Software RoundupAugust 17th, 2023 by Nathan Hobbs
7 Applications to Help Manage Your Supply Chain
With labor issues, COVID-19, material shortages and shipping delays, the supply chain has been a puzzling mess in recent years. Here are seven applications that promise to add stability and transparency to the process.
For a closer look at each, visit our digital edition at dwmmag.com/digital where you’ll find brief video overviews and demos.
Renoworks Pro: Matching Designs With Realistic Expectations
At the end of the supply chain, it’s dealers and door and window contractors who must balance reality with customer expectations. Renoworks Pro helps professionals maintain a smooth workflow by maneuvering around product shortages with designs that incorporate readily available products and colors. The platform is designed to function as an effective sales tool, helping
door and window companies to overcome early supply chain issues through product selection. Visualizing options is a powerful way to minimize the impact of supply chain issues, company officials suggest.
Simplifying material selection: At the heart of Renoworks Pro is a real-time, interactive home design and presentation application that provides contractors with a comprehensive library of building products and colors to choose from. There are no more physical swatches or fan decks with which to contend. It’s all digitized, making it convenient to browse, select and present a variety of products and colors. With more than 350 libraries from major building product manufacturers (including doors and windows), contractors can quickly find the right products for their projects and switch out when necessary to keep projects on track, according to the current supply chain.
Improving sales responsiveness: One of the key advantages to Renoworks’ system includes the application’s interactive visualizer tool. Contractors can upload project photos and in seconds begin designing a new look. If a product or color becomes unavailable, the contractor can suggest a suitable replacement and in just a few clicks showcase the new look for immediate approval.
Officials say contractors using Renoworks Pro have been able to increase their upsell by up to 300% or more. Contractors can also overcome supply chain issues and maneuver around product shortages with designs that incorporate readily available products and colors to get faster approvals and upsell on product options.
Prodim Factory Door Pro: Tying Production and Product Design to Communication
One key aspect of managing supply includes keeping product flowing out the door. Prodim Factory Door Pro helps to ensure that doors and windows are delivered on time and as expected by optimizing everything from measurement and design to workflow and communications. In the process, the software promises to “revolutionize the way manufacturers operate.”
Optimize production: The company’s software acts as a comprehensive management tool, seamlessly integrating various aspects of the manufacturing process. By digitizing workflow, Prodim Factory enables companies to optimize resource allocation, while minimizing errors and enhancing productivity.
Measurement and design: Prodim Factory incorporates advanced measurement capabilities, such as guided touch and digital templating, ensuring precise measurements and minimizing human errors. Measurements can be imported into the software, allowing designers to create accurate digital models, enhancing the precision and quality of final products.
Integration with CNC: The software is designed to integrate seamlessly with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines commonly used in the door and window industries for cutting, shaping and drilling. By connecting directly, manufacturers can automate the production process, eliminating the need for manual intervention while increasing production speed.
Communication and collaboration: To keep employees and departments talking, Prodim Factory provides a centralized platform where stages of measurement, production and install flow in seamlessly. This streamliened collaboration is deisgned to minimzie delays, reduce errors and enhance overall customer satisfaction.
OpenJanela ERP: Opening Up Visibility and Negotiations
OpenJanela’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is designed to help door and window companies manage four key areas of the supply chain.
Materials sourcing: The application helps track the availability of raw materials and components, while giving purchasers the ability to negotiate for better pricing with suppliers. The company’s Request for Quotations for Project module allows manufacturers to interface with suppliers to help find and choose the best price and delivery dates.
Production planning: OpenJanela is used extensively for planning production schedules and tracking inventory levels to ensure products are delivered on time, company officials say. Production is planned based on “Just In Time Backward Scheduling,” which is calculated from the delivery date backward, while taking into account such things as inventory levels, lead times and alternate suppliers.
Shipping and logistics: Not only does the application help track shipments and manage transportation costs, but it also helps manage backorders, partial shipments and even partial product shipments. For example, when manufacturers are forced to ship partial products while waiting for hardware or screens, OpenJanela helps them manage back-orders. Customer service: For transparent communications, companies can track customer orders and provide real-time status updates, helping to improve customer satisfaction.
A+W Cantor: Provide an Exact Delivery Date
Officials for A+W Software say Cantor has numerous embedded features to help with supply chain management, including for capacity planning, materials management and purchasing.
When it comes to purchasing and materials management, the application constantly knows and reports inventory and reserve inventory levels, taking even the smallest material movement into consideration.
