Supply Chain Performance

Clear to Build and Your Supply Chain: What You Need to Know

It’s elementary and obvious, but you can’t build your product without all the components on hand. Simple to understand, but in manufacturing and supply chain, getting all the materials you need exactly when you need them is complex and often difficult. Due to communication and data delays, you might think you have everything needed, but can you truly rely on that?

Clear to build (CTB) is a feature in most ERPs. It tells the user when and whether they can start production on an order. It depends on whether or not the supply is available. For example, if your company makes 100 widgets per day, but a supplier can only provide 75 of one part per day, you are CTB 75 widgets every day.

The challenge for many supply chain teams is that their outdated collaboration and communication processes lead to delays and inaccuracies in ERP data. It takes time to send an email, wait for a response, send a follow up, process the information, then manually enter it into the ERP. By the time this process is completed, you’re making decisions on old or bad data.

This is where automation and collaboration are critical. In addition to streamlined communication, these solutions write data directly to the ERP as orders and line changes are updated. This gives everyone clear visibility into what parts have been delivered, so you can make confident decisions and forecasts based on 100% accurate data. 

With accurate data, you can use the clear to build feature in your ERP to run a report that you know will give you the information you need to forecast lead times and allocate resources. You can mitigate obsolete materials and reduce excess inventory. Without automation, these efforts are destined to be costly and frustrating.