Developed in the mid-80’s, Demand Flow Technology is a scalable and comprehensive, mathematically-based Demand Driven improvement strategy designed to drive high levels of response capability, lead time compression, improve productivity and reduce costs enabling manufacturers to become more effective in meeting the needs of their customers on a daily basis. Demand Driven manufacturing with world-class customer service is achieved through alignment of advanced planning strategies with the response capability of the factory matched to actual customer demand. This creates a fundamental shift in strategy that forms the foundation for a responsive Demand Driven manufacturing organization.
As we all know, customer demand is extremely variable, and at times often volatile, requiring traditional manufacturing operations to maintain customer service levels by employing inventory in Finished Goods as well as throughout production. Conversely, DFT excels in providing the math and science to perfectly synchronize and balance the entire manufacturing environment accommodating changes in customer demand with minimal supporting inventory requirements. Through design, the company will produce to demand, improving response through the factory, improving customer service levels, and eliminating excess production inventories.
Production processes are synchronized, balanced and reorganized in a flow to enable substantial improvement to product velocity through production, with material replenishment systems designed to improve material availability, provide flexibility, reduce overhead and provide early visibility of shortages. Mixed-model flow is established through the optimization of manufacturing resources (labor and machine) supported by dynamic material replenishment strategies to achieve a faster and repeatable response. With reduced, repeatable and consistent response that is synchronized to daily demand, global organizations are transformed, regaining control of previously unbalanced production environments along with the high levels of inventory and ever-increasing operational costs that are associated with traditional operations.
The goal for any company operating DFT is to have an agile production facility that is adaptive to customer demand requirements and is aligned with the entire Supply Chain. Shorter manufacturing response time will drive more flexibility and ability to adapt to changes in supply and demand. The Demand Driven DFT factory will require less inventory to support it.
The business needs to become Demand Driven to survive and transition itself away from business processes that have traditionally permitted production environments to add significant costs to the business through long lead times and excessive over-production.