October 21, 2010

Fast bill of material explosion – the way to secure supply

flexis has offered the automotive industry high performance bill of material explosion systems for several years. A standard for the bill of material explosion module has been created over time, which is unique in the marketplace.

Openness as a standard – a philosophy of flexis AG

Several bill of material types can be processed in the standard. Module, rule based, building block, batch summary, and multi-level bill of materials can be used either as production or as design bill of materials.

In addition, a consistency regarding the objects for the bill of material calculation exists: a bill of material explosion can be done on the basis of volume planning with independent forecasting on model and configuration level as well as on the level of partially or fully mapped planned or customer orders.

The multi-stage principle is taken into account on product structure level. This way it is possible to have a flexible number of explosion levels along the product structure or supply chain, which include aggregates, parts, and raw materials. Multi-sourcing strategies are also included, whereby quotations and resource allocation priorities can be taken into account.

A further strength of the flexis solution is the flexibility and customer individuality of the analysis logic. Cross references of part numbers can be performed as well as plant specific or cross-plant bill of material explosions. In addition, subassemblies can be defined either as freely configurable or based on attributes.

Successful in the marketplace through innovative technologies

Customers which count on flexis AG’s competence in this context are, for example, a well-known German car segment company, a big Japanese truck and bus manufacturer and a leading Japanese automotive company with production in the United States.

Through the innovative technology of the company-owned in-memory database, actual situations can be analyzed in the flexis systems in real time and scenarios can be tested without having to use the legacy systems for processes other than those which they were designed for. This is of special importance, because the bill of material explosion systems are business critical – for example, requests and orders for suppliers are calculated in these systems. In addition, the runtime for a bill of material explosion in complex and variant-rich products is usually very high.

Further performance increase

Through further improvement of the standard logic, intelligent parallelization in the algorithms, the multi-dimensional linking of data in the database, and the innovative, successive utilization and adaption of the already calculated demand figures, a performance increase of 15 to 25% was achieved – depending on the application. This is the basis for further process innovations of flexis AG’s customers.