Attributes have traditionally been used as a way to manage the supply chains of products that are sold in order to meet some kind of manufacturing or engineering specifications. Examples of these are types, speeds and grades on CPU processors, electrical properties on high tech components, and chemical properties on specialty chemicals. These products command higher margins and premium prices because they meet the specific needs of customers and resist the profit-eroding effects of commoditization. To make the pint, imagine if Diamonds were sold all under one specification, e.g. size, rather than size, color, clarity, cut, etc.
Adexa customers are using Attributes more and more to manage their supply chains for Demand Planning and Supply Planning at both the S&OP level and the order level. For S&OP, planning-attributes can be used to translate market demand into demand for a sub-segment of the products that a company sells. At the order level, it can control which products are used to satisfy different demands, or select which resource or routing is appropriate for processing different SKU's. Furthermore, Adexa customers are using attributes to describe the engineering product specification, code-date of manufacture, lot id, color, etc. to target specific customer needs. Other special services that can be sold to a customer include how or where a product is manufactured. The location of manufacture using a qualification matrix, defining the process used to build a product; even naming the resource used to manufacture a product for a customer could be used to sell products at a premium price. Environmental concerns, safety concerns, and quality concerns can drive customers to prefer specific suppliers for a product. Attributes have helped some of our customers to sell their products for higher prices, while better managing their supply chains.
Is Attribute-based planning important to you and how it may help your profit-margins? We like to hear from you. If you want to learn more about this topic, download the Attribute-Based Planning Whitepaper, or view the Webinar: Using Attribute-based Planning to Make Your Business more profitable, or visit http://www.adexa.com/