The deafening whirr of giant machines, the parade of parts on conveyor belts, the spinning, grabbing, twisting, bending and turning that magically transform raw materials and parts into products. There’s nothing quite as impressive as a factory, wouldn’t you agree?
But let’s get back to reality. Consumer expectations are changing. They want their products to be customized and they want them now. Some of the world’s leading factories are under tremendous pressure to produce faster, better and cheaper every day. This makes me wonder. Are your factories truly ready to face the future?
The factory of the future
According to Simon Jacobson at 2015’s Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, the factory of the future “puts manufacturing at the heart of the supply chain network, where it’s connected with the customer and influencing, versus just pick, pack and ship.”
What this means is that manufacturing processes – from suppliers to the shop floor to dealer – will be closely connected. In other words, the factory of the future will consist of end-to-end systems that are far more intelligent, flexible, and dynamic than the ones in use today.
The ultimate extension of this vision is that a customer could walk into a dealership, figure out exactly what type of car she wanted, and have it manufactured on demand, just for her, by a facility located relatively close by. Sounds impossible? Not with the right planning technology.
Score high on the shop floor
The right planning technology will help you respond to demand faster and master complexity in your production planning. Simple example: How complex can production planning get with only two KPIs and one constraint to plan against?
In reality, mastering complexity in production planning is not as straightforward. Especially when planning is done on legacy systems supported by many Excel spreadsheets. Data is disparate, scattered across multiple roles and granularities. Information is not used effectively.
The bottom line? The key to smarter production is centralized planning.
One step closer
To prepare your factories for the future, you need a centralized production planning system that covers the entire manufacturing process from end-to-end. It’s like ERP – everyone believes centralizing information in one place is a good thing, right? Production planning is no different.
This is why many of the world’s largest and most successful manufacturers rely on Quintiq to tackle the planning complexities in their industry. Following their lead could have a huge positive impact on the future of your business. Get your guide to preparing your factories for the future.