With $10 Billion in annual sales, 450 different products, 18 different plants and selling in more than 100 different countries, Amway‘s operations are vast and complex. Faced with a planned expansion that eventually added five new manufacturing sites, the Industrial Engineering team wanted to find a solution that required less time for data collection, thereby providing more time for critical analysis. So they partnered with Palisade and its Custom Development team to design a new interface and customize Amway’s Excel-based models, using @RISK in the background to power analyses. The result is a custom application Amway calls the Long Range Capacity Planning (LRCP) tool.
Users across the company were trained on how to use the LRCP tool. Plant managers and capacity experts can enter changes to variables such as demand, output rates, new products and run sizes in real time for a selected plant, and then run up to 20 different “what-if” scenarios individually or in combination and see results almost instantly. Results can be studied on their own or displayed alongside existing baseline scenarios for comparison.
Amway’s new tool has already proven its worth across the company, from both the Plastics and Liquids departments, where it was used to determine the feasibility of shift reductions, to the Nutritional Products plant, where it showed the need for new capacity for a series of new products.
Amway Senior Principal Engineer Phil Miclea expects the demand for the LRCP tool to increase, saying, “When you can satisfy a customer’s curiosity in a single meeting, you’ve gained a fan, a believer and a person who is going to ask you to come to the decision-making table more often.”