Demand Driven Flow Technology (formerly known as Demand Flow Technology – DFT) enables companies to maximize flexibility, agility & adaptability, responding faster & more efficiently to the needs of their customers. Demand Driven Flow Technology is a scalable and comprehensive, mathematically-based Demand Driven improvement strategy designed to drive high levels of response capability, compress lead times, improve productivity and reduce costs enabling manufacturers to become more effective in meeting the needs of their customers on a daily basis. This Demand Driven Insight will discuss the relevant tools we use to create Demand Driven manufacturing environments.
Demand Driven Flow Technology Tools For Transformational Results
Leading companies such as Advanced Energy Industries, Boeing, Garmin, Hyster-Yale, Industrial Scientific Corporation, John Deere, and Nortek have been employing a proven framework for over three decades with transformational bottom-line results. Utilizing tools such as Product Synchronizations, Sequence of Events, Mixed-Model Process Matrixes along with Demand Driven Flow Technology (DDFT) Operation Methods sheets companies have designed and implemented mixed-model flow with resources that have the capability to handle changes in product volume and mix every day delivering a repeatable and predictable response to the customer.
Designing Manufacturing Environments
In machine intensive environments, unique mathematical tools determine optimal batch sizes that enable high setup machines to produce closer to actual demand while facilitating the production of a greater number of product types each day. With optimized batch sizes and mixed-model flow design, machine environments become more agile and adaptive to customer requirements significantly reducing quality exposure and the working capital position of the business associated with traditional batch production. As machine intensive environments produce closer to actual demand, DDFT design releases capacity for the production of products that are actually required.
Specific design tools determine optimal product segmentation to be produced through the DDFT Mixed-Model Flow Lines and Machine Cells, replacing product specific assembly lines that lack any form of flow, balance or responsiveness. Through the aggregation of demand, the mixed-model design of a flow line will accommodate changes in mix and volume on a daily basis. Seasonal or cyclic fluctuations in customer demand will also be less severe in impact as a wider range of products being manufactured on the same line.
Important Flexible Resource: People
Demand Driven Flow Technology requires flexible employees to work within the manufacturing environment. Line staffing is determined on a daily basis to be aligned to demand requirements. By adjusting staffing on a daily basis and utilizing flexible operators, the DDFT flow line will accommodate daily changes in demand without the redesign of the production environment. Employing a technique called Flexing, a team of operators will manage a flow line with more operations than there are operators significantly improving productivity compared to a line where one operator works in one operation.
The performance of the manufacturing environment is measured utilizing Flow-based metrics. Daily, supervisors determine an hourly Flow Rate target to attain to ensure customer demand is achieved. Every hour, the line is measured against the planned Flow Rate and appropriate corrective actions applied to ensure the planned daily rate is achieved. Overall performance is defined through the measurement of Linearity. Linearity provides a business with the ability to closely measure how effective the entire production environment is at meeting plan during a month and hence the ability of the business to respond to its customers. By transitioning to Flow-based metrics a business can ensure that performance measurement is aligned to the Demand Driven goals of the organization, rather than traditional metrics such as Efficiency or Utilization that are in conflict with a Demand Driven organization.
Demand Driven Flow Technology enhances profitability by leveraging increased speed and response through manufacture. Companies around the world have utilized Demand Driven Flow Technology to deliver rapid and sustainable bottom-line benefits. Working capital reductions of 41% on average and an average lead time reduction of 49% are achieved through the capability of DDFT manufacturing environments and the creation of balance and flow resulting in an average space reduction of 15%. Average improvements of 8% of Cost of Goods (COGS) are attained as a result of significant productivity gains and a focus on flexible employees.
Customer satisfaction improves on average by 9% through improved on-time deliveries and a consistent, predictable, repeatable response. Furthermore, a DDFT organization can achieve greater competitive advantage and increased market share realized through the capability to manufacture any product based on actual customer demand rather than a forecast. Competing organizations have few options available to them; they can tie up more working capital with additional inventory, increase levels of overtime, or increase resources.
Demand Driven Flow Technology will impact your business with improved customer satisfaction, compressed lead times, reduction in working capital and reduced Cost of Goods Sold, elevating the business to become a market leader.
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