Tag Archives: manufacturing

The Advantage of Small Lots


If tracking your item manufacturer lots are important to you then SIMMS Inventory Management software is the correct solution for you. You cannot afford to not know where your lots are

Small lot production (ideally single pieces) is an important component of many Lean Manufacturing strategies. Lot size directly affects inventory and scheduling. Other effects are equally important but less obvious.

Small lots reduce variability in the system and smooth production. They enhance quality, simplify scheduling, reduce inventory, enable kanban and encourage continuous improvement.

The effects of small lots differ somewhat between Make To Order (MTO) and Make To Stock (MTS) environments but they are important in either situation.

Ideas for Lot Sizes

·         Balance your decisions towards the lowest and most reasonable lot size. The ELS does not capture intangible costs of larger lots such as quality and scheduling flexibility. Incidentally, most accounting systems under-estimate carrying costs.

·         If items of equipment must be staffed and maintained even when not being used, set lot sizes below the ELS range. While a reduction in inventory will occur, setup costs will not increase.

·         Lot sizes should be at the low end of the ELS range. This reduces capital requirements, smoothes manufacturing and adds flexibility to scheduling.

·         Set lot sizes to a convenient unit such as “1-day of production,” “two containers” or some round number.

·         When a particular machine becomes a “bottleneck” and needs to operate at maximum capacity, set the lot sizes at the upper end of the ELS range. This increases inventory buffers before and after the bottleneck operation but it allows more time for production and less time for setups.

Contact KCSI at 604-504-4215 or by e-mail at sales@kcsi.ca so we can help you take the first steps towards the solution you have been seeking.

Production Systems and SIMMS 2013


Automation serves you best if you can be receiving, sub-building and master building at varying stages all at the same time. If one sector is ahead of another, re-commit some workers to the sector that lags the most. Versatility within the workforce as well as a comprehensive overall view of all processes by administration can help you operate at full effectiveness.

In manufacturing, the amount of time you can reduce in producing items you subsequently sell leads to peak efficiency and customer satisfaction. SIMMS Inventory Management software streamlines the assembly process in all quarters, from cutting lead time for receiving components, saving labor on sub-assemblies and ultimately trimming your in-house production’s bottom line.

The principles for all manufacturing systems are as follows:

  1. Ability to reproduce constant quality during mass productions
  2. Large manufactured components should have uniform material properties throughout all components
  3. Meeting the cost of your production requirements
  4. Meeting performance requirements (such as tolerances, strength, weight, and so forth).

Visit www.simmsoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca for more information.

Aggregate Stock


Aggregate Stock is the total volume of multiple classifications of goods contained within a storage facility. The inventory may contain finished goods, raw materials and components. It is also called aggregate inventory. The purpose of aggregate stock is to establish overall levels of inventory that you desire and then applying controls to guarantee that decisions are made so that materials replenishment achieves the goals of the company.

The following goals must be in effect when Aggregate Stock methods are to be used:

• Assess investment levels of the whole company and set targets for improvement

• Develop accountability and link aggregate inventory management controls

• Employ specific techniques like ABC analysis, control parameters and input-output controls

• Measure performance against your own record and against that of your competition

• Pinpoint the drivers of inventory investment levels and then control them.

Most managers have employees making stock that has no immediate demand, they need to produce materials that will earn profits. They may use resources that could better be used for more immediate and profitable needs. Proper deployment of stock can create liabilities. Excess of goods in one place usually means that other places experience a drought. All of these challenges can be overcome by accurate analysis and proper practical planning.

Stock management must establish the lowest level of inventory consistent in balance with achieving the company’s objectives. An excess of stock reduces your Return on Investment and Return on Assets, causing a lower profit margin. Concurrently, it also increases expenses from damage, handling, insurance, interest payments, loss, management, obsolescence, storage tracking and taxes. Aggregate Stock Analysis can maximize inventory levels within the parameters defined by costs, investment objectives, logistics, processes and services.

Whether you use Aggregate Stock in your business or rely on older and slower methods, SIMMS Inventory Management software can help you master your accounting and inventory management needs. Visit www.simmssoftware.com or email sales@kcsi.ca for more information.

Properties of a Good Supply Chain


A comprehensive software program for inventory must incorporate the features needed by companies that employ a supply-chain system that include management capabilities for global orders, warehouses and transportation. Your software must grant you enough features to guarantee control of planning, monitoring and analysis of the supply-chain. Some necessary features are:


– You need to be able to manage the wide variances possible because of seasonality and new products so the decisions and scheduling is automated across various types of dependency

– Your Replenishment Module needs to optimize inventory across a possibly-wide network of trading partners and locations

– Interface is necessary with possible trans-shipment hubs or warehouses will allow re-routing and efficient cross-docking of supplies to the necessary destinations

– Versatility to handle scenarios where short supply scenarios occur and the chance to prioritize stock allocation throughout your web across multiple stores or varied groups of customers


– Provides a  comprehensive tracking and tracing of shipments and logistical units to leverage Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) data for efficient receiving and cross-docking processes, with proof-of-delivery records

– Creates an access point for the monitoring the execution of the supply chain, including the in-progress production(s) occurring in warehousing and shipping, and support for proactive detection of potential problems like capacity overages or point delays

– Supports a standardized method of managing alerts and events and, with the steps of the different processes and records exceptions to them. Alerts within the system should be generated and then distributed to designated people for action


– Lays out the steps in the path toward all of the company’s goals and lets you assess effectiveness levels of all areas of the operation

– Is easily installed and used while allowing for complete information access and easily-verifiable measurements

– Provides access to consistent and accurate information for precise assessments

– Analytical users must be able to understand the process on their own and learn quickly and easily

Beware the Bottleneck: The Biggest Glitch in Production

Let’s suppose in your manufacture of a product in your plant that you have a certain number of steps, each of which has a cycle time (the time it takes for the step to be complete). These individual cycle times add up to the total cycle time for the process. Throughput Time is the total time it takes for the product to physically move ‘through’ all the steps.

