Pan Pacific Symposium Conference Proceedings


Author: Nick Misra
Company: Adchem Corporation
Date Published: 1/24/2008   Conference: Pan Pacific Symposium

Abstract: This is no surprise that the manufacturing base in the U.S.A. is eroding. The underpinnings (holding the high-paying jobs) slowly are being removed in this “Global Economy” where free market forces dominate. This process has evolved over the last decade. What has changed recently? The so-called global economy is in fact a “copy cat economy” says Harari [1], a well known business consultant. The new norm of business is based primarily on price. We are keenly aware that the only edge left to us is to gain real productivity from our operations. Cost Reduction efforts including Lean Manufacturing practices can produce real cost savings making U. S. A. based Corporations more profitable. We have to design an all inclusive quality improvement process whereby all of the manufacturing processes are measured, controlled. Inventory reduction, process improvements through lean initiatives should be a part of this manufacturing strategy.

Process improvement, Manufacturing cycle time reduction and inventory management could generate tangible cost savings. Manufacturing cycle time is dependent upon tight linkage between the supply chain and delivery to the Customer. Supply chain gets more convoluted as more and more manufacturing companies in the U. S. A. look to foreign suppliers for cost savings.

Lean manufacturing eliminates of non-value added processes reducing waste of time and money. Vendor managed inventory (VMI) is another critical component of this strategy. Next step is to link supply chain to the sales and operation plans (S & OP) streamlining inventory management. This process can then become integral to total quality management system.

This discussion will primarily focus on lean manufacturing as this process holds the key to reducing Manufacturing Cycle Time while ‘freeing up’ capacity thus deferring capital outlay. Value stream mapping of the inventory management process will be discussed as a basis for creation of Lean Manufacturing Operation and here the relationship to the supply chain will be demonstrated.

Key words: Lean Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Inventory, Manufacturing Cycle Time

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