Software is a future supply chain link

This Q&A with ARC Advisory Group's Steve Banker covers software's increasing role in supply chain management.

03/05/2018


Steve Banker, ARC Advisory GroupManaging risk and speed in an evolving manufacturing process requires a strategic approach, and it will require a new generation of software to manage that strategy. Steve Banker, vice president of supply chain management for ARC Advisory Group, recently released a study discussing the latest software trends in supply chain management. He talked about those findings, and their future implications, with Plant Engineering content manager Bob Vavra:

Plant Engineering (PE): In your research discussing the next wave of supply chain software planning, you describe a “new supply chain planning technology wave.” Where are the opportunities in supply chain planning to improve, and how will better data help that take place?

Banker: SNEW data—social media, news, event, and weather data—has great potential to improve supply chain capabilities in three ways: improved forecasting, risk detection and response, and dynamic optimization.

The solution is already proven in terms of enabling enhanced supply chain resiliency capabilities. In the other areas, leading supply chain software suppliers have interesting product development in this area.

PE: What are the implications for manufacturers and suppliers in a faster supply chain? More importantly, are manufacturers ready to respond to it?

Banker: The planning-to-execution handoffs can be better optimized. For example, a supply planning solution grabs orders and creates optimized plans of which plants should make products for which customers. A transportation management system (TMS) then grabs the associated transport orders and creates optimized plans of how shipments should be routed in the coming days. Eventually, these plans are executed.

Now there is the possibility of taking all planned manufacturing and transport moves and sending them to a SNEW engine with predictive ETA capabilities. The engine can view origins, routes, and destinations and predict that certain inbound raw material loads or outbound finished goods won’t arrive on time because of things like road construction, a very large sporting event, or weather.

A large manufacturer might send thousands of shipments for a planning horizon and perhaps only 1% or 2% are flagged as being at risk. The supply planning and TMS solutions can then dynamically re-optimize those production schedules and loads.

What do manufacturers need to do to get ready for this? Basically, stay tuned. This is vision; there are no customer references for this type of solution yet. This type of solution is being actively developed, however.

PE: ‘Machine learning’ is another buzz word right now. How will supply chains and manufacturing lines work together as this technology begins to roll out?

Banker: Machine learning is a great technology to improve the predictive and scheduling capabilities of Big Data sets. SNEW is a Big Data set. In short, Big Data and machine learning are partners in exploiting the new capabilities that are being visualized. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are also being used to make implementation easier, risk management more proactive, and also improve the usability of these solutions.

But again, in most cases, these new capabilities have not yet been baked into the standard products.

Steve Banker is vice president of supply chain management for ARC Advisory Group.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me