Authored by John Clemons, MESA Marketing Committee Chair, based on an interview with Katerina Yamalidou, MESA Model Sub-Committee Member
When MESA International started work on the new Smart Manufacturing Model, the question came up pretty quickly as to whether or not the order to cash lifecycle was going to be covered in the model. After all, the order to cash lifecycle isn’t usually associated directly with the manufacturing operations.
But when you get into the details of the order to cash lifecycle you find that it intersects with all the other lifecycles: product, production, production assets, personnel, and supply chain. Understanding its interaction with the other lifecycles was necessary to understanding the complete Smart Manufacturing picture. So deciding to include the order to cash lifecycle in the new MESA Smart Manufacturing Model was actually pretty easy.
Let’s take look at some of the questions that’s going to be answered in the new MESA Smart Manufacturing Model about the order to cash lifecycle.
“How can we eliminate duplicate and manual efforts in data entry and retrieval across all the stages of the order to cash lifecycle?” You might not think duplicate data entry and manual data would still be an issue today. But it is. And not just in the order to cash lifecycle. The problem is quite common in all the manufacturing lifecycles.
“How can order/client/cost information be available throughout the lifecycle, based on roles and responsibilities?” Having visibility to the customer, the customer requirements, and into the actual costs is absolutely essential if manufacturing operations are to be tailored for specific customers and optimized to achieve the lowest reasonable costs.
“How can we dynamically accept orders, based on client prominence, production capability and material availability?” This is a difficult question with no easy answers. But there are answers. It means optimizing around capability and availability and prioritizing customers. Doing that requires a level of manufacturing agility that is not common at all in the industry.
“How can we dynamically engage with credit agencies to ensure that product shipment doesn’t happen to clients unable to pay?” This may be thought of as a bit outside normal manufacturing concerns, but when you think about it you see the intersection into production. And you also know that manufacturing operations are having to take a much bigger perspective of the enterprise than just manufacturing.
“How can we dynamically optimize our production schedules for maximum profitability, maximum throughput, minimum changeover times and maximum production efficiencies?” That’s a lot to maximize and, again, there’s no easy answers. But there are some very strong approaches to optimizing all these components. But it requires a level of operational excellence coupled with an extreme level of agility to even begin to think about optimizing these disparate measures.
“How can we use technology to calculate, based on incomplete information when and how much material needs to be purchased, in order to satisfy the sales forecast?” There’s lots of great technology in the Smart Manufacturing toolkit. But, as you would expect, the technology all needs lots of data to drive it. In fact, data is the fundamental engine behind all the Smart Manufacturing technology. So, what do you do with incomplete information? Take a look at the new MESA Smart Manufacturing Model to get some ideas.
The new MESA Smart Manufacturing Model is under development and will be released soon. It has sections on the product, production, production assets, personnel, and supply chain lifecycles. And it has a section on the order to cash lifecycle.
If you’re intrigued by the questions being addressed by the section on the order to cash lifecycle, then the new MESA International Smart Manufacturing Model is for you.
Stay tuned for more on the order to cash lifecycle.