Lean manufacturing IT supports auto parts maker

SoftBrands, a global leader in next-generation enterprise software for businesses in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors, has announced the successful implementation of the company's lean automation software product Demand Stream at automotive components and systems manufacturer Alfmeier Corporation. Alfmeier purchased Demand Stream to reduce purchasing and planning labour, inventory and inbound freight.

By implementing Demand Stream, Alfmeier has significantly reduced days of inventory stock, while also reducing the time required to process daily releases to suppliers, by 80% (from four hours per day to 45 minutes per day).

Greg Kuzmic, IT manager of Alfmeier Corporation, said: "After the go-live of Demand Stream, we are supporting even higher production volumes with one material planner. And now with our recent implementation of the supplier portal, the hours spent every day on just communicating releases to suppliers has been replaced with a self-service environment that automates that communication."

Alfmeier develops and manufactures fluid components and systems for the automotive industry primarily for fuel management, seat comfort and convenience and engine management.

"Demand Stream gives us and our suppliers greater visibility of our data, enabling faster decision-making capability," said Kuzmic. "We have over 80 active suppliers to our Greenville facility; all of them are using the Demand Stream supplier portal to get their releases.

"After less than one week, we had about 70 per cent of our suppliers using all of the functionality of the portal that we required of them. This is largely due to the easy-to-use interface of the portal. In fact, several suppliers were so eager to start using the portal that they began using it before it officially launched so that they could see real-time inventory usage information."

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