Ultriva’s application design is based on the concept of Kanban loops that govern material flow and replenishment. Kanban loops are the vehicles that signal the need for inventory replenishment and an important tool in ensuring production lines are optimally stocked with necessary parts and components.
Kanban signals trigger operators to deliver items in the right quantity when and where required. As product is consumed in the production process, an order for depleted inventory is placed immediately, either via a kanban card or electronically through a computerized kanban system.
Ultriva customers’ entire supply chain is constructed as a series of interconnected loops, which can be internal or external. The Ultriva system very quickly establishes multi-tier replenishment loops, facilitating the ease with which downstream and upstream supply chain members can be on-boarded. Ultriva loops allow for easy resizing and are individually managed for lot size, lead times, safety stock and usage.
Examples of internal loops include those between assembly and sub-assembly lines, those between production lines and supermarkets, and those between supermarkets and raw material warehouses. Examples of external loops include those between a plant and distribution centers, and those between point-of-use and an external supplier.
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Electronic Kanban (eKanban) software
The built-in handshake between Ultriva loops ensures smooth movement of data and dramatically reduces the bullwhip effect across the supply chain. Establishing multiple loops beyond the manufacturing facility shows physical material flows; from the time they enter the supply chain until the finished good or service is in the hands of the end customer. This flow of materials is how the name end-to-end supply chain was derived.
These interconnected loops help control when goods move from the supplier to raw material warehouses, from raw material warehouses to the point-of-use, from finished goods assembly to distribution centers, and from distribution centers to the end-user customer.
Kanban works best when there a is closed-loop process. Open loop processes still in use today are prone to lost or duplicate Kanban cards. See more in our blog post "How eKanban Simplifies Supply Chain Collaboration"
A multi-enterprise Ultriva-equipped supply chain contains as many kanban loops or tiers as necessary. Each Ultriva node in a supply chain synchronizes production and delivery with consumption in real-time. This increases on-time delivery performance, reduces stock-outs, and costly last-minute change orders.
As orders arrive, material is pulled from the end of the final assembly line, which instantly sends an order to final assembly to produce more. Simultaneously, the speed at which manufacturing facilities deplete raw materials and components drives replenishment to the upstream supply chain.
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