27 March 2011

The Importance of An Evolving Supply Chain Management Solution For IEMs

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Whether or not a market’s evolution can be predicted has little relevance on the absolute certainty that this evolution must handled. In the last two years, research by the Aberdeen Group indicates that the Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (IEM) industry has been among the hardest hit by our recent economic crisis. As a result, many organizations have had to reduce staff headcount by as much as 12 percent to simply stay afloat.

Despite this negative evolution, IEM organizations have still had to handle the fact that strong customer service is their key differentiator. And for an IEM organization, this customer service aspect involves managing the expectations of perhaps hundreds of thousands of customers demanding that a piece of equipment provide lasting value  – at lesser cost.  And for the IEM, this requires a supply chain management solution be implemented that can effectively account for equipments built from perhaps hundreds of thousands of parts.

This fundamental supply chain management challenge is the crux of a soon to be published article in Prime Magazine titled, Managing The Supply Chain From End to End, where I am interviewed by Rakesh Kumar, Global Industry Product Director of Manufacturing, Microsoft Dynamics ERP.

“IEMs need to turn the challenges they face into opportunities,” I state in the article. “As they work to meet changing customer demands, so too must they be prepared to adopt new tools and new ways of thinking about how they operate.”

Within my interview, I offer specifics in regards to how my company, To-Increase, has worked to incorporate necessary functionality on top of Microsoft Dynamics AX for IEMs that allows organizations to better manage time, communication, cost and complexity.

Examples of capabilities we’ve built into our solutions, and corresponding benefits, include:

  • Tailored lifecycle and workflow management features, ensuring even the most complex quotations can be succinctly communicated across the organization

  • Inventory management that helps IEMs to frequently assess not only their own inventory levels, but also those of the IEM supply chain. This helps organizations manage cash flow to address the next wave of customer orders and supply procurement

  • Enablement to design a construction process tailored to an IEM’s specific capabilities, resulting in an end-to-end solution that integrates with existing CAD/CAM and product lifecycle management systems

Of course, the strongest feature of all is rooted in the fact that the supply chain management solutions we develop evolve along with the needs of IEMs.

With the next release of Microsoft Dynamics AX on the horizon, we are already working to develop solutions that integrate business processes across the entire supply chain and support multiple business models.  This will allow IEMs to drive higher quote to win ratios, make product configurations more easily, accelerate time to market, and satisfy the customer until the end of the product’s lifecycle.

If you are interested in a complimentary demo of Microsoft Dynamics AX, simply contact me directly via the To-Increase website.

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Luciano Cunha
Luciano Cunha,
Luciano Cunha,
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

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