Manufacturing / Logistics

Quick decisions using AI & big-data earn millions for manufacturer

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The Challenge

This manufacturing client needed increased understanding of capacity across the total manufacturing network. Identifying “Focus Factories” could consolidate product lines to keep set-up times low and focus on margins.

Critical questions to determining this client’s total capacity across the company, by product, by factory, and in total included asking “What bottlenecks are introduced at factory-level when product capacity is consolidated locally? Where are these bottlenecks?” and also “When you consolidate products by factory, what is the impact on the customer? What about delivery times?”

With deep concerns for not hurting customer delivery times, considerations for consolidation needed to model previous and future capacities. Accepting global manufacturing challenges of staffing rules and obsolete machinery data, the team also lacked the analytical resources to undertake data-driven projects.

Our Approach

Developing a baseline of machine set-up and throughput times in each factory by product line allowed the team to model each of the company’s available factories. FlexSim models developed for each factory and custom SQL database of historical and forecasted orders provided an understanding for historical and future bottlenecks.

New organizational KPIs and company dashboard include ability to review machine utilization, factory cost, and throughput by location and by product.

Advanced data modeling using big-data and AI empowered big-decisions for this manufacturer.

Big Data Delivered Big Results

Custom simulations for future demand revealed big opportunity to consolidate three high-running product lines into two different factories. Decisions resulted in minimal impact to customer delivery times. Manufacturer realized a 10% improvement to gross margins. Single factory deemed as redundant and recommended closure or sale; resulting in a one-time cash value of $43M; redundant factory sold to competitor.
$43M One-Time Cash Value
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