Semiconductor sales is a complex process that takes a lot of time and a continuous flow of information about parts and customer needs that ends with a customer order for your products when it is successful.
Semiconductor business planning must include trying to predict what will come out of this process long before the order is delivered. The lead-times that the business must deal with are long and subject to change as yields fluctuate, and customer needs change. As the operations manager you need to try to get forecast information as early as possible to make sure you have capacity and inventory in place to support the business. Once the business is booked it usually extends over months or years as run rate demand from you customers. Run-rate business also changes as the customer delivers their products and demand grows or shrinks (sometimes quickly) keeping operations planning always trying to react and support the business without adequate time to really build the product to meet customer needs.
Managing what happens after sales books the order is an important part of the business management system in a company. There are real advantages to making it be an integral part of the sales process management system. At the end of the day,
you need to take demands from your customers AND
deliver products on time WHILE
managing the responses to the customers so they know what to expect and can plan their production accordingly.
Most of the time it all goes smoothly but when there are problems, you can get points with your customer if your sales people can talk about where orders and delivers stand and what can be done to meet your customer’s needs.
There are lots of costly Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems available in the market, but they are all standalone systems that make it hard to manage the customer interface effectively and don’t give you a complete vision of what is going on at programs.
NEHANET offers a package of “mini-ERP” modules that integrate with our CRM system and deal with all the steps in the process once an order is taken all the way to getting it delivered and invoicing the customer.
The Nehanet ERP Solution is made up of modules that handle all the critical processes once an order is taken from the customer.
- Order Acceptance
- Order Planning
- Inventory Management
- Shipping and Invoicing
NEHANET implements the transaction processes as outlined on the right.
- When orders are received from the customer they are reviewed for acceptance against quotes, or price books and opportunities in the CRM system.
Once accepted they get scheduled for delivery based on available inventory and production lead-times and backlog.
Customers get notified of the delivery commitment.
If needed, build requests are generated for operations to build additional product to support the customer’s needs.
When the product is ready for delivery, packing lists, pick-lists, and shipping instructions are generated to trigger shipment.
- Once the parts are shipped, the finance system is notified to generate an invoice to the customer.
The system tracks not only order plans but also inventory and delivery changes to allow effective communication with your customers.
We offer comprehensive training and support to make these dynamic solutions fit your work flow and processes by configuring them to your exact requirements and making sure they provide the benefits you expect once they are fully implemented.
To get a quick overview of what these solutions can offer we prefer to walk potential customers through each module, showing how they work, what they can do, and how they provide a comprehensive solution that meets your needs.
To quickly summarize key sections:
Opportunities can be forecasted before they have been won to enable you to plan for future demand, accounting for risk
Sales takes ownership in building the forecast for both new opportunities and run-rate demand providing monthly demand by customer and part
- Management can add judgement and modify the forecast as needed to build a high confidence plan based on real customer opportunities and customer engagement.
- Forecasts are created with full history and past planning performance as references to build a high confidence forecast and plan
- Forecasting is done with the following system screens:
This shows a simple forecast by customer and opportunity and part number, with the ability to pull in history for reference. The forecast is laid out by month for quantities and revenue based on the confidence set by the forecaster.
The basic forecast module lets you make various types of forecasts: sales, marketing, management, etc., and work through the review and approval in an organized and controlled process.
Operations can run reports by product, product family, and even by process when the parts master is configured to support operational planning.
Built to capture customer orders in your system including all the important customer information in a consistent format to manage the business
Captures demand for your products and feeds the order planning engine to quickly turn customer orders into factory demand that can be acted on.
- Captures all the important order instructions to make it easy to execute the delivery process and meet customer requirements.
- Order Entry is done with the following system screens:
The basic screen captures the customer information and ties to the customer master to get addressing and contact information for the customer. It is completely configurable, allowing you to add fields as needed to fit your business requirements. You can capture general order notes and documents that can be included in shipping instructions in the shipments module.
You can add as many part numbers or line items as needed to enter all the order requirements the customer provides on the order. You can set validation rules to check the information and automatically validate or flag an order. Validation, for example, may check pricing, check for customer specs that are not approved, or flag orders that do not meet MOQ or lead time restrictions. These rules will be set during configuration to meet your business needs.
In the view and report engine you can access system views to see summaries of the order data or set up your own views as needed to show you the data the way you want to see it.
An example of an order entry view is below:
Once the order is on your system it needs to be planned.
- Order planning accesses the finished goods and work in process (WIP) inventory systems to see what is available to ship and allow you to create order plans that turn the customer requests into your delivery schedule.
- Configuration interfaces with WIP inventory systems are available
- It also allows you to reschedule the order if there are problems and communicate the new delivery commitment to the customer
- Email rules and notices let you notify the customer acknowledging the order and your delivery schedule.
- Each order plan reflects a unique shipment commitment for an order.
- When additional inventory is needed, order planning identifies what is needed and notifies operations to build additional product
Sample screenshots below:
When the order is scheduled, there again are validation rules that you can set to make sure the plan meets the business rules you have defined. In this case, the validation is making sure you have not scheduled more parts than the order has been placed for.
Inventory is shown to allow the planner to commit based on the current inventory situation.
Reports and views can be created showing many variations of what has been planned.
For example: Orders planned by part –
Reports and views are completely configurable to meet your needs.
When an order is due to be shipped –
- Order plan reports show what is ready to ship.
- A shipment is committed, and notice is sent to shipping along with shipping instructions to create the shipment, packing list, and shipping instructions.
- Shipments screens are configurable to fit your requirements
Shipment instructions and picklists get generated from this screen notifying the warehouse to ship an order and how to do it.
- Once shipped the warehouse moves the shipment to “shipped” status triggering invoicing through the finance invoice system.
- Notice can be emailed to the customer or others automatically once the order is shipped
Stock movement and inventory management is a customized solution design to fit each client’s requirements.
- Inventory location and date codes are tracked by lot.
- Movement of inventory between stocking locations is tracked
- Inventory planning and build requests are supported on a customized system fitting your needs
- Build requests can be generated by order planning to drive product manufacturing demands
Sample of stock movement screenshot:
REVENUE CYCLE MANAGEMENT
Comprehensive Revenue Cycle Management is also available providing support for such critical business processes as:
- Pricing management
- Margin optimization
- Contract management
- Quote control
- Distribution Management – Including Ship and Debit, Claims, Price Protection, Inventory, Quoting, Accruals
- RMA management
- Business planning
The NEHANET Order Processing and Shipping system fully supports every step of the process including:
Getting good forecasts from sales for future needs.
Accepting an order and entering it on the books with notice back to the customer.
Planning an order to make a commitment to deliver the order and communicate the commitment back to the customer.
Identifying what needs to get built to support customer needs and notifying operations to build additional product.
Shipping product to a customer on the committed date and getting an invoice created to get payment once the product is shipped.
Making sure all parts of the organization know what is being done to meet customer demands and deliver product on time and as committed.
Manage the flow of information so you can communicate effectively with the customer about their orders.
Show management what to expect in the future based on forecasts and orders to drive the monthly and quarterly business results.
We look forward to walking you through the details of our solution and discussing your needs and how we can provide a solution optimized for your business.
At the end of the day, managing what happens after sales books the order is just as important as the sale itself. Make the operational activities that drive revenue and build customer satisfaction an integral part of the sales process management system.