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PRODUCTION PLANNING
& SCHEDULING

Our APS (advanced planning & scheduling) solutions will revolutionize the way you work.

With the help of world-leading Preactor software, your efficiency levels, agility and productivity go way beyond what you can achieve with ERP or Excel.

Replacing a current working system is not an easy task, of course. But, get it right and the rewards are enormous.

Luckily, we specialize in getting it right!


 Do any of these challenges sound familiar?

  • If we prioritize a ‘rush’ order we don’t know how it will affect other orders.
  • Sometimes we have to stop production due to a shortage of materials.
  • It’s hard to keep up. By the time I’m finished updating my production plan the situation has changed again.
  • Even after creating a plan it’s not possible to share it with production, purchasing or sales.
  • We are not able to provide delivery dates as fast as people want them – and when we do, we have trouble meeting them.
  • Predicting the impact of planned maintenance is difficult enough; predicting the impact of a machine breakdown is almost impossible.
  • Our production is complicated and we rely heavily on the planner’s experience. Creating a plan requires an intimate knowledge of materials, worker skills and process knowledge.

These types of challenges are common when using ERP and/or Excel for production planning. If they seem all too familiar to you then our APS solution could revolutionize the way you work.

 Which companies/industries benefit most from APS?



The type of operation you are running will determine how big an impact an APS solution will have. For example, the following scenarios are very well suited to APS:

  • Many product variations
  • Customized products
  • Multiple production steps using different types of equipment (or different routings)
  • Make-to-order (especially if you want to go from a ‘make-to-stock’ to a ‘make-to-order’ model)

 Benefits for planners & schedulers

Planners and schedulers choose our APS solution for one simple reason – it makes them better at their job! They are able to carry out their work faster and to a higher standard, with less effort and less stress.

It gives them improved control, greater visibility, and the ability to react and resolve problems more quickly.

  • Create new production plans quickly and easily.
  • Immediately see if and where problems exist.
  • Easily compare plans and choose the best alternative.
  • Visualize the follow-on effects of accepting a ‘rush’ order.
  • Identify and resolve issues more quickly, such as a potential shortage of materials.
  • Quickly confirm the delivery date for a new order.
  • Share the live production schedule with colleagues.

 Additional business benefits

  • Increase delivery precision and improve customer service
  • Lower stock levels – synchronize purchasing with an achievable schedule
  • Minimize work in progress – shorten makespan time / issue materials when needed, not before
  • Increase productivity – make better use of existing capacity, equipment and personnel

 Improving supply chain management

Our APS solution supports your wider supply chain management (SCM) efforts. It enables you to react in a timely manner to both upstream and downstream events.

Even in well-integrated supply chains there is a general assumption that suppliers have the stock/capacity to meet your customers’ orders – whether that is the case or not. Having a proficient APS solution at the heart of your SCM system is essential to meet constantly changing conditions.

APS is an enabling tool. It allows you to get the most out of your SCM and ERP systems in a number of ways, including:

  • Enhancing ERP by linking the allocation of materials across orders that have been generated by MRP
  • Complex production scheduling rules
  • Order promising
  • Providing feasible dates for both purchasing (when materials are needed in production) and sales (when finished goods are ready for shipment)

 3 critical factors for success

An APS solution on its own does not guarantee success. There are three important factors to consider to ensure your solution delivers the benefits you expect.

 Commit and prepare for change – The purpose of a new APS solution is to improve your existing planning process.  This means it will have an impact on how you work today. To be successful there needs to be a willingness to change at all levels, and a shared commitment to achieve the project’s goals.  

 Choose the right partner – Most companies that select and implement an APS solution on their own fail to meet  expectations. Making an APS solution work in a real-world environment requires considerable knowledge and experience. But success does not only depend on technical expertise. It also requires the ability to drive cultural change. The right partner can help you avoid the pitfalls, generate benefits more quickly, and make sure your solution delivers long-term value.

 Choose the right APS software – A great software demonstration is not enough! You need to know how the software  will perform in your production environment. Will it allow you to model your real-world constraints? Can you build in your experience? Will it grow with your needs? Since it is almost impossible to know all of your requirements up front, choosing a software that has proven itself in thousands of companies from almost every industry is a good place to start.

 Why choose Preactor software?

Preactor is used by thousands of companies across the globe in just about every industry sector. With 20 years of built-in experience it is the world’s most successful APS system.

Its flexibility has been proven in countless scenarios and applications within small, medium and large enterprises. So, you can be confident that there is a solution to meet your needs today and as you grow in the future.

A key reason for Preactor’s success is that it is fundamentally different from most other APS solutions. While other companies base their software on algorithmic sequencing, Preactor uses a heuristic approach.  This enables rules to be created and automated based on real-world experience.

It means Preactor is able to handle a huge variety of production scenarios – as opposed to alternative systems, which may demo beautifully but struggle to cope in the real world.

