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Anritsu provides testing and measurement equipment for research and development, manufacturers, and field and maintenance personnel. Its top supply-chain priority is responsiveness, says Stenfort. Customers expect short delivery times for their precision equipment. To satisfy them, Anritsu is looking at how it can tighten existing relationships with suppliers. “Typically, material is the constraint,” he says.
The company is also working closely with its R&D group to fit new products into existing supply-chain processes. To survive in a sector marked by cutting-edge technology, Anritsu needs to differentiate itself through innovative products. That never-ending quest often requires dealing with new suppliers – a change that adds risk to the supply chain.
In addition, Anritsu is deploying a number of tools and information systems to streamline its supply-chain processes. As they become successful, organizations tend to grow more complex, Stenfort says. There’s a need to focus on “standard functionality.”
Recently the company combined a number of supply-chain functions into one internal organization, crossing lines between sales, corporate and other departments. The shift was considered to be an essential part of Anritsu’s efforts to reduce costs meeting customers’ demands for short order lead times, as well as standardizing systems.
Stenfort says it’s vital to achieve an integrated view of the supply chain. It helps the company to make better decisions, as well as turn around quotes in a matter of hours. Today, with the help of the RapidResponse application from Kinaxis, Anritsu can see product in the pipeline all the way back to its contract manufacturers. Such capability “ultimately increases the likelihood of success in getting orders and meeting delivery commitments,” he says.
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