- Home »
- Supply Chain Solutions
Supply Chain Solutions
Advanced Supply Chain Management
Today more than ever supply chain management is the most critical aspect of EMS manufacturing. The focus in the industry has changed from “are you lean and how fast do you turn inventory”? to “do you actually have the ability to manage and pipeline inventory so you don’t run me out of product”? AccuSpec has always focused on meeting customer demand, even unexpected demand as a primary objective. After all, no customer has perfect insight on their requirements. Meeting these unexpected demands has helped AccuSpec distinguish ourselves from the pack. We utilize a system of “pipelining” material along with a system of kanbans that minimize the impact of sudden and dramatic spikes in customer demands or increases in component lead times that are commonplace in our industry today. The antiquated system of using MRP to drive purchase order requirements has proven ineffective.
How Our Advanced Supply Chain Management Actually Works
We utilize customer forecasts as part of our supply chain process to “pipeline” product. Typically each week our customers provide us with orders and order revisions for the ensuing 3-4 weeks. After that period we ask for forecasts for an extended period that will cover any long lead time issues. The purchase orders and forecasts are covered under a standard material contract that helps REDUCE the risk of unneeded material. Avoiding large annual blanket purchase orders with fixed delivery dates is important. Blanket purchase orders almost always require a move in/move out routine and have to be monitored lest they not be renewed in time to accommodate long lead time parts. This leads to a gap in part coverage making it difficult to meet customer’s demands. Blankets almost always result in excess obsolete inventory at some point.
Based on our customer forecasts and orders, demands are electronically fed to our suppliers. The supplier “sees” the entire upcoming demand for each specific piece part. If the part is through distribution the distributor electronically feeds this demand data to the manufacturer (Tyco, Vishay, Kemet, etc.) The supplier typically holds anywhere from 2-3 months of buffer inventory on a NON RECOURSE basis. AccuSpec is diligent in providing the customer with visibility for any parts for which there is exposure through a Non Cancelable Non Returnable (NCNR) situation. This is driven utilizing long run forecasts from the customer. AccuSpec typically requires a minimum of 3-4 weeks of firm orders with a “look outward” period of 6 months.
AccuSpec as part of our supply chain and customer strategy often maintains a dual kan/ban system to further accommodate sudden swings in demand from the customer and/or late deliveries from any supplier. Our electronic demand pull “pipelining”, the buffer from our kan/bans and with our suppliers maintaining a buffer on most of the distribution items, late deliveries are almost nonexistent. All are part of our best in class material management and have been at the forefront of AccuSpec’s world class delivery. AccuSpec has numerous customers that are on Demand Pull where orders are received and shipped within 2 days and that have almost 100% on time delivery.
Real Time “What If” Planning
AccuSpec has a unique ability to react to “what if” scenarios from the customer. For example, suppose that a customer calls and wants to know if we can pull in or increase an order size. Literally within seconds, AccuSpec’s state of the art systems are able to pinpoint what parts if any are an issue, any outstanding p.o.s for these parts with the associated lead times and vendors. We are able to give the customer a response while they are still on the telephone. We can usually do a thorough search and respond within a few hours on availability of any problem parts. Once again, because of our “pipelining” technique and our vendor non recourse bonds we are usually able to meet the customer needs.
On critical parts, sometimes it is necessary to safety stock extra components in order to avoid supply disruptions. In 2010, AccuSpec unilaterally buffered all tantalum capacitors with 3 months of safety stock for ALL customers. This avoided key outages at all of our major customers.
Other AccuSpec Material Management Services
- Safety stocking of critical, problematic or extremely long lead time parts
- Bond management for non returnable, non cancellable (NCNR) parts
- Component lot tracking for mission critical parts tied to the customer and/or AccuSpec’s serial number
- Component engineering and verification for component substitutions with the detailed PDF technical sheet.
- Incoming inspection of key or problematic parts.
- Detailed part breakdown and functional substitutes provided AT TIME OF QUOTE, giving the customer the opportunity to reduce costs. Breakdowns includes NCNR status, min/mults, lead time and supplier stock position at time of quote.
- Quick “no charge” ECN processing.
- Early warning and alerts on last time buys and potential obsolete parts