Friday, May 05, 2006

Digital kanban supplier interface tool introduced

A companion supplier interface tool, provided free of charge to Datacraft Solutions' client's suppliers now displays the configuration options that a customer has set up to control portal usage.

Datacraft Solutions, based in Durham, North Carolina, USA, the digital kanban leader is experiencing huge growth with their lean manufacturing Digital Kanban solution. In addition to doubling staff in past few months, the firm has coordinated a supplier interface tool, Curator. The new version of Curator (version 4.6) includes several new features including a Terms of Engagement.

This screen now displays the configuration options that your customer has setup to control how you use the Curator portal.

This contains information such as whether or not activities are required, the timeframes that they are required within, legal/contractual terms, etc This will help better facilitate communication between both parties when working towards reconciling terms of replenishment.

According to founder Matthew Marotta, 'Datacraft Solutions' Internet-based on-demand delivery platform offers key benefits from the very beginning of an implementation - namely, the elimination of lengthy, complicated and expensive infrastructure upgrades before a company can even begin to see positive ROI.

There is simply no faster or easier way to begin exploiting the power of Digital Kanban in a lean manufacturing operation.' Curator is the companion supplier interface tool, provided free of charge to Datacraft Solutions' client's suppliers.

It enables suppliers to view and confirm orders as well as anticipate and prepare for upcoming demand spikes.

From the Curator Dashboard, to confirming and shipping orders; from customer inventory status to kanban events history, from orders not yet issues to open signatures, Curator allows 100% visibility.

A supplier logs in through a secure web portal - there is no need to install or run any complex software application.

Curator completes the path to a more truly integrated, streamlined, responsive supply chain by providing increased visibility of process information.

Whenever a supplier confirms, denies or ships an order, Datacraft Solutions' Digital Kanban product automatically updates inventory and order status.

Digital kanban integrates stocks barcode scanners

A digital kanban automation system enables collaborative communication throughout the supply chain and integrates inventory barcode scanners with an easy-to-use desktop interface.

Signum is Datacraft Solutions flagship digital kanban automation solution, which streamlines replenishment and enables collaborative communication throughout the supply chain. Signum integrates inventory barcode scanners with an easy-to-use desktop interface. Manufacturers can automatically issue replenishment signals to suppliers at the point of use.

Built-in monitoring, customizable alerts and control features ensure that inventory levels are properly maintained.

According to Matthew Marotta, founder of Datacraft Solutions, 'The result is a dramatic increase in visibility and control, adding up to a significant reduction in the number of required replenishment transactions.' According to Marotta, 'As digital kanban solutions continue to spread throughout the manufacturing industry we are able to draw on the insights and experiences of our clients to enhance the functionality of offerings.

We are, in effect, applying the lessons of continuous improvement to our own platform, optimizing Signum and Curator to make Digital Kanban implementation more efficient and effective.' Digital kanban aligns inventory levels with actual consumption; a signal is sent to produce and deliver a new shipment when material is consumed.

These signals are tracked through the replenishment cycle and bring extraordinary visibility to suppliers and buyers.

Working seamlessly with existing visual board systems, Datacraft Solutions' Digital Kanban solution allows individual cells or entire supply chains to realize an immediate and dramatic return from an extremely small process automation investment, by vastly reducing the management time and information gathering required to monitor, update and transmit card-based replenishment needs.

Production management software is integrated

Production management software - designed by engineers - provides a fully integrated approach to planning, management and administration of all aspects of the production process.

This year Berkeley Myles Solutions Limited will celebrate ten years in business. A decade of steady progress will see 2006 as the year when the company doubles its headcount, doubles its 2004 turnover and moves to new premises. The company designs and sells software solutions for production control to companies in the manufacturing sector.

The core product, called Progress, has been designed by engineers with extensive knowledge of manufacturing processes.

The key benefits of the product are improved speed and efficiency in the production and administration processes, reduction of waste leading to lower levels of inventory, better control of labour, equipment utilisation, wastage and quality, improved delivery performance and increased customer satisfaction.

All of which results in increased profitability for Progress users.

Progress was launched in 2002 and the company decided to offer existing customers the new software suite at a significantly reduced price.

More than 50 customers took up the offer and these referral sites became the launch pad for the product.

Tony MacBride, managing director of Berkeley Myles Solutions said: 'Over the last ten years we have built a dedicated team, a strong financial position and an excellent product in Progress.

This year we will create around 10 jobs in software development, sales and support which will double our headcount to 20 and our goal is to increase the number of users of Progress from 700 at the moment to 2008 by the end of 2008.' He added: 'The team know this will be a challenge but it is one they are all up for and the positive feedback from customers gives me confidence that we can achieve the target and become the market leader in the UK.' One of Berkeley Myles Solutions key customers is Precise Component Manufacture (PCML) based in March near Cambridge, UK.

PCML are contract manufacturers of complex, precision-engineering components for UK customers in high technology growth sectors and have enjoyed tremendous growth during its five years in business.

When starting the business in 2000, the directors had a great deal of knowledge and experience of production control systems and Kevin Miller, technical director at PCML said: 'We selected Progress and as one of the original users of the system we have worked very closely with Berkeley Myles Solutions as a partner in the development of Progress to fit our specific company and sector needs.

We are extremely pleased with Progress and I believe this partnership has benefited both organisations immensely.' Gavin Goates, commercial director of PCML added: 'The total satisfaction of our customer is our primary goal and to this end we have adopted a corporate strategy of continuous improvement.

Significant investment in a new management and production information system, such as Progress, was all part of this strategy.' He said: 'PCML has benefited from investing in Progress in many measurable ways including; reductions in fixed overhead costs and increases in shop floor/production efficiency.' * About Berkeley Myles Solutions - Berkeley Myles Solutions is a software design company that specialises in developing systems solutions for the manufacturing sector.

The Glasgow-based company has been operating for 10 years and has 12 employees in design, sales, support and training.

The revenues for 2005 were GBP 540 000.

The company's core product is Progress which was launched in 2002 and is sold directly via a dedicated sales team.

The Progress software can be customised and the company offers a bespoke service to customers.

* About Progress software - with over 700 users Progress software is a proven product that provides a fully integrated approach to planning, management and administration of all aspects of the production process.

The software was recently described by a customer's BSI accreditation audit team as: 'Progress is the best system of its type we have ever seen.' The Progress product is ideal for manufacturers who work to customer order.

It is suitable for both repeat and one-off jobs.

It maintains greater control of orders, jobs, workload, materials, labour, equipment utilisation and quality resulting in very real cost and time savings.

It provides greater speed and efficiency of the production process by minimising re-work thereby reducing waste and ultimately reducing inventory costs.

It provides senior management with an accurate overview of work in progress to ensure that jobs run efficiently and profitably with all the necessary traceability that leads to better delivery performance and improved customer satisfaction.

The system is a Microsoft tool and runs on all current Windows operating systems.

Software installation and full training is provided, and the software can be customised to meet specific client needs.