A Method and System for Automatically Replenishing Materials for Demand With Available Substitute Or Alternate Parts In Real-Time
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-18
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A method and system is disclosed for automatically replenishing materials for demand that has available substitute or alternate parts in real-time, making best use of available inventory. The method involves reviewing available inventory against all material demands using a consolidated view of available supply of both primary and substitute parts, a consolidated view of demand driven by all sources and activities within the facility, iteratively working through the data to determine the material requirements. Conditional usage (differential substitute part usage based on type of product), part usage priority, and relative procurement percentage targets are analyzed, and the 'most available' (least constrained) parts are selected to fulfill each demand, making best use of the available inventory.
A Method and System for Automatically Replenishing Materials for Demand With
Available Substitute Or Alternate Parts In Real -Time
In a supply chain fulfilling complex entities made up of discrete parts, there is a need to
replenish these materials (generally discrete parts) to the manufacturing area so that
manufacturing activities can take place. Problems arise when more than one
alternate or substitute part can be used to fulfill the same demand, particularly if there
are conditional use statements on a group of sub parts across different products or
demand (e.g., the parts cannot be used across all products or product lines equally).
When this is true, automated replenishment solutions break down because they
cannot handle the complexity of determining which parts are required and which parts
are not needed for the various demands in the plant, to make best use of available
inventory. Thus, extra parts may be driven into the facility that are not needed,
usable substitute parts may sit in the warehouse without getting pulled, or worse parts
may not be pulled when needed to fulfill orders.
Disclosed is a method and system for automatically replenishing materials for demand that has available substitute or alternate parts in real-time. The method involves reviewing available inventory against material demands using a tabular view of substitute parts and conditional use groupings to make best use of the available inventory. The method takes into account user modeled factors such as part usage priority, and part replenishment relative percentage splits. Further, constraints existing on each demand are also considered while selectively use the part to cover the best possible demand.
In accordance with the method and system, user defined control tables are used. The user defined control tables (Table 1 and Table 2) define valid part substitution, priority and percentage allocation targets.
Table 1: Percentage Planning table
Table 2: Substitute
The method takes current demand at an aggregated Bill of Material (BOM) and Part Number (PN) as input and generates Part Interlock Structure (Table 3) from the Part Substitution rules and the Current Demand. The method also generates Part Allocation Structure (Table 4) using the demand part numbers and looking at the Transaction History, Inventory, and Part percentage allocation targets.
Table 3: Part Interlock Structure