What is Collaborative Manufacturing?

Collaborative manufacturing only happens when the MES/MOM systems are truly integrated into the supply chain management (SCM) systems to support end-to-end business processes through dynamic change management. Many companies have learned that global SCM does not work without real-time status of the plant fleet’s capabilities and capacity as well as the same level of information for supply side for the plant fleet. Then SCM is able to coordinate the business and work process on the supply side, demand sides, logistics, and manufacturing side.

MOM systems are the pivot around which other ERP, PLM, SCM systems revolve. With a MOM architecture to control and optimize plant work processes and provide real-time, high integrity data into the ERP, PLM and SCM algorithms. These enterprise systems and the business processes that they are supporting are simply making high dollar decision based on dated or incorrect data on the status of orders, plant capabilities and capacity. Without MOM systems, these other applications within the manufacturing landscape operate blind or, at best, have only outdated information to work with.

This importance of MOM systems within the manufacturing IT landscape indicates the complexity of the issues and the processes that need to be coordinated from Localized KPA/KPIs. Collaborative manufacturing and the related improvement projects lead to localized optimums that can conflict with company strategy and goals or the goals of other processes in the value chain. Collaborative Manufacturing must drive to characterize and then reduce conflicts between departments or processes.

Comment from Charlie Gifford:
There are three domains to continually align when looking at a manufacturing company:
1. Order fulfillment on the demand side
2. Material Movement on the supply side
3. Scheduling and execution of plant work processes.

The systems and their supported business processes that live in each domain need a collaborative infrastructure to tie the systems together. People have always looked at the systems for these domains using a two-dimensional model. The two-dimensional model fails to depict the complex relationships and dependencies between applications and the business processes and work processes that they are supporting within a manufacturing company. Consequently, the 3 domains actually inter-operate across a 3D model where MES/MOM systems actually support the business processes of 1D) PLM from design to customer support, 2D) ERP from sales to production, and 3D) SCM across the 3 domains.

In order fulfillment domain:
1) the demand-side requirement for flexibility conflicts with the mfg-side need for process stability and minimum product change-over.
2) In addition, the demand-side requirement of adequate stock levels conflict with the mfg-side need for minimum stock levels and maximum stock turns.

In material movement domain:
1) the supply-side need for the suppliers and 3PL providers to have long lead-times conflict with mfg-side Purchasing’s need for maximum flexibility.
2) The supply-side need for raw materials warehouse to carry minimum stock and maximum stock turns conflict with mfg’s need to have maximum stock so as to not run out of raw materials.

In the Detailed Production Scheduling and Shop Floor Work Processes domain, the demand-side requirement for schedule flexibility conflicts with the mfg-side need for process stability and minimum product change-over. The mfg requirement of adequate raw materials stock levels conflict with the demand-side need for minimum stock levels and maximum stock turns. The need for Final Product warehouse to carry minimum stock and maximum stock turns conflict with sales’ need to have maximum Final Product stock so as to not run out.

Comment/Reply from Rino Civitarese:
Collaborative Manufacturing is the supply chain “process control” where intelligence is collected, analytics are applied, and strategic decisions are based on high data integrity. The 3D business processes within the company need to be optimized to reduce the cycle time for inventory-flow, information-flow and cash-to-cash flow. The faster these 3D business processes flow, the more lucrative and cash-rich the business will be. If information is not available in real-time, it will slow down both the inventory- and cash-flow processes. If the information is inaccurate (poor data integrity), it will reduce the reliability of the processes and slow down the flows. If the final invoice is inaccurate, even if the products have been delivered on time as per schedule, the cash-to-cash cycle will not be reduced as queries will be made, credits approved and passed and only then will payment occur. Speed and accuracy is thus critical to Collaborative Manufacturing.

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