Best in Class Companies use Lean Scheduling Software

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AberdeenGroup Survey of Manufacturing Companies reveals best practises in Lean implementations across three continents.

Preactor International, a leading specialist planning and scheduling Software Company, has announced the results of research carried out by AberdeenGroup to identify current best practises in lean manufacturing.

AberdeenGroup is the leading provider of fact-based research focused on the global technology-driven value chain. Founded in 1988, Aberdeen has established the market leading position as the voice that matters when it comes to understanding the measurable results being delivered by technology in business.

Research Objectives

The research is based on a survey covering companies in North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific in the Automotive, Aerospace, Industrial Equipment, Metals, Food, Beverages, Hi-Tech and Pharmaceutical sectors. The objectives of the survey were to measure real world achievable benefits from lean manufacturing and also to find the top 20% Best in Class implementers of lean.

The key requirements in the report for a company to be seen as Best in Class were that decision makers needed to know the following, with these requirements being referred to as actionable data:-

  • The current state of the production plan or schedule
  • The current state of execution against the plan
  • The current customer demand
  • The current status of WIP (Work in Progress).

The most important metrics used to measure benefits were:-

  • On time delivery how well demand is connected to execution
  • Throughput time improvement how well execution matches the schedule
  • Reduction in Manufacturing Cycle time improvements in manufacturing process
  • Improvement in scrap levels how quality levels are affected

Research Findings

Among the many research observations the following key findings have been found:-

  • A new generation of lean professional is emerging. Old ideas of IT-free lean implementations using only manual systems such as Kanban squares have been superseded by a focus on specific KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as cost reduction.
  • Best in Class manufacturers are twice as likely to be addressing the pressure to reduce costs by adopting lean scheduling software applications and integrating them with ERP.
  • Such an approach provides genuine supply chain visibility a tool which brings empowerment to lean decision makers.

Research Recommendations

Based on its findings, the research report drew up the following list of recommendations for companies wanting to maximise the effectiveness of a modern lean manufacturing approach:-

  • Standardize lean scheduling and execution best practises across the organisation based on the findings of a continuous improvement team.
  • Maintain the autonomy of decision makers by giving them the visibility to make effective decisions.
  • Adopt lean software applications and integrate with ERP.
  • Measure OTD (On Time Delivery), WIP and scrap on a regular basis.

Mike Novels, CEO of Preactor International commented on the research. Its very positive to have an independent company with the reputation of AberdeenGroup confirm what we and our users have been saying for many years. Namely that Lean scheduling software that empowers the planner lies at the heart of achieving lower WIP, better on time delivery performance and higher efficiency.

The report may be downloaded free of charge from AberdeenGroups web site.

About Preactor International.

Preactor International provides Advanced Planning and Scheduling software for manufacturing industries, worldwide. Preactors unique combination of usability, flexibility and integration capability combined with unmatched price/functionality enables users to obtain a Return on Investment measured in weeks, not years.   Installed in over 2000 companies, Preactor is designed to enable rather than replace legacy systems.  The partner of choice for many ERP companies, Preactor is frequently integrated with ERP to provide the detailed schedules and interactive planning environment that business demands to become more agile, and continually make deliveries on time.

Multi-plant scheduling represents the natural extension of Preactor APS and brings proven Preactor benefits to manufacturers throughout the Supply Chain. From simple exchange of resource availability through to providing the means to create fully automated and integrated collaborative scheduling clusters, Preactor delivers. From local to global, from Lean to agile, theres never been a better time to Think Scheduling, think Preactor, and follow the path to Scheduling Excellence.

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