Preactor is also part of Siemens, who are committed to maintaining their leading position within the APS market.
 

 How we work

Our focus is on delivering a solution that is right for you! That means understanding where you are today and where you are trying to get to. Although we offer a flexible approach, projects usually include four key stages.

  • Discovery – The first step is to get a basic understanding of what you are looking for and to find out about your concerns, issues and objectives. We can then delve a little deeper and uncover some of the more complex issues your company is facing. This allows us to present you with a number of options based on your budget and your timeline.
  • Prototype – If there is an opportunity for improvement we suggest starting with a prototype. This requires a relatively small investment in order to penetrate your existing planning and production processes and generate enough information to create an initial Preactor model. This lets you visualize your data in Preactor and carry out ‘what if’ scenarios. Based on the results of the prototype we provide you with a quotation for project scope and delivery.
  • Implementation – Once the business case is approved, we work together with you to implement your new planning process. We help you to quickly build a preliminary Preactor model and populate it with real data. That means you get up and running sooner and can start generating a return on your investment more quickly.
  • Training and support – As part of delivery, we make sure planners and other users get the training they need. We continue to support solutions over their entire lifecycle, enabling continuous improvement and long-term value.

 Customer testimonials

 

What do Preactor customers say?

 

Our whole production process is now much more transparent – from ERP down to the shop floor. We can easily identify bottlenecks and can see where we need to modify and improve processes. We can also respond more quickly to order enquiries – especially for complex products.  
Sven Goltermann, Glamox

Read Case Story »

 

PlantVision were always responsive and open-minded to our ideas. They found workable solutions to each of our requests – even when that meant going outside of Preactor. They also managed to implement the system and get it up and running extremely quickly  
Paul Düver, Glamox

Read Case Story »

 

Preactor is helping us to better understand our supply chain – not just internally but also in terms of how suppliers impact our production. We’re still on a learning curve and will keep improving the system. We are confident that Preactor can help us to reach our ultimate goal of 99% delivery precision. We won’t stop until we get there  
Sven Goltermann, Glamox

Read Case Story »

 

In implementing Preactor, our main aim was to improve our on-time-deliveries, as defined by the customer required dates. And Preactor has certainly delivered in this respect. On-time delivery has increased from 34% to 94%. We now enjoy better overall control and synchronization over departments.  
Paul Lambert, Improvements Manager Cash Bases

 

The system allows us to provide a due date almost as soon as we receive an order enquiry. If problems occur later on in a project, things can easily be shuffled around.
Stuart Bateman, Solent Moulds

 

The system has also brought levels of flexibility that were simply impossible before. We now have the ability to run ‘What If’’ scenarios, which are invaluable should we have a problem with a delivery or on a production line. We know instantly the impact of an event on the entire plan and from that we can use Preactor to judge how best to react.
Patricia Speakman, Ardo

 

 FAQ

Why do we need APS software if we already have an ERP system?
The more complex your production – in terms of materials, lead times, routings, manpower, skills, equipment and tooling, etc. – the less likely it is that ERP can cope. Yes, you might be able to make ERP planning work, but there is a huge lost opportunity cost.

ERP is simply not cut out for the task of modeling production-specific process conditions. Complementing your ERP with an APS solution can significantly increase the value of your planning function.

 

We use Excel to complement our ERP. Isn’t that good enough?
Using Excel or any other ERP add-on is a compromise. It gives you greater flexibility than ERP alone, but you end up investing a lot of time and effort to make things work. Excel lacks the visibility, data integration and prepackaged sequencing rules that APS solutions provide out of the box.

Excel is also time-consuming. Generating a new schedule can take hours or even days. Vast amounts of time can also be spent maintaining the schedule and reacting to changing production conditions. Compare this to our APS solution, which lets you create new production plans in minutes and view the impact of changes in real time.

 

Will Preactor APS be fully compatible with my ERP system?
Yes, Preactor works with most ERP systems including SAP, Oracle, Baan, Axapta, Dynamics, IFS, Sage and many others. 98% of the integration involves data such as routings, work orders, sales orders, purchase orders and BOMs imported into Preactor.

 

How much will it cost?
Software pricing and implementation depend on your needs. We suggest starting with a discovery meeting. This will allow us (and you) to generate a clear picture of your situation and needs. A solution can then be developed that fits your budget. The good news is, in the vast majority of cases, Preactor APS delivers a very quick return on investment.

 

How long will it take to implement Preactor APS?
It all depends on the size and complexity of the project, but normally from 6 weeks to 6 months.

 What should I do next?

Get in touch and discover exactly how our APS solution could benefit you and your organization.
Kenny Andersson, kenny.andersson@plantvision.se or tel. +46 70 624 51 99

Or, find out more about Preactor now »

 

 


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