Production and Distribution


Production and distribution are either both performed within an organization, or else one of the functions is outsourced to reduce the overall cost and allow organizations to focus on core competencies. Production is defined as an operation of work performed on goods to make them available for consumption. Distribution encompasses the activities involved in delivering products or services to customers. Every company that handles production or distribution processes faces specific challenges, such as the following:
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  • Business operations within the production and distribution areas are under intense competitive pressures, in terms of product availability and the necessity of offering multiple services.
  • Lead times for production and distribution of products must be lowered to adapt to constant changes in demand and to meet customer delivery expectations.
  • Business flexibility is crucial to the ability to provide an enhanced customer experience as pressure rises to deliver high-quality products at lower prices, and to deliver the right product at the right place, time, and quantity.
  • Globalization makes end-to-end visibility vital for fulfilling customer demand, and critical for understanding what needs to happen in the planning/forecasting stages of production. As demand fluctuates, production must consider materials on the move, in order to lessen the impact of excess/obsolete materials or of products moving upstream and downstream of the supply chain.
  • Regulations vary across industries, geographical locations, and countries; staying in compliance is business-critical for production and distribution operations.
  • As competitive pressures increase, maximizing production output and minimizing waste are becoming more and more crucial for production and distribution facilities.
To optimize operations, ensure end-to-end visibility, and collaborate with customers and suppliers without creating gaps in the value chain, it is necessary to implement the appropriate solutions and business processes. The following business solutions are designed with functionalities and features to help production and distribution operations achieve business objectives by using the applicable subset of these applications: enterprise resource planning (ERP); maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO); product lifecycle management (PLM); manufacturing process management (MPM); supply chain management (SCM); demand management; warehouse management systems (WMSs); and transportation management systems (TMSs).

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