Tools & Technologies

Synchrono Inc’s demand-driven manufacturing platform solutions can operate standalone or as an integrated suite.
By William Anderson

Synchronizing your way to demand-driven manufacturing

Manufacturing and distribution are more complex than ever, and this complexity will continue to evolve and spawn more challenges for industry.

Customers often communicate change orders before shipment, and manufacturers are expected to be flexible and handle the changes. Forecast-driven and supplydriven manufacturing adds rigidity to operations, limiting flexibility and creating an environment where resources are not in alignment – all to the detriment of customer service.

By contrast, demand-driven manufacturing synchronizes customer orders, scheduling work and production across a supply chain and allowing for more harmonious flow of resources throughout the production cycle.

Synchrono Inc.'s demand-driven manufacturing platform (SyncView, SyncManufacturing, SyncKanban, SyncOperations and SyncAlert) facilitates demand-driven manufacturing by allowing enterprises to visualize orders and understand how available resources will handle these orders, properly plan and execute production, and handle changes to customer requirements in real time, i.e., as soon as changes are communicated.

The suite of products informs stakeholders of problems that may curtail production and hamper customer satisfaction, helping decision-makers understand production performance over time through the analysis of historical data. The products can be used as standalone software or together as one system.

SyncView is an order visualization and communication system. SyncManufacturing is used for planning, scheduling and execution. SyncKanban is inventory replenishment software. SyncOperations collects and analyzes data. SyncAlert provides notifications about disruptive elements during production.

SyncManufacturing, the production planning, scheduling and execution software, creates production schedules based on demand. The software calculates constraints involving materials, machinery and resource availability, releasing work to the production floor based on that analysis. Basing the work on real-time demand prevents worksin- process from overloading the system. The level of WIP is monitored continuously, and the release of work increases or slows depending on the pace at which constraints handle work.

Over time, manufacturers will understand how constraints affect production and the entire service system, allowing decision-makers to plan better, adjust production for customer requests and execute continuous improvement initiatives.

Even though all the software pieces are available as standalone systems, using them together can propel a manufacturing operation toward becoming demand- driven. SyncManufacturing will allocate resources using machine statuses provided by SyncOperations. SyncKanban works with SyncManufacturing to provide a unified production plan using kanban statuses. Data derived by Sync- Manufacturing can be viewed and accessed using SyncView, and SyncAlert provides real-time alerts and plans that SyncManufacturing can use to modify production plans.

Synchrono's platform is designed to synchronize an entire operation and the extended supply chain by connecting machine-level and enterprise systems in real time. The suite works across desktop and mobile devices, giving users a variety of ways to access information and make decisions from virtually anywhere.

As manufacturing continues to move in the direction of being driven by demand, Synchrono Inc.'s software can help make that transition easier.

William Anderson is an industrial engineer for HanesBrands Inc. and a member of the IISE Young Professionals group.