Forecasts on the Manufacturing Input Web-Screen
Multiple Manufacturing Plants
Production Order Change Limits
Production Order Limits When Reconfiguring
Production Order of Zero Units
Production Order Rejected
Unfilled Orders and Retailer Inventory
“Our forecasts for one region reported on the Manufacturing input web-screen don't reflect our forecasts on the Forecasting input web-screen. Why is that?”
The region forecast totals reported on the Manufacturing input web-screen include only actively-distributed products. For the region in question, the product isn't currently actively distributed in all of the markets for which forecasts have been input on the Forecasting input web-screen. You still need to change the "Active Status?" to "Yes" on the Generate Demand input web-screen if you really intend this product to be actively distributed. A greater-than-zero forecast doesn't automatically activate a product. You must activate the product on the Generate Demand input web-screen by changing its "Active Status?" to "Yes".
A greater-than-zero forecast doesn't automatically activate a product. You must activate the product on the Generate Demand input web-screen by changing its "Active Status?" to "Yes".
“Can we have a manufacturing plant in each market region?”
No. You only have a single manufacturing plant, in market region #1.
“Why are there production order change limits in LINKS?”
Cost-efficient manufacturing generally requires relatively "smooth" production levels through time. Wild swings in production orders are difficult to accommodate "gracefully" and without lots of additional explicit and implicit costs arising. In LINKS, the constraint on production order changes from round to round encourages plan-ahead behavior and reflects the manufacturing reality that it's difficult to accommodate large swings in production levels in a short period of time. Of course, it's always possible to change production to 0, but the following round's production level would then be limited by the per-product production order change limit from round to round.
“Is a production order of zero units valid?”
Yes, you can always change your production order for a product to zero units. However, remember that a production order change limit exists in LINKS, so the following round's production order (after a zero-unit production order) would be limited.
“The LINKS Simulation Database is rejecting our desired production order amount? What's going on?”
Round-to-round change limits exist in the maximum change (up or down) that is possible in a product's production order from one round to the next. Please refer to the LINKS participant's manual for details.
“Can unfilled orders exist?”
Yes. Note that these are unfilled orders not backlogged orders. There’s no requirement that customers wait to purchase your set-top box product when it becomes available in the future. For those customers facing unfilled orders, some presumably shift to other firms’ available products immediately while some wait to purchase their preferred product when it becomes available in the future. Of course, all sales and customer choices in the future are governed by the prevailing conditions (e.g., taking into account your price and the prices of competitors) in the future.
“We have unfilled orders for one of our products in channel #1 but channel #1 does have some inventory of our product (i.e., retailers aren’t stocked-out). What’s going on? If we have unfilled orders as a manufacturer, shouldn’t the retailers in channel #1 be stocked-out?”
If you look more carefully at the Retail Pipeline Report, you’ll notice that the beginning inventory in the retail channel is a lot higher than the ending inventory. (And, yes, the ending inventory is positive.) The ending inventory in the retail pipeline is a lot lower than desired (compare it to the beginning inventory level). Thus, channel #1 apparently wanted to purchase more from your firm (the manufacturer) but you (the manufacturer) couldn't provide it. Thus, the manufacturer observes unfilled orders even though there's some inventory available in the retail channel. But, this ending inventory is less than the retailers ideally want. Remember, retailers buy set-top boxes from manufacturers to sell to final customers but also to maintain some targeted level of inventory in the channel to service their (retailers’) final end-user customers.