This industry manufactures large, complex finished goods such as construction equipment, agricultural machinery, power generation units, and heating/cooling equipment. It can also encompass a broad range of manufactured sub-assemblies such as engines, pumps, gearboxes, control units, and hydraulic assemblies. Manufacturers in this space face a variety of challenges as the business environment evolves.
- Increasingly complex supply chains. Manufacturers are becoming less vertically integrated as globalization progresses. Components and sub-assemblies which used to be manufactured "in house" are now being sourced from outside suppliers, often located overseas. At the same time, "lean" initiatives put pressures on inventories of these critical components, which means that supply chain visibility and execution become key to delivering finished goods to the customer.
- Demand for customization. Customers of this industry demand increasing flexibility in terms of the product they order. Where the rule used to be "any color as long as it is black", manufacturers are now forced to offer a wide variety of features and options that affect not just the color, but also the fundamental engineering of the product. As this progresses, the ability to simply build finished goods "to stock" is reduced.
- Service parts fulfillment. Complex machines can have complex service requirements. In the capital equipment industry, customer machine downtime can translate not only into customer dissatisfaction, but can even translate into concrete penalties.
The Fog Software Group product portfolio includes offerings which can help manufacturers in this industry excel.
- To optimize, manage, and execute complex supply chains, the Viewlocity product suite brings powerful supply chain visibility and optimization tools to bear, regardless of the ERP and supply chain systems in use.
- To enable customization in a mixed-mode manufacturing environment, the Frontier by Friedman configured ERP offering brings powerful product configuration capabilities couple with robust discrete manufacturing functionality to support the entire order-to-cash, plan-procure-pay cycle.
- To streamline service parts fulfillment:
- Varsity Logistics provides high-volume, carrier-integrated shipping solutions that support all major parcel, express and LTL carriers;
- Computer Solutions Inc. (CSI) can provide a complete "back end" fulfillment solution that includes online service parts ordering;
- Logimax's flexible and affordable warehouse management system can be integrated with existing TMS and ERP systems to track finished products through the warehouse until they are shipped to the customer.