Page 5: Spreading risk
Rather than have one key sub-plan site with 60% of the group production capacity, it was decided to spread the risk and liability of production scheduling equally across 8 Sub-Plan offices. This reduced risk by spreading the volume over separate locations and computer systems. Under the old structure, it was difficult for staff to understand the wider planning function. Staff training was, therefore, carried out to create a better understanding of the common goals and objectives for the planning process.
To shorten manufacturing lead-times, customer orders were shown with the manufacturing site and the sub-plan office. This resulted in the ability to rough-cut plan orders immediately on their receipt, rather than wait for an expert to manually allocate them. In some cases, this reduced the time taken for an order to get from order intake to manufacturing site from months down to one week.
The availability of on-site manufacturing equipment determines the appropriate plant for production. A computer model was built which replicated decision making parameters and took into account the location and capacity of each plant. From this, it was possible to introduce AutoPlan into the equation.
The time taken to process an order was then dramatically reduced. Once the orders were received by the Sales Department, they were put into the system and scheduled within 5 days.
Implementing AutoPlan across all sites enabled Griggs to identify upper sites in the UK, the Far East or South America. Pre-determining the location of the upper source helps to improve the control of work in progress and lead performance world-wide.
As a result of the implementation of the system improvements, Griggs achieved both a significant improvement in both customer-service levels and lead-time performance. This was further improved by the introduction of a link between Sales and Manufacturing businesses, enabling the electronic transmission of orders to further reduce time and eliminate any inputting errors.