How Woodward Uses aPriori for Supply Chain Capacity Planning

Join aPriori as they interview Chris Platz who is responsible for all the machining in their corporate supply chain at Woodward.

When they brought on aPriori, Woodward was looking to streamline quoting while building a more resilient and reliable supply chain. By using digital factories and manufacturing simulation they were able to meet cost targets and build better supplier relationships at the same time. What’s next for Woodward? They plan to move to the cloud and using data to rapidly compare capability and capacity in just a few seconds.

Learn more about how Woodward is using aPriori to build a better supply chain in this brief interview.



Resource Optimization Starts with Supply Chain Capacity Planning

LA: I’m here with Chris Platz from Woodward. Tell me a little bit about what you do at Woodward, Chris.

CP: Well, I’m in charge of our corporate supply chain. So I deal with all the machining aspects of the products that we bring in to Woodward, roughly about $400 million a year in spend. a couple of hundred suppliers that we deal with, people around the world.

LA: So what was the problem that you were trying to solve when you brought on aPriori?

CP: Oh, there’s a lot of problems to solve in supply chain management. The first is what is fair and reasonable to earn a profit? At the end of the day, we can meet with capacity planners, we can get quotes from dozens of providers, but what really is fair and reasonable when you come down and actually do pricing on a part? That was the first problem to solve. But we’re actually expanding it from there. We’re looking at production capacity and capacity planning within our supply base. There’s limited supply labor out there — staffing is difficult, especially for complex manufacturing processes, and most factories don’t have enough team members to meet the actual demand. So we really have to make sure we have capacity planning strategies in place so that we’re putting parts in the right place to make the best allocation of available resources. And obviously, we’re using digital factories to simulate current capacity in real time and to choose key suppliers that meet our capacity requirements.

LA: So you started off with using aPriori in the short-term to get pricing metrics, and then you’ve transitioned to using aPriori for demand planning over your whole supply chain. What’s next in your capacity planning process?

Planners Join Designers in Real-Time Decision-Making

CP: We’re going to move to the Cloud next, probably, and then we’re going to start doing overnight modeling with ERP. So as design engineering is designing parts, we can actually keep track of the cost of those items in real-time, which will reduce the amount of time it takes to forecast. We’re working on creating digital factories with our suppliers, negotiating the upper level labor rates, cost of raw materials, operating costs, direct and indirect overheads and margin. So we’ve got all that established right up front, we’ve got their equipment list built-in. So I can do capacity planning with less lead time, and answer the question: Can they meet demand? What’s their maximum capacity?

LA: So it’s a huge work saving for your procurement team members.

CP: It’s a one-to-one relationship, not a one-to-many, at this point.

LA: And the benefits of capacity planning extend to your suppliers as well.

CP: Absolutely. There’s no two ways about it. It’s perfect.

LA: Thank you so much for talking to us today.

CP: Absolutely. Thank you.

Experience aPriori In Action Today

Put aPriori to work for you! Let our experts show you how the aPriori platform can transform your manufacturing process
Let’s Connect