Stress-Free Supply Chain Management: Highlights from the DDBRIX Toronto Workshop

What do LEGO bricks and material requirements planning (MRP) have in common? DDBRIX.

On November 21, 2019, SHEA Global hosted the DDBRIX Toronto Workshop, led by Laurent Vigouroux of B2Wise France. This innovative special event showcased how to eliminate the pains of planning in a game-like simulation.

Participants learned how to reduce costs, inventory, and time spent forecasting along with simplifying the complexities of their ERP solutions and MRP parameters — all while using LEGO bricks.

The DDBRIX Toronto Workshop – an innovative, game-like experience – showed participants how to eliminate the pains of planning using LEGO bricks.

Kevin Hollis, Regional Sales Manager at SHEA Global, attended the DDBRIX workshop and gained many insights into Lean assembly and applying the methodology of demand-driven MRP (DDMRP).

“It was great to have some ‘aha’ moments in terms of how simple changing some processes and/or priorities can be,” Hollis says.

“Because it was in a game environment if a question or concept about DDMRP came up it wasn’t just something you could talk about in theory. You could demonstrate it. … You could actually see the impact.”

What is DDBRIX?

DDBRIX takes the concepts of DDMRP and merges them into a game-like environment to show how to make Lean supply chains a reality.

During the day-long workshop, participants split up into teams. Each member of the team took a different role in the production line — supplier, scheduler, operator, and so on. One of the team members near the end of the supply chain was responsible for quality control.

The teams then began assembling batches of widgets out of LEGO bricks.

Teams assumed roles within the supply chain and learned how to apply Lean assembly principles to simplify the process and gain better results.

At first, Hollis says, there was a significant amount of stress.

“You felt like you couldn’t make it on time,” he says. “You were waiting a long time for the next batch to come through.”

The first time through, quality control also suffered.

“If [the product] got to the end and was rejected, it was sent back to raw materials,” Hollis says.

Over the day, however, the teams improved significantly. Vigouroux used the lessons learned early on to show participants how to simplify the production process — and garner better results with much less conflict.

“By the time we got to the last test, we had a higher output, higher control, and much less inventory,” Hollis says. “And the stress levels had gone away. Everybody was in a happy place.”

Game Mirroring Life

While DDBRIX is a small-scale game, led in a safe, controlled environment, the concepts learned can be applied to a much larger setting.

In traditional MRP, many supply chains deal with the same conflicts the DDBRIX teams found at the start of the workshop — trouble planning, waiting for supplies, and a lot of pressure. The DDBRIX event illustrated how DDMRP concepts offer superior supply chain management.

Hollis had attended other DDMRP professional training programs before, but none quite like this.

“There was a significant takeaway,” Hollis says.

“So many systems in MRP take too much effort to maintain. … That translates into using offline Excel spreadsheets and trying to figure it out outside of the system.”

With DDBRIX, however, Hollis saw how DDMRP can take away that confusion and mistrust.

Over the course of the day, workshop participants had the opportunity to try out different roles. This enabled them to see the supply chain process from different viewpoints.

“You got the perspective of being the supplier and how erratic it can be with poor planning,” Hollis says.

DDBRIX Toronto Workshop presenter, Laurent Vigouroux of B2Wise France, tracked key performance metrics throughout the day-long workshop on November 21, 2019.

They also saw the results in action as Vigouroux measured key performance indicators, such as number of orders fulfilled.

“You couldn’t argue with the numbers because you just experienced it,” Hollis says.

Participants left the DDBRIX workshop happy, stress-free, and ready to implement Lean supply chain methods into their own businesses.

Take Your DDMRP Training Further

The DDBRIX event is a great way to try out DDMRP concepts in a fun environment. Questions and experiments are encouraged. Participants can also see the effects of DDMRP in action.

“Some of the applied theories truly simplify the process. It takes a lot of stress and overhead pressure away,” Hollis says. “To anybody reading this article, plan to get your supply chain manager out to the next DDBRIX course.”

Thank you to Laurent Vigouroux, B2Wise, Citwell, the Demand Driven Institute, and all of our participants for making the DDBRIX workshop such a success. Stay tuned for more information about upcoming DDBRIX workshops.

Businesses can also explore whether DDMRP is right for them on a large-scale level at any time with the DDMRP pilot program from SHEA Global.

To learn more about the DDBRIX workshop or our DDMRP pilot program, contact us today.