Production Control

Optimizing inventories and workers and leveling out production facilities in the face of fluctuating demand due to the Corona pandemic【Tips for hosting a webinar】


Overview of today's Business Improvement Online Seminar on Overcoming Corona Pandemic

Today, we held a webinar entitled "Optimizing Inventory and Workers and Leveling Production Facilities in the Midst of Fluctuating Demand Due to Corona Pandemic", which was co-hosted by Qunie Corporation, an NTT Data Group consulting company, and Asprova, the number one production scheduler in Japan, and it was a great success.

In a presentation entitled "Preparing Production and Logistics for the Corona Pandemic," PT.Qunie described how, despite the difficulty of investing in new projects due to the effects of the corona pandemic, the company is reviewing its plant operations, completely revising its layout, creating a multi-functional workforce so that only a list of personnel can be used, and reviewing its basic operations, with a particular focus on reviewing operations from the three perspectives of production, logistics and procurement.

  1. Production: activities to improve the level of service to customers
  2. Logistics: reviewing logistics costs
  3. Procurement: Further review of local procurement

Asprova presented a presentation entitled "Corona pandemic on-site driven system - demand fluctuations and worker adjustments" in which he explained that the part of the delivery date that cannot be covered by the plant's lead time (order L/T + manufacturing L/T + shipping L/T) is the appropriate inventory, and that it is necessary to determine the appropriate inventory based on the assumption of demand fluctuations caused by corona damage There are many constraints that need to be taken into account, such as the equalization of equipment capacity, production patterns for different order types (e.g., prospective production or make-to-order production), and the skill map for workers, and one way to solve all of these problems is to introduce a scheduler, and we had a demonstration of the process for solving specific constraints.

The seminar was intended to be a flow of presentation of specific solutions with system demonstrations after proposing the direction of improvements in production, logistics and procurement from a business improvement consultant's point of view; however, the results of the questionnaire after the seminar showed that no one left the room during the seminar and it was generally well received.

Tips for hosting a webinar

At a real seminar held in a rented conference room at an industrial park's management office, the management office can send out e-mail invitations to tenant companies all at once, which is very effective for attracting customers. This is not the case for webinars, and we will be advertising through informational media such as email announcements to existing customers, NNA, and Lifenesia.

In our experience of the 6 real-world seminars and 2 online seminars we've hosted, the number of customers who attended the two was not that different. We believe this is because the seminar is easier to attend than real seminars where participants have to spend hours in traffic jams to get to the venue, without having to send out e-mails for the entire industrial park.

Since the June incident when an online event in the U.S. was cancelled by the Chinese government, more and more Japanese companies in Indonesia have banned ZOOM and have been refused to participate in ZOOM's external webinars because they are not even allowed to participate in them. Should we stop using the voting function and move to Teams?

We had some clients who informed us that they would not be able to participate in this event due to the internal rules prohibiting the use of ZOOM, so we finally decided to hold the event with Microsoft Teams. I felt that the impact of the friction between the U.S. and China at the national level had reached the event to which I committed myself, a seminar for Japanese manufacturers in Indonesia, and that the issue had become more familiar to me.

And because of the PSBB (Massive Society Restrictions) due to the Corona pandemic, I've been unable to make physical visits and seminars, and I've been working on a webinar that I have no experience with. Honestly, I was left wondering what the difference was between watching and learning about business content on Youtube and the web.

There is no pinpointed content on the internet that includes the topic of "corona pandemic, Indonesia, demand change, and business improvement", and even if there was, it takes a lot of mental and physical preparation to find and view videos on such a headache-heavy topic. And so it makes sense to have a webinar that can be attended passively.

As I've been working from home more and more since April, I've attended about five webinars with Jetro, the Indonesian Embassy, and other organizations, and I just finished my second webinar today in my capacity as an organizer, and I feel like I'm starting to get a little bit of an idea of what it's like to host a webinar, even if it's presumptuous.

  • It's best to give a short overview.
    I once attended a two-hour seminar and lost concentration in the second half of the session, so I found that about 15 minutes per session was the most effective way to maintain concentration. It's enough if I can provide you with a guideline that will give you a clue to your problems, and I can provide you with more details by visiting you individually or through a web conference. This is a better use of time because there is no room for wasted free time or lazy greetings.
  • Co-hosting with multiple companies is better received than a single company.
    The more topics you can successfully reach each customer's different interests, the more likely you are to get a hit. The same logic applies to level swings, which have a higher hit rate than downswings.
  • ZOOM's polling feature is useful for collecting surveys in time
    This is a much higher response rate than sending you a survey link via email after the seminar, but unfortunately it's a feature unique to ZOOM and one that we'd like to see added to MS Teams as well.
  • Demonstrations are more effective.
    I found the webinar to be particularly advantageous when demonstrating the system, as a shared screen image is much easier to view than an image projected on a screen in a conference room.