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Lean and Technology: the Rapid Growth of the Demand Driven Institute

by Chad Smith & Carol Ptak   |   April, 2018

Lean advocates often get accused of being anti-technology, but do Lean advocates really want manufacturing companies to abandon the promise of technology? The answer should be yes when that technology is wasteful, confusing, and not reflective of reality, when it force-fits concepts so as to simply permit their use. Unfortunately, this has been the situation for quite some time with regard to traditional MRP and DRP (distribution requirements planning) systems.

Point 8 of the Toyota Production System states, "Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes." Until now the prevailing materials and inventory planning and execution technology, while thoroughly tested, have been largely inappropriate to serve the people and process in companies transforming to a leaner approach.

Yet the proliferation and sustainability of Lean implementations have been negatively impacted by the lack of appropriate supply chain materials planning and execution technology. Many well-respected manufacturing analysts have concluded that there is tremendous potential for the incorporation of better planning and visibility software into Lean implementations. Manufacturing needs Lean methods to stay competitive in the more complex environment of the twenty-first century. Lean needs an effective customer-centric planning approach to bring that vision to reality.

What if there were an appropriate technology? What if a reliable, thoroughly tested method for a customer-centric pull-based planning and execution of supply chain materials with high degrees of visibility could be introduced into the MRP world? Under that condition Lean and MRP would both find an effective solution. This method is Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP).

In 2012 the Demand Driven Institute develop the Demand Driven Planner (DDP) program. The DDP program was designed to provide consistent global standards for the DDMRP approach and to teach and certify practitioners in those standards. From 2012 to 2017 over 3,000 people took the DDP program on six continents. 2012 also saw a partnership between the Demand Driven Institute and the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA). The ISCEA provided testing and certification infrastructure and issued the Certified Demand Driven Planner (CDDP) certificate.

In 2016 the Demand Driven Institute released the Demand Driven Leader (DDL) program. The DDL program was designed to provide consistent global standards for the Demand Driven Operating Model (including DDMRP) and to teach and certify practitioners in those standards.

In 2018 the Demand Driven Institute launched its own testing and certification capability to support the growing body of demand driven knowledge and the proliferation of the knowledge around the world. These professional endorsements include the Demand Driven Planner Professional, Demand Driven Leader Professional, and Demand Driven Fundamentals Professional certificates.

Read more at: DDI
Carol Ptak, CFPIM, CIRM, DDPP, DDLP, is a co-founder and partner with the Demand Driven Institute. Ms. Ptak spent decades in supply chain management first as a practitioner and then as a consultant and software executive. She is also a past president of APICS, and has authored several books on ........ See More Details.
Chad Smith, DDPP, DDLP, is a co-founder of the Demand Driven Institute. Mr. Smith spent 20 years in supply chain and management consulting and software co-founding industry innovator Constraints Management Group and working personally with Dr. Eli Goldratt. He has co-authored and contributed to several books on demand driven methods, MRP and the Theory of Constraints (TOC)......... See More Details.

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