Anyone on the marketing and sales side of things is likely to be oriented toward satisfying whatever demand they can find . . . but that may not be the best way to run a business.
Companies that don’t do a detailed forecast are greatly limiting their ability to marshal their resources to meet customer demand effectively. They will likely be caught with too little or too much inventory at some point, the need for expediting or overtime, and some disappointed customers and lost sales.
We all know what ERP is … the major information management system for manufacturers (and others) that integrates all of the major functions of the business. There is still some confusion, however, about just how some of the other approaches – Lean Manufacturing, Theory of Constraints, DDMRP, etc. – fit in and whether they replace ERP or are complementary.
As supply chain and operations management professionals, our focus always must be on the customer. Our job is to deliver what customers want and do it better than the competition. In the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) programs, it is emphasized that operations strategy must be aimed at delivering value. Lean manufacturing and improvement methodologies emphasize the removal of waste or anything that adds no value to the product. And because this value is determined by the customer, it’s necessary to really understand what is desired.