ClearChain Virtual Master Scheduler

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ClearChain offers you a common operational performance management view of your supply chain, irrespective of the different systems that supplier companies may have that can result in:

  • A transparent common standard to scheduling and planning across the supply chain
  • Significant reductions in travel and interactions around operational and delivery performance, wherever your suppliers are, that offers significant improvements in your Supplier Management Team effectiveness and productivity
  • Programme oriented views of delivery risk that can enable your Programme Management Teams to assess supply risk independent of your Supplier Management Team and in advance of issues impacting.
  • A single standard for supply chain and logistics processes and governance
  • An opportunity for supplier specific management processes that work with subsets of suppliers

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“With great power comes great responsibility”

Complex manufacturing supply chains are not only difficult for large companies to manage but it also difficult for your suppliers to manage manufacture and delivery of your complex products.

The pressure on Supplier Management Teams to ensure their supply chains deliver consistently fosters a combative culture between customer and supplier and greater openness by suppliers offers an opportunity for customers to exploit this openness in ways that are not beneficial for the supplier. For this reason, suppliers will not support greater openness without a genuine collaboration that benefits them in equal measure.

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ClearChain have collaboration experts available that can help you to assess up front the opportunities and benefits of this technology and, crucially, to give you a roadmap for the cultural changes that are required to cultivate the collaborative environment necessary.

ClearChain have found that most manufacturers have opportunities to improve operational performance by improving their factory planning

  • Suppliers with poor delivery performance find it difficult to predict when they will be able to deliver
  • Suppliers with good delivery performance manage their delivery performance through excessive management effort

Both underutilise their people and capacity

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In all cases there are opportunities to improve operational performance

  • Improve delivery performance
  • Reduce lead times and inventory
  • Increase cash flow
  • Improve productivity
  • Reduce costs

The real opportunities for major customers in their supply chain getting this right:

  • Reduced supply chain risk and inventory
  • Improved delivery performance to the ultimate customer
  • Reductions in programme liquidated damages
  • Reduced internal Supplier Management and Programme Management costs
  • Reduced product cost

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ClearChain can offer you a common operational performance management improvement layer irrespective of the different systems that supplier companies may have that can result in:

  • A transparent common standard to scheduling and planning across the supply chain
  • Opportunity to reduce travel and interactions around operational and delivery performance, wherever your suppliers are
  • A single standard for supply chain and logistics processes and governance

Data security

Our approach to hosting and accessing data for analysis remotely has been specifically designed with data security in mind and we welcome discussions with your data security team so that they can understand those provisions.

The Supplier’s Perspective

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Almost all suppliers rely on their ERP systems to plan and schedule and these systems rely on high data quality and consistent management process to create a deliverable plan

  • Many companies have implemented their ERP systems some time ago and often have not maintained the good data quality that the system relies upon to plan properly
  • The quality of internal management processes may have drifted from their original intent through changing business circumstances, changes in people or internal misunderstanding of the vital role that all elements play in effective planning.
  • If ERP data and internal processes are not managed properly, suppliers cannot use the ERP system to plan their factory or business properly
  • If the manufacturing plan does not deliver the required output, people in the business lose confidence in it
  • Workarounds emerge further discrediting the plan and reinforcing the workarounds

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Many businesses that want to improve operational performance do not know where to start and what to do next to have biggest impact. ClearChain VMS offers an operations management layer that:

  • Prioritises the things that need to be done
  • Monitors how well suppliers manage both data, processes and the manufacturing plan
  • Encourages them to follow our 5 Step* operational improvement process
  • Gives continuous feedback of the impact of any improvement initiative
  • Once improvements have been made, ClearChain offers an ongoing live audit that warns if anything starts to go wrong

5 steps to supply chain excellence

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The biggest challenge that suppliers face is that making these operational improvements can take around 12 – 18 months so it is important that they start to consider how to make them whilst they have a good delivery performance rather than when they fall into a poor delivery category and are under pressure from their customers to deliver now.

Starting with suppliers with a good delivery performance reduces the risk across the supply chain that they will fall into the category of poor delivery. Improving poor suppliers will take longer but each supplier that is capable of improving their performance gradually reduces the number of suppliers in that category and assures that they do not backslide.

Most companies prefer to make any operational improvements themselves once they have an understanding of the challenge and, preferably, without outside help. ClearChain can offer a variety of support service options to suit these needs.

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Most companies prefer to make any operational improvements themselves once they have an understanding of the challenge and, preferably, without outside help. ClearChain can offer a variety of support service options to suit these needs.

  • A ClearChain operational diagnostic option that gives you an up front, prioritised agenda and plan to make operational improvements
  • A web based remote mentoring service that gives teams access to experts who can give guidance and encouragement through any difficulties
  • Membership of the ClearChain community where companies can share experiences and peer support with other companies going through their own improvement processes
  • Selected and targeted on-site expert support if further assistance is required

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Once they have confidence in their operational performance, suppliers can then optionally:

  • Maintain additional data over the web interface that their ERP system cannot support and download that data to their own networks for importing into their core ERP system or other systems.
  • Display performance and manufacturing schedule information on the shop floor or in the offices
  • Share selected performance, schedule or delivery information with their collaborators securely over the web and interact with them
  • Integrate live performance statistics into their websites for marketing confidence and reliability in their delivery capability

Why suppliers need a service like this?

When you buy your new car you are fully aware that keeping it in top condition requires regular servicing.

You have invested heavily in your ERP system and management processes and you will need equivalent diagnostics, repairs and adjustments to both to ensure they are delivering the best performance.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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Q. I have invested heavily in my ERP system, why can’t it do this?

A. Your ERP system will have been designed to transact your business to it’s standard design model and will most likely have some business monitoring features, such as load and capacity. If you want to have a more targeted business and process oriented view of that data, be able to assess the quality of the manufacturing plan itself and the consistency of the supporting business processes, you will have to document your requirements in detail, design and specify your own reports, then have your requirements translated by your own expert in your system into a business management environment you can monitor.

ClearChain experts have designed that environment for you, can take data from any ERP system and give you the same quality of business management environment that is shared by others. In addition it will enable you to assess the effectiveness of your ERP system. ClearChain design is constantly being reviewed and improved to continue to give the give the best service available.

Q. Why don’t I just change my ERP system to one that can offer these services?

A. Changing your ERP system is a very costly business decision to make and often has significant adverse impact on business performance whilst any new system is implemented and beds in. You must also decide clearly how a different system will actually deliver the business improvements you seek.

ClearChain VMS can help you to decide whether your lack of confidence in your ERP system is due to the inability of your current system to support you adequately, or poor management process, at the same time as giving you a balanced agenda to improve your business performance.

In our experience, most modern ERP systems offer most features any business could need if the data is set up and managed properly and the supporting business processes are effective

If, following an objective review of your system, you decide that your current ERP system does not support the features you require ClearChain VMS can help you to focus on those features you really do need (and clarify those you don’t) then enable you to refine an ITT to alternative ERP vendors.

ClearChain can continue to give you that consistent business improvement layer whichever ERP system you decide to convert to.

Additional support services from ClearChain experts are available and can be quoted based upon the type of support that best suits your business improvement ambitions. Options include:

  • Remote web ClearChain Expert business improvement mentoring
  • Targeted on site ClearChain Expert support

Would you like to see ClearChain in action? Book a demo!

Want to know how ClearChain could help you make sustainable operational improvements throughout your supply chain, fill out your details below and we will contact you to arrange a demo.

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