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Manufacturing Resource Planning (MPS) vs Advanced Planning and Scheduling Solutions (APS)

Planvisage provides Advanced Planning and Scheduling Solutions (APS) for manufacturing companies. Advanced Planning and Scheduling takes care of actual constraints in a factory and comes up with a near optimum solution. While executing a plan, problems can occur like delay shipment from supplier, machine break down, quality failure, change in customer schedule and so on. Just knowing the problem is not sufficient. But more important is what to do with this problem, how it affects the entire organization and how quickly an alternate solution can be found. Planvisage Advanced Planning and Scheduling solution takes this information and comes with a feasible solution quickly taking care of both material and capacity constraints simultaneously. Advanced Planning and Scheduling will also show how it affects other orders and more importantly how it affects a customer.

Some of the questions that needs to be answered by any planning systems are

  1. Does Advanced Planning and Scheduling balance the load on resources such that it does not exceed the available capacity?

  2. If capacity of primary resource not available, does it shift to alternate resource automatically?

  3. If primary routing is fully loaded with orders, does it shift to alternate routing like subcontract automatically?

  4. If primary item is not available, does it pick up alternate item?

  5. Does it consider lot sizing constraints while generating work order and procurement orders automatically?

  6. Does it consider operation level constraints like setup time, wait time, min queue time, yield or transfer batch quantity?

  7. Does it consider operation level run time or production time?

  8. Does it consider additional resource like tools and fixtures on top of primary resource during planning?

  9. Is it possible to prioritize sales orders such that higher priority gets the material and capacity first?

  10. Is it possible to consider supplier or subcontract capacity?

  11. Is it possible to specify different types of resource like subcontract, batch, pool or aggregate?

  12. Is it possible to do what-if analysis like finding out if a customer order can be fulfilled?

  13. Does it predict the due date of an order taking into account both material and capacity constraints?

  14. If a supplier has delayed his shipment, does it warn immediately how it will affect other work orders and sales orders?

  15. Does it have the capability to pull or push an order based on capacity and material constraints?

  16. Every day there are lots of changes like customer changes an order, machine down time, supplier delay. Is it possible to run the tool every day to generate plans?

  17. In a BOM, if one of the material is not available, does it shift the sales order commitment date such that all the material are available?

  18. Is it possible to define variable bucket size across time horizon?

  19. Does it show graphical representation of how order is fulfilled?

  20. Does it show graphical representation of capacity utilization?

  21. Does it show how inventory will be in one month down the line?

A typical MRP solution may not provide answers to these questions. By having a solution which answer these questions will provide benefits like

  1. Better due date commitments to a customer

  2. Increase in customer service level

  3. Quick response to any change

  4. Higher inventory turns

  5. Effective resource utilization

Though ERP claims it has a planning module, the solution it offers is often not feasible to execute as it considers capacity to be infinite. Even if it is feasible, it is way off from the optimal solution. The main and critical difference is that it does planning sequentially – first it resolves material problem and then the user has to manually resolve capacity problem. During its MRP run, it takes into account only material constraints and does not consider capacity constraints. It takes a fixed lead time approach and considers capacity to be infinite. This can create issue as lead time can never be fixed. Lead time will vary depending on the demand pattern, holidays, resource downtime, alternate resource or alternate routing. Capacity is checked only after the material has arrived. At that time if capacity is not available, then the material sits idle till capacity is freed up. This could cause delay in order or excess work-in-progress. To overcome the problem that the order is not delayed, a safety factor is added to the fixed lead time during explosion of BOM. This unnecessarily increases the inventory and cycle time.

Planvisage Advanced Planning and Scheduling solution takes into account both material and capacity constraints during planning. This gives a feasible solution which is closer to optimal solution. Materials arrive at the right time when the capacity is free. This will reduce WIP and also will reduce the cycle time. Planvisage Advanced Planning and Scheduling solution is complementary to ERP solution like SAP or Oracle. It pulls required data from ERP like BOM, Routing, Inventory and WIP and does the planning. The output of the result is sent back to ERP for execution.

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