DDMRP for the Automotive Industry: Beyond Kanban


Since the 1990s, the Western automotive industry has widely adopted the practices derived from the Toyota production system. 5S, continuous improvement is the daily life of automotive suppliers.

Pull flow - formerly known as Just in Time - is at the heart of these practices. It is facilitated by the fact that the automotive upstream supply chain is clocked by the car manufacturers' [...]

Pull Flow for All


Pull Flow, an Old Story... 

In 1987, as a young engineer at Philips, I had the chance to take part in a study trip to Japan and visit about ten companies there. In most of them you could see in each workshop card boards. In one of the factories I asked our guide what it was. He was astonished that I asked the question - it was so obvious: it is a Kanban board, to replenish supplies. That is  [...]

DDMRP in the retail trade on promotional items – lessons learned.

"I understand that we should replenish our points of sale with DDMRP for permanent products, but can you also do it for promotional products?" Our client asked us.
“Uh yeah, well,  it should probably work, but lets think about it a little bit...”
A year later, after multiple simulations based on sales history, and the implementation of a dozen promotional campaigns, the [...]

The fallacy of precision

In supply chain management, we're often asked to make quick, buffer-related decisions with the best information available. We do this in the real world, too.

Would You Make This Bet?

If you flip a coin, you have a 50/50 chance of winning. As long as the coin is evenly weighted and the coin flipper isn’t playing a trick on you, it’s going to come up heads or tails a roughly even number of times. There may be situations where it comes up one or the other more frequently, but those are outliers that even out the more times you flip the coin.

Let's simplify the management of our supply chains

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" Leonardo da Vinci

Over the last few decades, manufacturers and distributors have made huge technological investments in their supply chains. At the same time, we’ve invested heavily in developing sophisticated supply chain management processes. Too often, however, any similarity between our technologies (ERP, DRP, APS, etc.) and our processes is a [...]

This is not a constraint; this is a gem!

Theory of constraints sometimes uses terminology that discourages us from taking the right perspective. If, like me, you have a somewhat rebellious mindset, controlling constraints isn’t very inspiring.

Demand Driven Buffer or Adaptive Cruise Control? 

The bullwhip effect: Supply Chain Practitioners know this phenomenon quite well – a slight change in demand downstream may create big swings upstream, and reversely small delays upstream may create a catastrophe to downstream supply chain partners.  

Reducing lead times with DDMRP

There is often a misunderstanding. How, by implementing software, can we reduce lead times? 

The answer is, we can't... Reducing lead times does not come from magical software. 

Supply Chain Planners, Let’s Procrastinate Please!

As supply chain professionals, we’re trained to anticipate our company’s needs. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, our training can also lead to some unfortunate habits.

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