Supply Chain Management Pt 3: Manufacturing & Operations

Supply-Chain Council developed ‘SCOR”: Supply Chain Operations Reference Model.  It is built around six major processes: plan, source, make, deliver, return and enable.  It measures supply chain performance via standardized methods.

There is a plethora of information and processes under the manufacturing and operations supply chain.  It will be impossible to cover it all!  Let’s go over some highlights.

Building the Machines that Make Machines – Manufacturing

Now it is time to create your product.  Among the many responsibilities of manufacturing, their main job is to create the end product.  Now let’s think about how much goes into creating the final product for the end customer.  Mechanical components, machines, material, drawings, labor, processes, storage, computers and engineering is all involved with manufacturing.

Manufacturing is responsible for using machines to create the product.  They write programs to run the machines, control the operations, control the quantity created, and even control the feasibility to which product can be made.

Engineering begins with their design and often times must consult with the manufacturing team.  Open communication between engineering and manufacturing is key to the final product of being created.

Manufacturing also has the responsibility of scheduling assembly operations to complete product.  They create the flow in which the product is made from machining, coating, assembly, sub-assembly and even storage.

In manufacturing, there is an approach called cellular manufacturing.  This applies to facilitate small-lot and continuous-flow production.  Equipment and workstations are arranged so that all operations to produce the product is done in close proximity.  Operators are cross-trained to perform a variety of tasks.  Many manufacturers adopt this approach as a way to see quality issues quickly and also receive feedback between operators.

Keeping The Lights On – Operations

Along with manufacturing, operations is in charge of day to day activities.  The building in which manufacturing is done requires upkeep and even office supplies.  Operations is in charge of many things to make the company run smoothly.

Both manufacturing and operations are in charge of process improvement.  They make sure processes run smoothly, efficiently and effectively.  They are to make sure there is minimal waste in their processes while also making improvements.

One often hears the term “MRO” in supply chain.  It stands for Maintenance, repair and operations.  While your company works to create the final product, there are many steps required to help maintain those processes.  Machines require maintenance and repairs whether finding a replacement end mill for a machine or replacing a locating pin on a fixture.  It is important to consider the quality of MRO in order for a quality end product.

To help with smooth operation, predictive maintenance is an important practice to consider.  These are activities to prevent unscheduled downtime with machines.  By collecting and analyzing data on equipment conditions, operations can predict and plan maintenance before letting the machine fail, keeping the machines in good working condition. Such parameters that are analyzed are vibration, noise, temperature, and lubricant levels.

Operations is also in charge of situations of emergency such as inclement weather or even labor unrest. Procedures must be put in place to keep business running or perhaps shut down business while keeping employees calm in cases of emergency.

Operations take performance measures from manufacturing and assembly to employee productivity as a step to improve business and increase quality.

Manufacturing and operations is in charge of a big bulk of the supply chain.  Up next we will cover Logistics and Transportation!

Cover Photo from ExactOnline Blog 

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One Comment


  1. Raj Sharma

    April 10, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Hi Carlicia, You have explained the supply chain operations in great detail. I am mesmerized by the amount of information that you have shared with us in this article. I really appreciate the efforts you have made to write this wonderful article and share it with us. It was a pleasure reading your article. Thank you.

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