NHI has recently launched a level load build plan for the remainder of this year. The purpose of this method of planning is to “level” out the known peaks we experience in the winter months and valleys typically seen during the summer months. Leveling out our production allows us the ability to ship from inventory that has been put on the shelves in advance of our customer’s forecasts. It will also allow us to be flexible and ready to respond to changes in our customer’s needs.

As we are coming out of peak season in the spring, our planning group starts by analyzing the demand for the upcoming build year. They use their experience and commercial insights from the sales team to determine which part numbers should be included in the list of parts for the build year. The planners, Customer Service team, and sales team will work with customer personnel to confirm that these parts will be active for the upcoming build season to ensure that there is little risk in building these products in advance of peak season. This list is then reviewed with senior management for sign off.

Once approved, the planners then determine a build plan that is level from week to week – helping production understand capacity requirements.  Designing a level build plan helps alleviate bottlenecks throughout our production cells. This also gives insight as to our staffing needs and smooths out the spikes for better hiring/training plans. We also build in time for planned maintenance that is needed on core machinery.

Once the FGs are entered, we then take it to the component level – both manufactured items at NHI as well as purchased components and raw materials.  Each finished good item is then monitored and reviewed weekly for changes in demand and tracked as to the status. Typically, towards the end of the peak season, we allow the inventory levels to drop as we get ready to start the cycle over again.

Our planning team takes what they have learned during previous seasons and refines the process each year, improving the execution. Processes like these allow NHI to manage any demand fluctuations and ensure that our customers can rely on NHI to support their dynamic demand needs. It is another example of why our customers choose NHI as a strategic partner!

— Nicole Leonard, Supply Chain and Customer Service Manager

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