Optimize Material Flow: Analyze Issues and Exceptions

StrataFlows Featured as an Expert Columnist in Supply & Drive Chain Executive

Material Flow Analysis (MFA), or Process Flow Analysis (PFA), is fundamental to any material handling strategy. MFA aims to map, inspect, and evaluate all flow of materials from suppliers, to storage locations, and finally to the point of use. MFA metrics can be used for benchmarking purposes, and ultimately these metrics will determine how fast and predictably you can get the product into the customer’s hands.

The biggest problems in any production environment are disruptions due to missing parts. Missing parts on any production line means the assembly line workers are not working, and materials managers are scrambling to get production back up again. Being reactive in these situations can be risky as lead times for urgent requests from suppliers are always uncertain, so you could end up eating thousands of dollars during a disruption. Materials managers are also responsible for taking preventative actions for future issues, but tracking issues manually via emails, phone calls, and spreadsheets can be time consuming, inefficient, and exhausting.

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George Panicker, managing partner of StrataFlows, was recently featured in Supply & Demand Chain Executive discussing how formally tracking issues and exceptions is the best way to optimize MFA. In his article, George points out how cloud-based solutions are the key to an effective material handling strategy. The advantages to a cloud software platform are as follows:

  1. Streamline communications, all in one place
  2. Integrate to your other supply chain systems
  3. Repeat processes automatically
  4. Report root causes and trends for continuous improvement
  5. Document for accountability

Buyers, planners, suppliers, and managers can all coordinate together in a one-stop-shop with a cloud software platform. Whether you are working to build resiliency over long-term risks, avoid imminent impact or recover from an outage, communication, visibility and coordination are essential. Similar to a city’s emergency command center, an incident command center keeps your team ahead of any disruptions that may come your way.

The incident command center by StrataFlows gives users real time visibility when a part goes missing or a supplier is late during changes in supply. We help clients stay resilient in these times by keeping production flowing by tracking suppliers, demand, and issues, and give them the tools they need to take action. The Material at Point of Use (MAPOU) module, along with its built-in reporting and dashboarding capabilities, helps our clients keep their continuous improvement goals by giving visibility and collaboration tools to stay agile in a changing market. Click here to for a free trial of StrataFlows.

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