An increasing lineup of advanced digital solutions have given manufacturers the edge to transform and achieve better inventory control
The manufacturing industry is constantly searching for new and inventive ways to improve inventory management. From Vilfredo Pareto’s 80-20 principle to just-in-time and pull-based manufacturing, minimizing excess inventory has been a continuous quest—spurred on by the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0.
However, massive gaps in inventory management and global supply chains were exposed over the last 18 months, with the coronavirus pandemic wiping out a total of $50 billion in exports across global value networks. Not only does this phenomenon illuminate the pressing need to build resilience into existing supply chains to withstand global changes and challenges, but also the need to invest more in warehouse automation. An Accenture study estimates that, post-COVID-19, digital inventory management is expected to attract 15% more investment in the next five years than previously predicted.
The time is ripe for manufacturers to make a giant leap forward, using digital technology to take better control of stock and manage inventory. Starting from system design right down to physical warehouse processes, improving material flow throughout production processes can enable manufacturers to achieve leaner, more efficient operations.
Types of inventory that can be optimized
Getting raw materials manufactured into something whole and useful is a complex process. As such, it is critical for manufacturers to first make the right digital investments in their warehouses. This begins with identifying the most common types of inventory used in your plant or warehouse in order to optimize your inventory management for streamlined processes and reduced downtime. There are four types of inventory typically used in manufacturing:
- Raw materials and components
- Work in progress
- Finished goods
- Maintenance, repair and operations goods
Clarity, control and competitiveness in inventory management
For manufacturers aiming to unify their inventory management, digital transformation is the answer. Equipped with DELMIA solutions, you can gain superior control over your supply and demand management and inventory flow. You can further strengthen your approach to inventory management with these three key digital solutions:
- Data Visibility: By digitalizing and integrating factories using our solutions, manufacturers can transform a wealth of detailed data into real-time insights across the entire production process.
- Robotics: With robotics technology such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots, manufacturers can obtain fast, accurate and 24/7 warehousing solutions.
- 3D Printing: 3D printing enables manufacturers to print parts as and when needed, reducing or eliminating WIP and Finished Goods Inventories.
Digitally transforming inventory management by these means enables you to make the right procurement decisions early in the production process and perform inventory management without interrupting production. Powered by DELMIA and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, you can create digital models of your plants and warehouses to virtually pre-test production lines and material supply before physical set-up. And ultimately, you will gain a competitive advantage in building a future-ready company.
Read the full article to learn more about making the shift towards a fully digital inventory management system, as well as for more resources on the topic, including:
- A customer story; how Laboratoires M&L (the manufacturing division of L’Occitane Group) is meeting changing demands with flexibility and foresight using Dassault Systèmes solutions.
- A video podcast and transcript of DELMIA Strategic Business Development Director Mike Bradford’s insights on how you can achieve efficiency, cut product costs and increase collaboration across your supply chain.