Receipt and exit of goods can be booked automatically or by using a mobile scanner and, for all order-related purchased materials, A+W Cantor automatically generates orders with prices for respective suppliers based on current order data. EDI and openTRANS modules support automated order management and electronic communications with suppliers. Meanwhile, incoming invoices are checked for accuracy, making manual intervention unnecessary unless there are deviations. Inventory, stock and raw materials can be managed as you see fit and you can order extra supplies ahead of schedule if an impending price increase is expected.
• Higher liquidity with less capital tied up in inventory;
• Planning security, as a result of transparent order processes;
• Time savings, as the system automatically determines order quantities; and
• No bottlenecks from missing material.
Capacity planning provides an exact delivery date when sending an order confirmation to customers, while taking into consideration your company’s production capacity and the required materials.
GED Integrated Solutions: Smooth Out the Highs and Lows With Algorithms
In today’s manufacturing environment, any supply chain disruption can hamper your ability to deliver finished products. This not only impacts delivery but has financial ramifications as well.
From a software perspective, GED offers several solutions and features to help mitigate supply chain issues.
More efficient optimization of materials: Utilizing GED’s look-ahead optimization algorithms for glass and lineal production helps reduce cost and waste and allows more units to be produced with materials on hand. At the same time, there are fewer glass and/or lineal racks moving in and out of the facility.
Flexible production scheduling: Tools built into GED’s Glass on Demand application help with level loading production, process synchronization between departments and handling outsourced components while minimizing interruptions to production. This allows altering production flow for unexpected material shortages and other issues, officials say. This also helps in controlling work in progress (WIP) and delivering finished goods more efficiently, while reducing the number of IG carts needed to supply window production.
Real-time material usage tracking: Data acquisition by GED’s i-Sight module tracks material usage to allow companies to stay on top of inventory and material demands. As a result, materials can be ordered well in advance.
Windowmate: Designing a Perfect Fit for Production
When it comes to supply chain management, Windowmate’s niche centers on control and flexibility in selecting and scheduling door and window orders, with schedules that are tailored to your plant’s unique production requirements. The production control software system enhances manual or automated glass cutting operations, ensuring the best utilization of inventory. But the system goes steps further, by allowing you to consider factors such as customer needs and shipping requirements when scheduling production. A wide range of reports provides various levels of insight into such things as inventory levels, optimization results, cutting instructions and harp rack assignment numbers.
When it comes to setup, a variety of formats allow you to transfer glass-cutting requirements from your existing computerized order entry system, eliminating the possibility of typing errors or omissions. A Schedule Maintenance feature also allows you to make changes to order details or to add or delete order-items as necessary before a schedule is processed.
Lastly, the application integrates with PMC Software’s Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) system to tie your front office and plant together by informing the front office of problems.
Officials promise glass cutting operation will run smoother, faster and more efficiently due to Windowmate’s level of automation.
Key benefits include:
• Optimal yields and reduced waste through the best utilization of glass inventory;
• Total scheduling flexibility, including production schedules that are tailored to operations;
• Maximum efficiency through interface with a wide range of automated cutting machines; and
• Reduced labor costs, by eliminating sorting of cut glass.
FeneVision: Deeper Insights for Total Optimization
With Fenetech’s FeneVision application, supply chain management starts when a sales order is entered. The program keeps things on schedule by generating an accurate target ship date from lead times for products and options, shipping route schedules and data from capacity planning. The software then allocates inventory demand based on reserved production days.
Inventory: Users are alerted to any inventory issues via hold policies and purchasing departments utilize an inventory requirements screen to monitor parts that have reached their reorder points based on incoming orders and forecasts. At the same time, configurable buckets allow users to see how demand is spread out over time. Purchase orders are generated at the click of a button, taking into account minimum and maximum order levels and quantity discounts.
Shipping and shipping orders: Fenevision can also recommend line items based on average daily usage to fill trucks and avoid surcharges for partial deliveries. The purchase order is electronically exported to vendors for import into their systems.
Material optimization: For internal supply chains, door and window manufacturers can utilize lineal optimization and glass optimization to carve out improvements. Optimization tools are designed to enable you to get the most out of raw materials, manpower, machinery and time. The company’s software has mechanisms to maximize yield, such as deploying multiple algorithms, multiple stock sizes, rolling batch optimization, filler optimization and shape nesting. Leftover material, such as lineal drops or glass remnants, can also be stored for future optimizations.
All the while, optimization tools are tied directly into enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to keep inventory levels in sync.
To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.