Aerospace & Defense – Manufacturing
Levels implemented :
L1 – Strategic | L2 – Tactical | L3 – Operational | L4 – Execution
Services used :
Process Consultancy | Technical Consultancy | Strategic Consultancy | Custom Development | Training and Support | IT and Hosting
Products used :
APS | TRP | DEP | SEM | DWH | ARA | API | HYP | FIN | ART | ADM
They lead in
Mecar is part of the Nexter Group. Similar to Nexter Munitions, it produces medium-size ammunition for armed vehicles and canons. But the similarities with Nexter Munitions stop there as Mecar is not organized in production lines. In fact, Mecar has the potential to create every part and component of ammunition whereas Nexter Munitions operates as an assembler.
As Supply Chain Manager, I use PlanningForce as a true orchestrator of all production-related processes and flows. This covers the management of business assumptions, tactical and operational planning of all production and resources (machines, personnel and equipment), generation of cash flow forecasts, monitoring of shop floor execution, etc. The intelligence implemented in the interface with our SAP has enabled us to make better use of it and to make the entire value chain faster and more reliable. For me, PlanningForce is the best investment made in our information systems during my 32 years at Mecar.
Mecar benefits from an important Mechanical Workshop where they produce all mechanical sub-components of the ammunition. Mecar therefore has a high number of machines and workstations that are not configured in lines, but instead, are distributed across the whole surface of the mechanical workshop.
At Mecar, the number of different routings is high as each ammunition can present individual particularities. The presence of this mechanical workshop means that Mecar also has to deal with a number of different skills, important machine setup times, transfer times and, of course, the execution of the routings which represents a much bigger complexity in the planning and scheduling process of tasks.
Before PlanningForce, the planning was done in MS Project. Each production order was considered a project due to the complexities explained. These projects were created by SAP thanks to a specific export module. However, these projects encountered the following weaknesses: one file per project, only end-to-start links; no notion of resource role and the lack of notion of capacity usage. The central planner was completely overwhelmed by the workload and the difficulty to have a clear consolidated view of the overall plan. Top management was therefore frustrated not to be able to make reliable simulations, and the users were frustrated because of the numerous priority changes that caused extra work and penalized productivity.
Mecar chose PlanningForce to effectively create one realistic consolidated plan sidestepping the limitations encountered with MS Project. Mecar also asked to know precisely how the various projects were using the resource capacity, in order to create realistic simulations. The ability to directly communicate the plan to the operations was also desired, thanks to a secured web connection they wanted to automatically integrate with the progress of the current plans. Finally, the company wanted to optimize its resource usage by reducing the number of temporary workers.
The PlanningForce solution revolves around the Tactical module (L2). It uses the API to import the projects and progress, and to export the execution dates. By receiving precise execution dates, SAP can now run an MRP from which the supplies can be optimized. Once the plan is finalised, after evaluating how to make the best use of the resources, while respecting the delivery dates, the planner shares this plan with the operations thanks to the Operation module (L3). Operators enter the progress into the Shopfloor Execution Monitoring module, specifically designed for the purpose of capturing progress at the level of the workstations (L4). This allows the central planner to benefit from a daily update of the progression and to adapt the plan if need be.
Complexity of Mecar has been modelled to improve planning and scheduling processes
Mecar can design and evaluate different sales and production scenarios
Optimisation of resource use and reduction of temporary employers
Improved supply processes
Improved quality of data within the ERP
Favour internal mobility and anticipate recruitment needs