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Forrester Wave Rankings

Plex Named Strong Performer

in The Forrester Wave™: Digital Operations Platforms For Manufacturing Businesses, Q3 2020.

Videos | Mar. 27, 2020

Advanced Planning and Scheduling: Suppliers and Purchasing Collaboration - Demo


Comprehensive Supply Chain Management

Plex's Supply Chain Management allows for advanced production planning and scheduling. Collaborate with your suppliers for proactive supply chain execution. (4:24)


Video Transcription

Plex Suppliers and Purchasing improves supplier quality to make manufacturers more effective and efficient through improved collaboration to control timing and cost while streamlining process automation. Improve your results with end-to-end supplier quality. Bring suppliers closer and make collaboration with your partners easier. And enjoy greater speed and accuracy through automation with digital workflows and built-in EDI communication. Let’s jump into a request for quotation, typically called an RFQ. We see that an RFQ was sent for a specified part number. One supplier has not responded to the request; while the other has acknowledged receiving it. 

Based on the supplier assessment maintained by Plex Suppliers and Purchasing, let’s choose Ballard and award them this business. To meet the quality requirements of this newly sourced part, a supplier PPAP or production part approval process – is initiated. The list of various tests, data, and compliance is shown in the attached warrant. This can vary by industry and submission level.  You can provide Ballard with a template they can fill in for each of these required documents. In turn, Ballard can attach their completed documents through the supplier portal. We see that Ballard has submitted an FMEA document. But, multiple documents in different formats is the old way to manage PPAPs. With Plex, these are digital forms that are part of the database, so there’s no chance of them being out-of-date. Assuming the part was approved for Ballard, let’s move our focus over to the material planner screen that lists the status of components and parts required in the manufacturing process. The MRP system shows that material for the part will be short in week 3. Plex’s MRP system recommends how much material to buy and when. In this case, the system is recommending a quantity of 14,000, so to create a release, select the line item and click Create from the Action Bar. Now that the order has been placed, you’ll notice that the item is no longer short in that period. Because Ballard is configured to receive EDI transmissions, the release has been sent automatically. 

Ballard uses the Plex supplier portal for collaboration. They can access the release we just created for 14,000 units. From here Ballard can acknowledge the receipt of the release, ship parts, and print shipping labels. The system will then send an Advanced Shipment Notice, or ASN, to let you know that Ballard shipped the parts. Meanwhile, back at headquarters, the incoming A-S-N transaction has arrived via EDI from Ballard. This takes us to the “finalize receipt” screen to complete the process of placing and receiving an order. As part of the receiving process, the material requires incoming inspection. A check sheet will be presented to the receiver automatically, ensuring that the shipment goes through a series of prescribed steps before being accepted. If there are any quality issues found, a non-conformance or CAPA action can be initiated from the supplier return screen.  Not only can you track the time and steps taken to resolve the quality issue, but you can also initiate a cost recovery process. Plex Suppliers and Purchasing helps manufacturers deliver improved supplier quality through collaboration and automation of supply chain processes. This enables buyers to confidently make purchasing decisions for the right amount of material, at the right price, from the right supplier. To learn more or see a more detailed demonstration, please contact Plex at 855-534-8012 or online at  


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