About Applied Materials
Applied Materials is the world’s leading supplier of semiconductors and display equipment. The highly specialized nature of its products means its lead time for customer delivery can be unsustainably long. The company’s acquisition of Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates brought with it a tool that helps the company be ready before orders are placed: Kinaxis® RapidResponse®.
At the time of the acquisition, Varian had already made impressive strides in managing its supply chain, responding to questions faster and better meeting customer requests. This prompted a company-wide rollout of RapidResponse.
The Challenge and Benefit
The lead time for many of Applied Materials’ products can be up to eight months. Thomas LeBlanc, Demand Management, Master Scheduling and Production Control Manager in the company’s Varian Division, knows customers won’t wait that long.
Before Applied Materials started using RapidResponse, planners and senior management had to rely on the IT team to set up complex inventory queries and produce reports, which could take months. Users could not afford to wait if they wanted to plan and respond with accuracy and confidence.
Applied Materials needed a platform that would provide advance notice if a supplier was over capacity and running behind schedule. That would give the company the chance to implement other options and make sure it could still meet its own deadlines. RapidResponse proved to be the solution Applied Materials needed.
Without RapidResponse, I’d be spending a lot more time with hat in hand asking IT for the next report, or taking a report I already had and trying to monkey around with it in Excel.