From massive automotive factories producing heavy machinery to 3D printing startups, American manufacturing is an extremely diverse industry. Yet the one thing these companies all share is the need to efficiently deliver products to their customers. With the price tag for logistics growing, here's what can lower costs and help manufacturers be more competitive...
Many American companies are on the cutting edge when it comes to data-driven supply chain solutions. From making use of predictive analytics to leveraging internal operations data, American manufacturers are streamlining their operations to stay competitive in the global marketplace.
The App Advantage
As a manufacturer of flat rolled aluminum products,
JW Aluminum has a unique view of supply chains. It has its own supply chain, and the company is a vendor in other manufacturers' supply chains as well, from companies that use aluminum to produce pharmaceutical packaging to those that make rain gutters. Its new app,
JWA To Go, aims to create efficiencies in both directions.
Before the launch of JWA To Go, it could take hours, if not days, for a series of phone calls and emails to filter through the right facilities to acquire a quote.
Rather than allow that challenge to remain, JWA worked with engineers and quality-control experts to painstakingly gather, organize and automate operational data from its plants. The company managed to turn that long series of calls and emails into an easy, six-step process inside a mobile app that customers can use to get instant quotes and track orders.
Thanks to that ability, JWA has decreased the lead time of certain orders from four to six weeks down to two. That not only does streamlines customer supply chains, but it also has a big impact on JWA's, making it easier to plan scheduling needs based on customer quoting behavior.
Big Value from Big Data
JWA's app leverages operational data to create supply chain efficiency, but big data from outside the organization can be a powerful tool as well.
The technology company
Savi has been working with radio frequency identification (RFID) sensors for years, tracking shipments within military supply chains. Its current solution pairs historical transportation data with real-time information and analysis to help commercial manufacturers optimize their logistics.
That means they can make more accurate predictions about the location of shipments, condition of products and estimated arrival time. Savi can also use this information to predict the best day of the week or time of day to depart to optimize fuel and labor time.
Like JWA, many companies already have sensors aboard their shipments, so the data needed to drive supply chain efficiency is often already available. And one doesn't have to be a big manufacturer to take advantage of these tools either.
"The ongoing desire to reduce operating costs, the demand for real-time information, the drive to improve the business decision making process, and ever increasing regulatory/compliance mandates continue to drive growth in demand for technology, information services, and software," said Tom Westdyk, Group Head and Managing Director of
CIT Communications & Technology Finance.
Thanks to cutting-edge, data-driven solutions, these companies and others like them are running smarter and more efficiently than ever before.
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