“Don’t forecast that you can calculate.”
This rule proves best-fit in manufacturing industry, where estimating the accurate amount of raw material for meeting the current demand is always a challenge. Underestimating can lead to short of sales, causing customers to seek somewhere else. Whereas, overestimating can lead to money wastage. As a matter of fact, manufacturing industry entirely depends on the right balance of demand and supply.
“Then, how to maintain this right balance?” – The question that must be crossing your mind at the moment! The answer is simple: Advance Planning and Scheduling software.
Ok! But, first let us know what Advance Planning and Scheduling (APS) software is?
APS is a powerful planning and scheduling tool for shop floor of any size. It empowers manufacturers to get real-time insight into available process cells, user defined tasks, batches to be scheduled along with the details, current production status, sales orders, etc. And, all this is displayed in a well-managed and easy to understand format. Thus, using the information, the user can manage or manipulate the job priorities department wise, chart out the schedule in advance for different Intervals (Yearly, Monthly, Hourly etc.) or months and can run the “what if” scenario before adopting the final schedule.
So, whether you belong to discrete or process manufacturing, implementing Advance Planning and Scheduling software can drastically benefit your business. Reason: it focuses on two important concerns – customers and resources. It analyzes company’s all operations in terms of customer demands and then manages production through its own logic and data processing.
The APS software supports the following planning activities:
1. Execution planning
- Get real-time insight into day-to-day operations and update the plans accordingly.
- Reschedule plan instantly to reflect the downtime (e.g.: process cell breakdown).
- Collaborate production planner and shop floor workers to help them stay up-to-date.
2. Operational planning
- Plan as per available resources and work centers
- Reflect the current state of production
- Update plans to view order backlogs
- Allow for emergency downtime with minimum interruption and costs
3. Enterprise planning
- Forecast for the weeks and months ahead with the detailed data
- Calculate delivery dates based on lead times
- Plan safety stock and optimize process cell capacity
- Plan routine maintenance to minimize downtime
4. Strategic planning
- Collaborate sales, purchase and production data to plan for the years/months ahead
- Asses demand, analyze process cell capacity and allocate production
- Conduct ‘what-if’ scenarios as demand fluctuates