Contract Manufacturing and SCM: and the Potential of Real-Time Data Monitoring

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Technological developments have given the world access to massive quantities of information, all at the snap of a finger. Ever ordered a pie of pizza? I know I have (more than I would like to admit). From the moment you click “confirm order”, to the time you receive your food, you are given real-time information (such as the estimated time of delivery and the exact location of your food) so you can guarantee that that order arrives on time without any issues.

With real information, you can make better-informed decisions. Do I have time to take a shower before my food gets delivered? Do I have to make another order from a different restaurant because the food I ordered is unavailable?

In other words, with real-time data, you get to know what’s going on and what to do about it.

Unfortunately, dynamic data-tracking is relatively subpar when it comes to the manufacturing industry. This is especially the case when OEMs try to monitor that backbone of all manufacturing – their toolings (molds, dies, etc.) – and even more so when OEMs engage in contract manufacturing and outsource said toolings to suppliers.

When you outsource your molds to suppliers, expect to lose track of them barring specific circumstances. Yes, your suppliers will send you reports, but at best these reports will be filled with information that was collected manually, at sporadic intervals. By extension, these reports may be out-of-date or subject to inaccuracies borne of human error.

You can’t expect suppliers to have the time or resources to be constantly updating the information on your molds. This issue is critical; going back to the pizza analogy, this would be like ordering a pizza blindly without knowing when it’s going to be delivered, where the pizza is at any given moment, if the order will get delayed, or if indeed the restaurant can actually make the pizza in the first place.

Dynamic Data

A solution needs to come from elsewhere. Ideally, this solution will provide OEMs and their contracted suppliers with dynamic, real-time data-tracking capabilities. Dynamic data benefits manufacturers by fueling actionable KPIs and analytics, which in turn grant OEMs the flexibility to adapt to unforeseen disasters in their supply chains.

Let’s say a supplier suffers a factory breakdown and is now unable to deliver the promised component parts. Real-time monitoring lets you, the OEM, to immediately detect this breakdown and take whatever measures are necessary to address it; you may, for example, want to allocate raw materials to another supplier in order to pick up the delay in production. In such a way, you’d be better prepared to minimize the risks of supply chain disruptions.

Additionally, OEMs can utilize dynamic data to benchmark their suppliers across their supply chains. Real performance data lets OEMs make informed decisions for resource allocation, identifying underperforming suppliers, understanding the causes of lackluster performance, and more.

There is limitless potential for contract manufacturing efficiency and SCM when OEMs are driven by dynamic, real-time data. Our solution was created with these values in mind; a first-to-market, data-tracking and advanced analytics platform that enables OEMs to tap into their potential for improved contract manufacturing.

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