I believe there are several key ingredients to formulating a winning process manufacturing supply chain. For the biggest bang for the investment (excuse my pun), process chemical manufacturers should focus their precious resources on these seven strategic supply chain areas.
1. Accurate demand forecasts lay the foundation for an effective supply chain. Chemical manufacturers faced with shrinking margins must put the right product in the right location at the right time. Demand forecasts drive raw ingredient acquisition and manufacturing lead-times which are often longer than the order lead-time. Too many companies still rely on spreadsheets and basic ERP forecasting solutions both of which provide inadequate planning capabilities. Advanced demand planning applies science to deliver a better forecast, including “best-fit” algorithms that automatically select the right forecasting approach for each stage of a product’s lifecycle.
2. Optimal Multi-Plant Scheduling
Multi-plant operations require two levels of production planning: