After an initial pilot project held in five states, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has launched a new supply chain optimization program. The program is designed to help U.S. manufacturers become more competitive. Manufacturers of any size can join, which seeks to increase competitive advantage through stronger, more collaborative supply chains.
The program establishes a coaching and mentoring partnership between MEP’s subject matter experts and participating manufacturers to address barriers to effective supply chains. NIST-MEP surveyed manufacturers and found that companies suffer from a lack of collaboration and visibility in their supply chains and lack a synchronized plan for those elements. The survey also showed that many do not understand the true total cost of ownership—the costs for every activity along the supply stream.
MEP centers help by quantifying the needs of the supply chain and focusing on the points in the process that are impeding throughput. Total cost of ownership is one element on which the centers provide guidance, along with executive and partner engagement and risk management.
As part of the pilot effort, the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership helped its client, Syn Strand, avoid $3 million in capital expenditure, realize $2 million in increased annual sales, save $200,000 a year and retain eight full-time jobs—all while achieving a 10% increase in capacity and a 10% reduction in inventory. For more information about this case study, please visit: www.mepsupplychain.org/resource/
The complete listing of program offerings can be found at: http://www.mepsupplychain.org