MESA Smart Manufacturing Model about the production lifecycle.
One question that’s addressed by the new model is “how can production be agile enough to respond to variability in demand from the enterprise without maintaining costly and risky finished goods inventory?”
I won’t give away all the answers here. After all, I want you to read the MESA Smart Manufacturing Model when it comes out. But I will tell you that in answering this question, the model discusses many aspects of production agility and what it really takes to be agile in manufacturing.
There are different approaches to manufacturing, including produce on demand, make to order, engineer to order, and make to stock. But almost by definition make to stock is not agile and it never will be agile. Even make to order and engineer to order, depending on how, when, and why the orders are created may not be as agile as claimed. The smart move is produce on demand, but that’s a lot easier said than done.
It means you must really know what the demand is, and you must modify your production processes to be able to meet that demand. It means you produce what’s needed when it’s needed. You produce the right quantity at the right time. It’s not capacity driven in the least. It’s totally demand driven. That’s what makes it agile. And it’s easier said than done, but well worth it in the long run.
Another question that’s addressed by the new model is “what’s the best way to ensure that the production resources are used most effectively to meet the demand from customers?”
Again, without giving away all the answers, there’s several aspects of this question that are addressed by the new MESA model. One is how forecasting, planning, and scheduling are done. There’s a lot of good technology in the smart manufacturing toolkit that can help in this regard. But you have to use them, and you have to use them well.
That means looking at the resource allocations and the resource assignments. And that includes all the resources: personnel, assets, materials, consumables, logistics, and so on. And then assigning and allocating those resources in smart fashion.
And that means looking at the suitability of the resources, the capability of the resources, the availability of the resources, the capacity of the resources, and so on. It means you have to know your resources – all of them – know what they can do, and what they can’t do, and allocate them effectively and efficiently.
This is just part of the section on production in the new MESA International Smart Manufacturing Model. It’s under development and will be released very soon.
It will provide very specific recommendations on how we can be smarter in managing the lifecycles of manufacturing operations, including the production lifecycle.
Stay tuned for more on the production lifecycle and more on the new MESA International Smart Manufacturing Model.