I wonder how many recognise the flat structure scenario?
A project or product is approved for release, a budget allocated and resource planned.. but wait what do you mean we need to produce a design it's similar to what's been made before......isn't it?
You now have the pressures of producing a full design, obtaining approvals and establishing supply chain for a new product with no budget, inevitably the decision or statement is produce the design in the quickest way possible and our experience will cover the rest.
Not only does this miss an opportunity to create a professional approach for your business and provide confidence to your customers and suppliers you have strength of knowledge and approach in what you do but it creates a void that for work flow issues, cost efficiency problems, quality defects, and effects moral and perception of the business not only internally but amongst suppliers and customers of that product.
A flat structure with a master/top level final product and everything else classed as a direct component can be quicker and more direct but it is not an accurate representation of the product build, the relationship of those components to each other and the supply chain. For the wasted time in asking questions from suppliers, shop floor and the whole supply chain in-between that is used every time this product is made it would have been far more worth while spending that time in the first place producing an effective design and structure to cover these details.
A more hierarchical structure can assist with defining possible sub-assemblies, common or standard parts for pre-build, cost effective solutions or alternative materials can be analysed and more easily discussed with suppliers. Inventory levels and lead-times can more accurately be understood and influenced based on sequencing and data capture. All of this helps the supply chain react and respond to demands and changes to process, cost and availability even in obsolescence.
The other reason to keep this approach in mind is the data gathered and driving this design structure directly feeds your digital framework towards industry 4.0 helping define usage, costs, lead-time, quality events and resource amongst others to monitor KPI's and drive information to help grow and improve.
Next time maybe think again about how much time you can save by spending a little more time right now.
For further information on this and other supply chain influences and strategies contact us on how we can drive your business to achieve more and obtain a better flow.