In Good Company General Cable links lean operations to the best suppliers and customers to gain performance and market edge. ByGeorge Taninecz General Cable -- Automotive Products, Altoona, Pa. At a Glance
Web-Exclusive Best PracticesByGeorge Taninecz Benchmarking contact: Bill Yankovich, plant manager, [email protected], 814/944-5002 ext. 122 Managing Demand General Cable Corp.'s Altoona plant partnered with the Tauber Manufacturing Institute of the University of Michigan last year to develop a demand-management solution for the plant's high-volume, high-mix product lines. The result was that Altoona now segments demand into three categories based on demand volatility (how consistent is demand) and demand volume:
- Plant: 198,000 square feet
- Start-up: 1988
- 78% reduction in manufacturing cycle time over last three years;
- 30% reduction in order-to-ship lead time;
- Honeywell Consumer Products Group Supplier of the Year in 2002;
- O'Reilly Auto Parts Supplier of the Year in 2000;
- Frost & Sullivan 2002 Market Engineering Leadership Award in the automotive and light truck wire sets aftermarket.
- High-volume and low volatility demand is met through finished goods at a 98.5% fill rate with the remaining 1.5% through manufacturing in time to meet customer lead times. This means that 1.5% of the time there will be no finished-goods inventory to meet the demand, but a "hot" order on the floor can still be made and shipped within the required time.
- Low volume and high volatility demand is produced directly to customer orders with no finished-goods inventory accumulated. "That's the stuff that was driving all the obsolete excess inventory that we had," says Bill Yankovich, plant manager.
- High volume and high volatility demand is filled from finished-goods inventory at a 95% fill rate, with 5% working its way through manufacturing. Order quantities are also half of what they are for the high-volume low-volatility products, while production runs are twice as frequent.