The modern manufacturing and production landscape is ever evolving, with efficient planning and scheduling becoming crucial components for success in an increasingly competitive market. This is where Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) systems like Opcenter come into play, revolutionising the way businesses manage their operations.
However, even with the most advanced technology, a skilled human touch remains essential to harness the full potential of any system. In this blog, we’ll explore the skill set required to effectively use Opcenter APS system and how it empowers planners and schedulers to enhance their processes.
Planning and scheduling experience
To effectively use Opcenter APS, an understanding of planning and scheduling as well as real life experience in the industry is essential. This isn’t to say that you need to be a seasoned professional, but Opcenter APS can only work with the data it is provided with, so you need to understand the ins and outs of planning and scheduling.
Having a grasp of concepts like lead times, capacity planning, and production sequencing will help to navigate the intricacies of the system more effectively. This knowledge allows users to make informed decisions when configuring and utilising the APS system to align with the company’s needs and objectives.
Once you’ve laid this groundwork, Opcenter APS offers an accessible interface that is designed with user-friendliness in mind, ensuring that the learning curve isn’t too steep for newcomers. Its intuitive nature is supported by features like the Gant chart, which acts as a safety net, preventing you from dropping things in the wrong place. It’s like having a digital assistant that gently guides you away from errors!
Data analysis and interpretation
As you would expect, Opcenter APS operates on vast amounts of data, encompassing everything from customer orders and inventory levels to machine capabilities and production rates. Whilst Opcenter provides this data in easy-to-follow formats, it is up to you to analyse, interpret, and draw actionable insights from this data.
Proficient data analysis ensures that production schedules generated by the system are realistic, feasible, and as efficient as possible. Users should be comfortable working with various data formats, employing statistical techniques, and using data visualisation tools to facilitate better decision-making.
While the Opcenter APS system is designed to be user-friendly, a certain level of technical proficiency is necessary. Users should possess a strong understanding of software navigation, system configuration, and parameter settings.
This skill set enables users to tailor the system to their specific manufacturing environment and operational needs – which brings us nicely into our next point!
Merging expertise with automation
Opcenter APS isn’t a replacement for human expertise; it’s a complementary tool. About 80% of the planning work is automated by the system, freeing up your time to contribute to or work on other areas of the business that cannot be automated.
The other 20% of the planning work requires the human touch. The system relies on the data it has and the rules it’s been given (which will vary from business to business), such as prioritising customers or adhering to business priorities. You have the power to override these rules manually when necessary and this is where your real-world experience is crucial.
The system’s ability to alert you when issues arise, like overcapacity or potential delays, is a game-changer, but it’s your expertise that helps navigate the unforeseen challenges, sudden changes, and special considerations that can’t be predicted by algorithms alone.
Ready to combine your experience with Opcenter APS to streamline your processes? Contact us today to find out more.