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Since nMetric 4C Knows What's Happening on the Shop Floor, Mass Customization Works; To Be Successful, Mass Customization Needs to Foresee What Is Happening in Production.

Business Editors

COSTA MESA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 2, 2003

nMetric today announced that its 4C@Site provides the forward-looking information needed to successfully institute a mass customization mode of manufacturing a product or delivering a service in response to a particular customer's needs and doing it in a cost-effective way.

"Mass customization manufacturing isn't easy for the manufacturer who orders from his supplier, who then orders from their supplier who, in turn, orders from throughout its supply chain," explains nMetric CEO Tom Carpenter. "Mass customization starts looking like the old `Who's on First?' routine. There's lots of talk but no collaboration."

According to Carpenter, mass customization is the antithesis of build to stock. Whether referred to as build to order, available to promise, capable to promise or capable to build, mass customization devotees must foresee what is going to happen on the shop floor to satisfy customers. They need to know immediately, wherever they might be, exactly what is happening on the shop floor in terms of equipment, material, labor resources and time.

"An `always on' scheduling engine is no longer a luxury; it's a necessity," emphasizes Carpenter. "Data that portends the future needs to move fast up and down the supply chain. Can a specific order be completed on a certain day, even though a component is late? Can we accept a new order needing shipment on Wednesday? Since Machine 2 just went down, what does that mean to that big order two days out? Can we rob Peter to pay Paul without hurting Peter? Must I wait for these answers until I get back to the office?"

Carpenter adds, "No longer the province of only large manufacturers, all members of the supply chain must immediately know if and when they are capable of building the component, part, subsystem and final assembly for which they are responsible. Our 4C lets them get this information, wherever they are."

From a PDA at the far side of the plant, at the customer's office, in a hotel or a board meeting across town, this information is accessible and immediate. In the "capable to build" screen, 4C users enter a part number, the quantity of parts needed and the day these parts are wanted. The PDA sends this data to the host computer running the 4C scheduling algorithms on live production data.

4C replies with a start and completion date based on real-time production constraints. Wherever the user is, the system provides real-time access to the scheduling engine, just as if the user was sitting at his or her PC.

"Such a tool extends the ability of mass customization to supply chain team members so they can anticipate what is going to happen in their plant as well as others," Carpenter reports. "As a result, they can finally respond to customer needs in terms of technical, financial, operational or business strategies."

About nMetric

nMetric's 4C system is the only software that provides mid-sized and smaller manufacturers with live scheduling, monitoring and tracking, messaging updates and analyses so that they can completely oversee all steps of their manufacturing process and proactively supervise the dynamics of their supply chain in real time to accurately predict what will happen. Company headquarters are at 3070 South Bristol Avenue, Costa Mesa, Calif. 92626. Phone is 888-561-9700. Website is www.nmetric.com.

NOTE TO EDITORS: For quickest response to reader inquiries, please direct them to Fran Black at the above nMetric address.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 2, 2003
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