I learned something new today (from my friends at Greene Tweed, Wanda Dauernheim and Jim McCann). They found an exceptionally great way to set up the traffic lights in MD06 and MD07 !
What they do is setting up the list so that it is sorted from most urgent materials handling down to long term opportunities. To quote Jim “…it’s like an air traffic control tower. You want to see how the airplanes come in and not only tend to crashes after they occur”. Therefore they set the monitor so that materials with ‘stock days of supply’ below safety levels (and not only after they are overdue) have a red light. Anything that has receipts coming in to cover demand within an acceptable time frame, gets a yellow light, and anything that has too many receipts coming too early – and therefore needs to be expedited out – gets a green light.
Genius! But even better… Those annoying situations where we have a little inventory… and no demand anytime in the future (you know, the ones with 999.9 days of supply) will get no traffic light at all. So in fact they created a “fourth light”.
So how do they do that? Here is how Wanda set up her traffic lights.
Notice how Wanda sets the limits so that they sort materials according to their stock days’ of supply (anything that is having less than 2 days to cover demand gets a red light. Then every material that gets covered for 11 days of demand – with receipts or actual inventory – gets a yellow light, and everything that’s covered up to 19 days is green. All materials that have coverage for more than 19 days, or no demand at all, will not get any light at all. Therefore the last category is not really urgent but poses an opportunity for inventory reduction.
She also uses the traffic lights for exception messages – so that the exception groups she considers more important are sorted above the ones that are not so urgent… combined with the ranges of cover!
I have never seen this setup before and think it is a great and smart way to prioritize your list. And to round it up, she uses the sorting feature to give the final touches.
Wanda and Jim thought about everything! Even though I personalty prefer to work with the monitors without sorting and without ‘checking off’ materials from the list, this provides a great solution for when you want to do just that (going through the list from top to bottom and checking off the materials you are considering ‘done’).
It’s great to know that we have dedicated and smart users in our community, who don’t spare a minute to think about whether it’s worthwhile to make our SAP world a better place to live – but just make it happen!
Thanks Wanda! Thanks Jim!