Manufacturers are supposed to have an easier time in the digital age. Digital planning tools should eliminate the need for time-consuming and error-prone spreadsheet analysis of how best to meet customer needs within the limits of existing production and logistics operations. Development in the form of advanced planning and scheduling is essential here. They provide manufacturers with digital planning methods tailored to the modern era, resulting in increased productivity with fewer interruptions.
Sadly, it’s not always that simple. It’s not guaranteed that your production or logistics network will get a significant return on investment (ROI) once you install an advanced planning and scheduling solution. Why? Because APS software can be deployed in ways that prevent or undermine its ability to achieve desired planning optimisations.
The question is: how can you make sure yours don’t fail? Read on to find out!
Choosing the wrong implementation partner
Most companies lack the resources as well as the expertise necessary to set up an APS system. A reliable implementation partner, like us, is essential. We make sure your goals are reasonable and attainable, and we show you how to identify which variables have an actual effect on your bottom line.
Working with us at Kudos Solutions often leads to efficient and useful changes, but that’s just the beginning of the benefits you may anticipate. Knowing that you possess the resources and knowledge to accomplish what was previously impossible brings additional rewards, such as the introduction of new avenues for exploration and experimentation. The odds of succeeding at such a high level significantly increase when you have a strategic partner to work with and advise you along the way.
Talking to a partner’s references is the only method to confirm whether or not they can provide these kinds of results as an implementation partner. We advise you to inquire about the system’s launch and, more significantly, how it developed in the first several years.
Selecting APS Software based on a demo
There is no way to evaluate scheduling software accurately during a demonstration because you can’t know what features you will require ahead of time, or what elements are essential vs added benefits.
References should come from businesses or organisations that are similar to your own. You should also find out what components contributed to the project’s ultimate success and gain an in-depth comprehension of the procedure they used.
Completely underestimating your functionality requirements
If you invest in manufacturing scheduling software that can’t be personalised or modified to address your unique needs or software that can only be changed by the developer, then you will be limited as to what you can accomplish in the short-term and, more importantly, the long-term.
It’s easy to understand that if your manufacturing software prevents you from implementing new ideas then it’s going to limit your growth, especially if you’re dependent on an unreliable developer. This isn’t good news, especially as none of the time or money invested in that solution can be recovered. This leaves the IT manager with nowhere to go except start the process again and is obviously something that you want to avoid. You may have even experienced this, and now might be put off by APS systems, but we’re happy to work with you to change your mind.
Creating an optimal schedule isn’t possible
You might not want to admit it, but it’s impossible to create a truly optimal schedule. ERP systems and APS tools will constantly chase the mythical beast of the “optimal schedule” by applying “heuristics”. The system is based on a resource capacity loading algorithm that works like this:
- Sort all jobs/work orders by ‘due date’
- Start with the earliest due date first, take all the operations of each job and load the capacity of the shop.
- Direction: The loading of capacity by these software tools could be done in a “forward” or “backward” direction.
- Resource capacity; a “finite” or “infinite” scheduling flag determines whether the program recognizes that only a limited number of operations can be going on in any resource at one time (finite), else the program ignores such resource limitations and places operations regardless of resource capacity constraints.
Problems arise when there are difficulties creating a schedule, such as the current methods being implemented leaving no room for variability, no space for any potential resource shortages, staffing issues or even machinery breakdowns. There may also be priority issues, maybe the scheduling program is telling you to pay attention to the jobs due earlier first, but that “schedule” is actually causing you to make those jobs that are due later much more at risk of being late, especially if they need the extra time to be created.
We aren’t just a supplier, but we’re a partner when it comes to APS systems. Contact us today.