5 Questions Auto Supply CFOs Should Be Asking

As the CFO of an Automotive Supply company, your role is to be equally visionary and pragmatic. How will you build the business of tomorrow, while ensuring you have the cash flow, materials and resources to sustain your business today?  The key is in asking the right questions. Modern ERP systems like Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations can help Auto Supply CFOs answer questions like:

1. How can we improve our planning? 

Most ERP systems include some planning and scheduling capabilities, but how easily can you run different scenarios to understand the best plan for your business? Can you run a variety of “what if” scenarios? Solutions like LeanCONNECT enable you make data-driven decisions before you make the financial investment.

2. How can we quickly and easily find business insight?

The quicker you can resolve a problem, the better off your business will be. Some insights can be automatic. Our clients have used IoT devices and predictive analytics to pull suspect units off the line for further quality testing. You can use tools like Power BI to create and distribute business analytics dashboards across the organization. The Voice of the Operator concept is becoming popular because it adds a human interpretation to the data collected by the ERP system.

3. How can we improve our forecasting capabilities?

The best thing you can do to improve forecasting is tie your sales orders with your manufacturing BOMs. That way, you have clear visibility of what’s available to promise, and what’s already been committed. Then, by adding your planning forecasts, based on sales order history and other information, you have a much clearer picture of your expected cash flow, and can build a reasonable production schedule.

4. How can we better manage our inventory levels / mix?

“Take one, make one” is the ideal scenario for replenishing buffer inventory – but it isn’t always possible. What should be possible, however, is to identify a targeted stock level for your buffer inventory. Then, when that inventory is drawn down below its reorder point, the replenishment process is triggered to build more. If you want to learn more about inventory mixing and leveling, you may be interested in our whitepaper on lean production scheduling best practices.

5. How can we better store and retrieve documents? 

Auto supply manufacturers have reams of virtual documents that must be stored, sorted and easily retrieved. CAD drawings, proof of compliance, engineering change orders – all must be catalogued for future reference. Cloud storage solutions link these documents to customer, vendor, product and other ERP system records for easy retrieval. 

Author: Doug Bulla, VP Business Development

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