Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Information : Demand Planning and Execution Process
Rockwell Collins began a new demand planning and execution process that involves several facets of the company including the integrated product teams, the program office, and the master planning groups. During monthly meetings, upcoming production builds are discussed and scheduled, and adjustments are made to the master production schedule as necessary. The new process has resulted in increased communication among organizations and reduced manufacturing lead-times due to optimized schedules.
Prior to 2001, Rockwell Collins did not have an effective process for planning and executing factory demand. Meetings to discuss and share information among cross-functional groups were scheduled on an ad hoc basis and were often seen as an inconvenience, which resulted in minimal attendance. The function of each organizational representative in the planning and execution process was unclear. The program office was not usually represented at group meetings, resulting in scheduling and production decisions tp be made without its consent. This occasionally created situations in which manufacturing was forced to rearrange schedules to be able to meet the demands of certain programs. It was often difficult for manufacturing to quickly recover when forced to accommodate short lead-time orders. There was also not a clear picture of necessary build quantities due to lack of communication regarding factory floor inventory.
Rockwell Collins refined its Demand Planning and Execution (DP&E) process in 2001 to include regular meetings and a documented process. DP&E meetings are now consistently scheduled during the third week of the month when a high rate of attendance can be expected by members from the Integrated Product Teams (IPTs), program offices, marketing, contracts, finance, procurement, demand planning, and master scheduling groups (Figure 3-1). In preparation for the monthly meetings, planning strategies and changes in forecasts are reviewed by the master scheduler. The IPTs prepare capacity analyses of their product lines for the time frame that will be discussed. During these meetings, all types of future sales orders (i.e., firm, forecasted, and prototype) are covered. Target inventory levels are also analyzed and discussed, and units are automatically assigned to sales orders in the SAP enterprise resource planning system based on need date. However, if a quick lead-time order surfaces, a particular unit can be manually reassigned by the master scheduler if the permission of the program office is given during the DP&E meetings. The final outcome of the monthly meetings is an agreement among the groups in attendance on how to schedule a particular order or set of orders for build in the factory. Following each meeting, the master production schedule (MPS) is adjusted accordingly and meeting minutes are published for record keeping. A yearly DP&E meeting is also held in the middle of each year to plan and schedule product for the following year.
Rockwell Collins’ new DP&E process has contributed to the efficient use of company resources, with improved communication among all parties involved in the decision-making process. The factory schedules its product builds based on the MPS, which aids in achieving customer satisfaction due to on-time deliveries. Optimized schedules have further reduced manufacturing cycle times. The accuracy of the DP&E process provides an effective means for forecasting information not only within the company but to Rockwell Collins suppliers. The planning process has further increased the management of on-hand inventory.
Figure 3-1. Demand Planning and Scheduling Integrated Operations
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