Behind every finished product is a story of how it came to be. The story features players such as organizations, people, activities, information and resources acting in concert to transform materials into a product, and move it from a supplier to an end consumer. Supply chain management is the challenge of optimizing each link in the sequence to minimize costs and maximize profits. To achieve this, Supply Dynamics in Loveland, Ohio, built a software solution that enables each link in the supply chain to make decisions using the same information surrounding critical cost drivers.
“Our system connects the dots between manufacturers and suppliers and enables everyone to understand what the aggregate demand for materials is,” said Trevor Stansbury, CEO of Supply Dynamics. “Most manufacturers are outsourcing their parts and assemblies, and the manufacturers of those parts are buying raw materials in sub-optimized quantities. We collect relevant data and give links in the supply chain the visibility that allows them to choreograph the purchasing of materials in volumes that reduce costs.”
Supply Dynamics, through a process they call material demand aggregation, collects information about a product, such as what raw materials go into it, and combines it with finished part production timelines. The software forecasts raw material needs and calculates the best way to fulfill them. Keeping each link in the supply chain informed about schedules and demand allows them to plan for what materials are needed, when, and in what volumes and sizes. This sort of intel allows each link to obtain more competitive prices and better serve their customers.
“The traditional approach involves armies of people working with complex formulas on the mother of all spreadsheets. That’s simply inefficient and, after working across supply chains my entire life, it seemed there had to be a better way to do it,” said Stansbury. “We figured it out, and now we’re helping customers achieve reductions of seven to twelve percent on the materials that go into our customers’ products.”
The company was started in 2003 by Stansbury and two co-founders, but was sold in 2006 to O’Neill Industries, the largest privately-held metal distributor in the U.S. O’Neill used Supply Dynamics software to optimize its own internal processes, until Stansbury bought the company back in 2016 with the goal of expanding it across additional manufacturing markets and for different materials. The company now works with customers such as GE Aviation, United Technologies and Westinghouse in industries such as aerospace, power generation, heavy industry, appliances and semiconductors.
Queen City Angels, a southwest Ohio regional partner of Ohio Third Frontier, and Rev1 Ventures, a central Ohio regional partner, helped Supply Dynamics accelerate their product to market and rapidly grow the company. Stansbury says he’s in the perfect place to build this innovative manufacturing solution.
“There is a work ethic and a certain Midwestern sensibility that has allowed an application like this to evolve that wouldn’t have been this successful anywhere else, said Stansbury. “We have the talent and rich history of manufacturing in Ohio, as well as a support system with Queen City Angels and Rev1, that makes building Supply Dynamics here a no-brainer.”