A Smarter VMI System

Field Executed a Seamless Transition and Reduced Procurement Time by 90%

Challenge

A manufacturer of signaling devices had a muddled VMI system in place that had excessive inventory levels yet daily stock outs. The supplier had a 8,000 sq/ft in-plant store onsite that was taking up valuable production floor space. The damage included 1,500 part numbers in over 5,000 bins and 55 VMI stocking cells. It typically took three people to stock the bins and a buyer five hours a week to manage the parts and unnecessary fire drills. To solve this problem and redirect their personnel onto value added activities that jumpstart stagnating margins, the manufacturer called upon Field to deliver on our promise of a data-driven approach that’s proven to dramatically reduce costs, inventory, and overhead, while greatly increasing turns and product availability, and improving manufacturing process efficiencies.

Solution

Field recognized a more efficient system was desperately in order, so we designed one that freed up valuable manufacturing floor space. How? By using data to monitor consumption and ensure sufficient flow of material for all parts, which allowed us to eliminate the in-plant store and streamline operations to reduce personnel and overhead management. Our trained Field technician was on-site daily at our customer’s facility, visually auditing stock quantities and effectively managing the entire program himself with the use of technology to continuously improve the system. This included improvements to fastening methods, work flow, stocking quantities and locations.

Transition: The Field Team developed and executed a plan that assured a seamless transition and the availability of quality parts for all 1,500 parts. Key components of the plan included a last piece inspection on every part, a gap analysis (“a plan for every part”), the management and consumption of the parts in the supply chain, and the minimization of the time and energy required by the customer. The Field team managed the process and seamless transitioned this account in less than 60 days!

Results

Field was careful, as always, to plan ahead so that operations were never interrupted. As a result, the customer regarded the transition as “flawless” and called it a “phenomenal job.”  This transition, and hundreds of others, have been successfully implemented by our dedicated teams thanks to their experience, comprehensive planning process, and attention to every last detail.

Leveraging data, the on-site Field expert has reduced the time spent managing the system from five hours a week to a maximum of 30 minutes per week—a reduction of 90%!