Here’s an example:

The product is a metal box made from sheets of metal which must be cut and then folded and then assembled.

Metal Cutting for one box takes 60 seconds (both body and lid) and there are two stations making the cuts.

Metal Folding for one box takes 40 seconds, and there are three stations doing the folding.

Assembly for one box takes 10 seconds, and there is one station doing assembly.

The throughput time for one box is 110 seconds.

The cycle time for each box is 30 seconds for cutting, 13.3 seconds for folding, and 10 seconds for assembly, for a total cycle time of 53.3 seconds.

The bottleneck in the process is where the slowest cycle time resides in the completion of the boxes. In the above example, the cutting process is the bottleneck because as the system is, the cut metal only appears for a new box once every thirty seconds.

Only once the cutting process is improved can the overall manufacture of the boxes improve. For instance, with the addition of two more people (stations) cutting the metal, pieces of metal would be received at the folding station every 15 seconds, stay there roughly the same amount of time, then be assembled with only a few seconds to spare. The difference would be an improvement from two finished boxes per minute to four.

Bottlenecks are everyone’s impediment to complete production efficiency and they must be identified and improved to gain maximum results in your manufacturing business.

Stock Tracking with Manufacturer Lots

SIMMS’ Manufacturer Lot Tracking allows for the smooth assignment of lot numbers to goods received into stock, and the same ease in generating lot numbers for items created through the SIMMS Work Order and/or Kitting (BOM) process.

Lot numbers can reflect the date and project information for their usage. Lot costs and weights can also be assigned, permitting accurate shipping data when the time comes to supply your customers. Details required for requirements for governmental and client standards. Tracking is easy from the levels of raw materials through finished products, as each stage can display which lots have been used in each step, whether for quality compliance or historical reference.

When used in combination with SIMMS’ customizable serialization features, you will always know where every piece is and its resultant use and location, down to any user-assigned attributes the pieces may possess. The ease of item issue of multiple lots or one single lot has never been easier, and receipts using the same criteria is simple and comprehensive. Combined with robust reporting capabilities, the details you need to be able to find makes SIMMS’ Manufacturer Lot Tracking the best choice on the market.

Kitting in SIMMS — Take a Peek

Kit with SubkitSIMMS’ Kitting (BOM) module simplifies assemblies you make within your manufacturing and/or distribution process. Acquisition of materials, maintenance of quality standards, variation of design (schemas) and manpower coordination are all easily managed within this module.

From a single, simple screen, users can coordinate all the steps towards completed product, which is just as quickly made available to SIMMS’ accurate shipping processes and SIMMS’ comprehensive accounting modules so that within a single software application, you can order, receive, design, build and sell your assemblies quickly and easily.

Users who bundle items together into packages sold as comprehensive entities can benefit from the advanced features of SIMMS. From packaging items together to tracking their age and history to analysis of when it is best to build the assemblies in regard to your workforce and usage of materiel available or on order, SIMMS’ Kitting (BOM) module supplies all the information and smooth implementation you need for your business.

For a quick look at the SIMMS Kitting process, click here to view a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-gAEZtRcAQ

Costing Out Jobs: Making the Most of Your Information

Immediate access to job costing and job billings allow you to maximize your estimates and improve your gross margins. All steps of the process, from invoices back through purchase orders and work orders, are available with SIMMS’ Job Costing Module. As you enter current details, your estimates become more realistic, job costs can be adjusted, and all data can be assessed by the software’s robust analytics. In addition, you can track materiel, manpower and service charges through a vibrant accounting process to guarantee that you are making the most of your labor force and have stock on hand to get the job done. From the versatility of managing your markups on the fly to spotting problem areas in your processes, SIMMS’ Job Costing Module helps keep both your bottom line and customers very comfortable indeed.

On the Jet Stream

Imagine the maintenance and repair of a sophisticated piece of equipment such as an aircraft. It can contain thousands of parts, from the tiniest pins to manifolds that require a crane to transport them. SIMMS Inventory Management software has the capability to track and organize all pieces great and small into committed projects and BOMs (kits), which can be committed and built as the parts come in. A rich lot management feature with devoted vendors from various locations and variable size can easily be setup and employed to marshall a comprehensive system with sub-assemblies, schedules, cost management and labor assignments all done within one package. Whether the task is a regular maintenance checkup or a major refit or retooling, SIMMS can help you keep the project straight and simple to manage.

Contact KCSI today to discover more about the depth of SIMMS and how it can make your life — and your business — better in many ways.

Kitting On The Dock Of The Bay

With the SIMMS inventory software’s Kitting Module, you can add the power of kitting and phantom kitting to your inventory software solution, creating and managing groups of inventory items packaged together as kits (such as the components of a computer system) and sold to others for assembly. Further, the SIMMS Kitting Module enables you to utilize a feature we call Phantom Kitting adding even more value to the SIMMS Kitting Module than ever before.

The SIMMS Kitting module is designed for use by manufacturers whose goods are often resold in many different configurations. This module enables you to track items as they are sold either individually or as components of a kit, equipping you to make wise and up-to-the-minute production decisions. Contact KCSI today to learn more.