Byte Design's partners have spent more than 10 years each analyzing the flows and costs of manufacturing plants in the Oil Refining, Electronics, Forest Products and Metal Fabrication businesses. Our analyses are made rigorous (therefore, testable against reality) by being built into activity-based computer models. Models which track activities and their costs are "activity-based" and can be used to analyze costs and make real-world decisions by submitting a "what-if" question to the model.
Business Models are often used to analyze alternate raw material strategies, alternate plant sourcing, alternate customer pricing and/or selection, and alternate production plans. Each model contains a net profit which can be compared to other versions of the same model to find the ones which maximize profit. The process of building models also creates the hot-links to process data, permitting the creation of Scorecards measuring the efficiency of the business.
The final model is very useful, BUT, often the process of creating the model provides some of the ultimate benefit. The defining of the process steps often triggers questions like "why are we doing this.." One such 'dumb' question produced ongoing annual savings in excess of $400,000 -- far more than the initial project cost. In addition, most Six Sigma projects require the defining of process flow as a pre-requisite to identifying the sources of defects.
Byte Design builds customer's models in a Database, either Microsoft Access or SQL Server, and the model is then solved using one the industry's linear program solvers. Most of the models use mixed-integer methods. This provides for a solution which can set a variable to either zero, or between a minimum and a maximum. Thus the solution can decide to NOT run a product on a machine center, or, if it does, it must run a minimum quantity. This avoids common LP solutions asking for the production quantities which don't justify the setup times and costs. All projects are intended to leave the customer with the in-house capability of maintaining and extending the models.
Byte Design has also built ancillary tools to help our customers, such as web-based entry forms, a salesman's margin enhancement assistant, and maintenance screens for Timber Harvesting.
Byte Design's founders each have more than 10 years experience in process optimization software. Each project has required mapping the process flow of the facility, a Six Sigma pre-requisite, and then representing it in a computer program. Each project has required creating real-time connections to existing systems to REDUCE the amount of manual data entry and updating compared to the previous methods.
Electronic manufacturing scheduling optimization
Electronic manufacturing quality improvement -- Six Sigma
Plywood mill optimization for profitability
Engineered wood products optimization
Timber harvest optimization
NorTel, Motorola, ACT Manufacturing, Jabil Circuits, Phelon Mfg
International Paper, Louisiana Pacific, Weyerhaeuser, Roseburg Forest Products, CanFor, Boise Cascade, Potlatch
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