The performance of a value chain is maximised when all equipment and personnel are performing the required activities in the right way at the right time such that maximum performance is achieved. Individuals responsible for managing different value chain processes do not have visibility of the full breadth of the supply chain and as such are not in a position to determine what needs to happen locally to achieve holistically optimal performance across the value chain. The more localised the decision making in operations, the larger the buffers that are necessary to decouple value chain processes. Furthermore it is not easy for individuals to understand the ramifications of operational decisions they make beyond the shift in which they’re working.
Therefore the decisions as to what activities must be performed by which equipment and personnel at what times must be made by schedulers. Scheduling software is able to algorithmically determine the optimal set of tasks to be performed across the breadth of the value chain to a particular time horizon. However it is only able to do this effectively if it is fed with the latest information about equipment, personnel and inventory in the value chain. This information needs to be detailed, accurate and timely if the scheduling software is to be able to identify the optimal schedule to be executed. This includes not only production and logistics tasks, but also maintenance and quality test tasks.
Once a schedule has been issued, the scheduling software must continuously evaluate execution against the schedule to determine whether the schedule is being met. It must provide the means to quickly reschedule in response to deviations that are sufficiently material to render the schedule impossible to meet. Again, this is only possible if the scheduling software is fed with the required ‘actuals’ data in near real time. Schedule updates must also be quickly dispatched to operations to ensure optimisation opportunities are implemented as soon as they are identified.
This continuous cycle of scheduling, execution and tracking where information exchanges are accurate and in near real time is the only way to ensure operations across the value chain are holistically optimised at all times. This is the only path to maximising the performance of your value chain. Manufacturing Intelligence is bringing three products to market in 2017 that make these accurate and near real time information exchanges possible. These products are equally applicable in process and discrete value chain processes in any physical goods value chain, across all traditional manufacturing industries as well as mining, oil & gas and agriculture.
MI Tracking tracks the execution of all value chain processes, including the activities performed by equipment and personnel and the inventories produced and consumed by those activities. MI Tracking does this accurately and reliably in near real time and is massively scalable to ensure there are no delays in information fed to your scheduling software. MI Operations Accounting delivers this information in near real time to your ERP software, ensuring any operational scheduling performed in the ERP is fed with the most up to date information. MI Modeller is an enabling technology that aligns supply chain model master data (such as equipment, material definitions, processes and workflows) between applications so that information exchanges between scheduling, dispatching, execution and tracking can be more easily automated.
Both MI Tracking and MI Operations Accounting are configured by visually modelling your value chain in MI Modeller. This makes both products quick, simple and intuitive to configure. Our software is designed to be highly versatile and configurable, making it able to be implemented with no customisation. Our software also provides standards-based interfaces, making it possible for our software to natively integrate with other products supporting the same standards and eliminating vendor lock-in. Our software is all cloud hosted, meaning no expensive capital outlay for IT infrastructure. All this results in ‘turnkey’ solutions that are quick, easy and inexpensive to implement.