How to Build a Better Plan for Every Part

10 Actions to Build a Better Plan for Every Part (PFEP)

Plan For Every Part (PFEP) is an essential Lean tool for mapping, optimizing, and managing input data to maintain a high-performing supply chain. The specific supply chain pain points or goals that drive leaders to deploy PFEP vary from broad applications like deploying a new Lean Company Management System to narrow ones, such as reducing inventory at a specific plant.

In our hyper-dynamic word, PFEP acts as a company’s winning game plan for supply performance success where results to expect should be receiving a substantial return on investment and a near-term payback.

Industry Pains

Unfortunately, there are several industry pains that hold our teams back from achieving exciting Lean supply chain results. First, the required PFEP input data is often stored in people’s memories and in their spreadsheets, which require manual interactions.

Second, many manufacturers use multiple spreadsheets to document, execute and manage aspects of their supply chain operations during new product development, new product launch and continuous improvement projects. This leaves up to 90 percent of our critical supply chain input data offline where it’s not easily, or at least quickly, accessible, increasing costs when change inevitably occurs.

Although historical PFEP cost reduction results are compelling, the time and effort required to maintain, share and leverage the data can slow the time it takes to achieve results over time. To counter this, we recommend the following 10 actions discussed below to build a better PFEP that will enable sustainable supply chain optimization results more quickly.

10 Actions to Build a Better PFEP

1. Enrich Data Quality

Data is the fuel that powers all successful supply chain optimization initiatives. The quality of your data will determine much of your PFEP success. Investing the time to reduce missing and inaccurate data will lay a better foundation for eventual continuous improvement insights to be garnered.

2. Standardize a Template

Teams can have their success slowed as individuals share additional data inputs, which can morph PFEP templates overtime. Standardizing your PFEP template will improve your team’s productivity as teams will spend less time manipulating data.

3. Enable Concurrent Editing

One solution to address PFEP industry pains is to shift from executing work in spreadsheets to Automated PFEP software. Teams can quickly upload their spreadsheets into a cloud-based, collaborative environment that allows you, your team, and suppliers to concurrently read, write and edit data.

4. Automate Formula Calculations

PFEP supply chain optimization formulas, although not overly complicated, can be time consuming, especially for big data users that have large plant parts lists and complex bills of materials (BOMs). Powerful automated assists, such as Lean formulas for calculating packaging weights and landed costs, can save valuable time.

5. Track Commercial Changes

Establish firm current states from which adjustments can be measured by tracking part commercial changes from piece prices to material routes. A Change Log within Automated PFEP software can automate this process, highlighting invaluable continuous improvement best practices.

6. Expand the Amount of Data Tracked

The traditional definition of a PFEP is 35 data inputs. After realizing the team productivity gains, tracking additional data, in some cases as many as 140 data inputs, can enable more granular supply performance tracking.

7. Maximize Real-Time Reporting

Enhancing reporting across plants, products and parts plays a large role in distilling data into actionable information. Linking multiple PFEPs to synthesize the data and display it according to your selected KPIs in real-time dashboards will empower all team members with the right information to make better decisions.

8. Use Predictive Analytics

In our rapidly changing world, we need the ability to make input data adjustments more frequently. Adding tailored machine learning algorithms that automate micro adjustments and allow for deeper insights over time can produce practical time-saving applications of artificial intelligence (AI).

9. Outline a Maintenance Plan

The early success realized by a project team can lose momentum if part data modifications aren’t properly maintained. Mapping out your data maintenance process will be a key enabler to ensure your PFEP momentum builds perpetually.

10. Expand Use Cases

Expanding the number of use cases for your PFEP to additional stages of the product lifecycle can aid both adoption and business results. New product development and new product launches are earlier stages where PFEP can improve the quality of the data for new parts.

Planning to Win

It’s hard to identify a Lean tool that has enabled more effective and consistent business results for manufacturers than PFEP. Apply the same proven Lean mindset for continuously reducing waste to PFEP information flows to build a better PFEP.

Strive for seamless information flows that facilitate improved people productivity, empower your teams with purpose-built software tools to get more done, and address one of the biggest industry pains, converting manual spreadsheet data into collaborative Automated PFEP software to compress your time to results.

Supply chain agility is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. All members of our supply chain teams are leaders and thus we need to empower them to draw from real-time PFEP KPIs to better execute evolving priorities. Automated PFEP software can help enhance global team collaboration and productivity so that you can optimize your supply chain more quickly.

Building a better PFEP with the 10 actions mentioned above will significantly compress the time it takes to develop, launch, and continuously improve your product supply chains. As with Lean, PFEP is a journey not a destination; your game plan must facilitate flexibility and reduce your team’s workload to ensure consistent supply performance success.

-William