Today's complex, specialized production environments, increased competition, and manufacturers' growing reliance on partners within a multi-layer global trading network have combined to morph traditional available-to-promise (ATP) into a complicated, multifaceted business process.
The simple notion of receiving an order, checking inventory, and setting a date for delivery has evolved to incorporate planned inventory in addition to what's already in stock. At the same time, manufacturers are striving to track supplies from disparate sources, juggle customers and product lines vying for production resources, and even figure whether they'll end up profiting or losing money by filling a challenging order on a certain date. The good news is that increasingly sophisticated software is available to help. But software alone is not the answer, experts say. To successfully implement ATP in a more complex world, many manufacturers will need to undergo a mind-set shift by entering into more collaborative relationships with their supply partners.
Source: Managing Automation, http://www.managingautomation.com
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