AIM has been servicing the automotive supplier marketplace for over twenty years. AIM’s manufacturing offering is directly tied to the automotive industry’s requirements for suppliers. Initially, AIM created their first repetitive manufacturing product by merging the best in breed concepts of MRP II and the unique needs of direct and indirect suppliers to Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. These supplier mandated requirements were centered around automotive EDI [just in time, releases, line sequencing, and many others], bar code labels and lot tracking. Our tightly integrated combination of MRP II, repetitive manufacturing, and supplier mandated requirements evolved into our present software: AIM Vision®.
Repetitive manufacturers make up the automotive supplier niche market that AIM services. These manufacturers fabricate steel, plastic, rubber and other primary materials into parts, components, and small assemblies. In most cases, orders for these parts and components range into the hundreds and thousands of units. Repetitive manufacturers usually service the transportation, appliance, consumer electronics and other demanding, high volume industries.
Our customers use fabrication machines that are common in the industry: stamping, injection molding, extrusion and production machining centers represent but a few. Because of this, most of our customers are known by their fabrication expertise- a stamper, an injection molder, an extruder and so on.
Typically, most high volume fabricators create the majority of their production schedules by working with customer releases against one or more blanket purchase orders. Because of this, the AIM Vision® repetitive manufacturing solution was historically known as a Release Accounting System. Our AIM Vision® solution is also a flow management system, due in part to its capability to review and schedule production over a large variable demand forecast window, where demand smoothing is facilitated. Individual releases for the same or mix of parts across all orders are automatically grouped together in the variable demand window to generate a production schedule with optimum utilization of equipment and schedule adherence.
Our current global economy is changing the nature of scheduling within the automotive parts community. The reach of even smaller suppliers has been extended to first Mexico, and now to Asia, Japan and the Far East. To meet these demands, AIM has extended its Supply Chain Management offering to include many new uses of scheduling transactions.
The 830 Material Release and 862 Shipping Schedule, once limited to the messaging from the part supplier’s customer is now re-transmitted to trusted third party operations, where secondary operations and multi-layered staging of parts for shipments take place. The 856 ASN, Advanced Shipping Notification, also provides a dual purpose in updating global headquarters of shipments around the world.
New transactions, both X.12 and broadcast, are sent to our customers for Just In Time (JIT) delivery to a local plant within 40 minutes of receipt. This relatively new concept, sequencing, is being propagated throughout the supply chain from tier 1 down to tier 2 suppliers. Parts must be not only made, but staged for delivery within minutes based on model , preferences of color, options and size, among others criteria.
If not managed correctly, the small shipping windows and JIT delivery requirements can easily shut down a plant, resulting in loss of contracts and severe penalties to the parts supplier at fault.
Some US based part suppliers do little or no manufacturing; instead, they import parts designed and shipped from distant countries into the non-manufacturing automotive part supplier for pass through shipments to production facilities in the US.
All new management transactions carry a new risk or errors, and this risk management is AIM’s singular biggest value to our customers. Our 25 year plus tenure has been tested time after time, and our expertise in anticipating and managing the flow of demand transactions between multiple sites is extraordinary. Without trusted customer demand information there can be no production control, MRP or CRP integrity. It is not surprising that organizations with large, global ERP solutions, like SAP, QAD, Infor and others have turned to AIM for our demand management expertise.
AIM Computer Solutions started as a focused solution for automotive suppliers. Our customer base has moved into non-automotive sectors… appliances, furniture, medical, energy and others… but still kept their core fabrication value proposition. Certain aspects of new customer demand capture, for example, The AIM Vision® Order Entry and Supply Chain software, has changed to meet these new industry challenges. One thing has remained the same: All of our customers are repetitive manufacturers, building products within a family of repetitive workflow steps.