Forecasting: Once you have, as mentioned above under value supply chain, the right infrastructure, technology and human resources look at your process requirements, especially Bill of Material, suppliers, lead times and finances. Are you importing a raw material shipping it in 50kg bags in 30m containers by sea, or a rail wagon, bulk trains or road trucks? Because of lead times, are you flying in a 1T pallet of specific raw material? Who is doing the clearing and forwarding activities? Place orders for material to arrive just in time (JIT) as per you facility, financial constraints, production requirements etc. Ensure sufficient space for the right size vehicle to enter your yard and maneuver in order to dock, deliver and depart and also ensure sufficient space to store the raw material on arrival. A similar situation apply to rail sidings: do you have a little locomotive to do the shunting or is it part of your rail contract? When shipping product how will it get to your factory, by rail or road or do you have a quayside facility?
How will you off-load the raw material; e.g. small individual boxes manually, loose bags with a conveyor system, palletized loads with a forklift of the right carrying capacity, liquid through a pipeline into bulk storage tanks, gravity or do you have to pump it, check hose and valve compatibility with the transporter etc.? How will stock receiving take place: over a scale, hand held positioning scanner by batch numbers directly allocating racking space, sealed parcel deliveries, dipping tanks/ultrasonic readings/per meter reading etc.?
Once in stock, how will stock be managed: manually/electronically, stacked/loaded, retrieved, FIFO controlled, temperature controlled (if required) etc.?
How will raw material enter the production process: in batches by forklift, break bulk, pipeline, how will the balance be stored, separately in-production stock or will it be taken back into main stock and how will it be controlled etc.?
Production controls; process flow/bottleneck analysis/value stream mapping, product movement through production / continuous flow or Heijunka (small batch production) or Jidoka (automation) , in-process storage areas or JIT or Kanban (pull system), KPI’s for waste management/ Muda (can you sell it?), defect stock management/PDCA/Poka-Yoke (error proofing)/RCA (Root cause analysis), final inspections, packaging, warranty issue, warranty acceptance in the case of items sold long after it was manufactured or sold in other countries with different regulations, in which case how will warranty claims be processed, is it clearly explained in the insert/on the warranty etc.?
Once packed; what are the storage and distribution requirements, distributed to central warehouses and from there to retailers or direct to retailers or direct distribution, temperature control (if any), volume, pallet control, delivery time frames, vehicle/transport management, shipping containers, export/import documents, etc.?
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