Demand Driven Manufacturing Software for Small Business


Toyota is a manufacturing superstar.  Toyota invented just in time manufacturing, which replaced forecast-driven, “push” style planning and production with demand-driven, “pull” style methods to enable rapid time to shipment using dramatically less inventory and WIP.

Any small manufacturing business can now easily emulate Toyota’s just in time philosophy to become a manufacturing superstar.  As a manufacturing superstar you will provide customers with rapid time to shipment while keeping inventory and WIP to a minimum.

How is this done?  First, you must implement DBA Manufacturing to get the software platform you need for “just in time” planning and execution.  Second, you must commit to using DBA Manufacturing according to the “Superstar Protocol” prescribed by this blog.

The “Superstar Protocol” consists of six guiding principles:

  1. Rapid Time to Shipment
  2. Lean Inventory
  3. Just in Time Scheduling
  4. Prioritized Production
  5. Efficient Costing
  6. Total Participation

As a manufacturing superstar you will benefit from increases in sales, market share, gross margins, cash flow, and return on inventory investment.

As an added bonus, operating in accordance with the Superstar Protocol is far easier compared to traditional planning and shop control methods.

  • It is far easier to plan consistent times to shipment in advance using common sense lead time allocations and item order policies compared to using manual methods for establishing ship dates.
  • It is far easier to plan for stock using dynamically calculated reorder points and supply days intervals compared to using blanket POs or long-term forecasts.
  • It is far easier to generate jobs and POs triggered by actual net demand relative to reorder points compared to building to forecasts.
  • It is far easier to generate a master job and PO schedule where supply dates are aligned with demand dates compared to manual scheduling methods.
  • It is far easier to release jobs to live production based on material availability compared to manual material checking and hoarding.
  • It is far easier to meet required dates by running work center job sequences in job priority order than it is to manually expedite one job at a time.
  • It is far easier for workers to update material usage and sequence completions in real time compared to backflushing materials and entering labor after the fact.
  • It is far easier to use calculated shop rates for labor and overhead and absorption costing compared to any other costing method.
  • It is far easier to operate by sharing time to shipment objectives and production priorities with workers, managers, buyers, and salespeople compared to operating with private and secret objectives and methods.

As you can see, operating by the Superstar Protocol is relatively simple and is based on common sense methods that can be applied by any small manufacturing business.

You don’t need to be a big company or use an ERP system to be a manufacturing superstar.  In fact, a traditional forecast-driven MRP system is exactly the wrong solution for small business. Toyota’s “just in time” manufacturing philosophy is far more efficient and can be applied to any type of small manufacturing business

So if you want to be a manufacturing superstar in the Toyota mold, implement DBA Manufacturing software and use it as prescribed by the Superstar Protocol.  It’s a lot easier, a lot more efficient, and much more rewarding.

The Superstar Protocol