This blog is part of a video interview series. Check out the video below as well as links to other supply chain practitioner and Kinaxis executive interviews.
Speed and accuracy are everything to a company, says Jenny Balderrama, production planner at Keysight Technologies. All too often, however, speed is associated with orders arriving rather the ability to meet them. And accurate forecasting? Forget that.
The degree of a company’s responsiveness is incredibly important, she says, but a constant order flow can stress any company’s ability to keep up, especially last-minute drop-in orders. “Demand always changes, and it would be lovely if we could get a forecast to stay put, but it never does.”
Moreover, “big deals” often depend on meeting customers’ demands for fast deliveries and quick turnaround time. That mandates a company like Keysight, which makes electronic test and measurement equipment, to have impeccable communication, especially if it has multiple factories.
That disconnect was solved when Keysight Technologies employed Kinaxis RapidResponse.
“One of the things we appreciate about RapidResponse is that it sits on top of our database. We are able to use the power of the ERP, but the functionality of RapidResponse allows us to get at that data and arrange it in a meaningful and useful way. It allows us to make instant decisions instead of having to swim though the muck of data in our MRP.”
Keysight Technologies: Improving production planning efficiency
Spreadsheets are a limitation of material requirement planning systems, says Balderrama, who credits the Kinaxis tool with allowing Keysight to instantly manage the data without the spreadsheet hassle.
However, she says the biggest benefit the tool has provided is in the job release area. The cumbersome process required multiple entries into the MRP system, data filtration, quantity assignment and component tracking. The process took each planner the better part of two days a week, Balderrama says. Using the internal job release tool through RapidResponse has reduced that to less than one hour per planner.
“What could you do with two extra days in your work week?” she asks. “That’s a huge improvement.”
Check out the other video interviews in this series: