ILOG Plant PowerOps 3.1 offers dynamic safety stock for true demand-driven manufacturing

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ILOG has unveiled ILOG Plant PowerOps 3.1 , the latest version of ILOGs integrated planning and scheduling solution, featuring industry-first support for dynamic safety stocks.

This capability can help companies both reduce inventories and improve service and is a major step towards achieving demand-driven manufacturing. Plant PowersOps (PPO) 3.1, part of ILOGs LogicTools suite of Supply chain Applications, is the first product on the market with global optimisation capability that can plan production by taking into account service level targets and demand variability. PPO 3.1 also provides new plant design and process design capabilities that enable both industrial engineers and production planners to collaborate on decision-making for plant profitability.

Rising prices of raw materials is pushing the Food and Beverage and fast-moving Consumer Goods industries to focus on reducing inventories and to produce in smaller batches while maintaining very high levels of service. Before the availability of PPO 3.1, safety stock targets would be set at the plant using guess-work, formulas or algorithms that make strong assumptions on the production lead times. Based on the safety stock targets, planners would build a production plan that may be far from the initial assumptions, therefore invalidating the stock targets. This scenario could then lead to maintaining the wrong amount of inventory, resulting in either higher inventory levels than necessary or stock-outs which hurt service levels.

Leveraging a global optimisation model, PPO 3.1 provides a holistic view spanning from demand variability to safety stock targets to production plan. This capability limits decisions making based on product plan assumptions - and vice-versa, production plans that are generated based on faulty safety stock decisions. The benefits of this new global optimization capability are that the safety stock now perfectly covers production and demand variability, leading to improved service levels and reduced inventories.

Better Collaboration Between Designers and Manufacturing

Before the availability of PPO 3.1, using simulation tools, engineers were able to model the details of chemical and biological reactions but due to the limited optimisation capabilities of these tools, they were unable to generate realistic schedules taking into account all manufacturing constraints. PPO 3.1 provides extended functionalities for what-if analysis, master data editing and reporting with interfaces for industrial engineers and production planners, allowing them to share the same data. Industrial engineers can easily simulate different plant configurations using a simple user interface. It enables them to discover hidden bottlenecks and to make strategic decisions based on realistic simulations of manufacturing schedules. This greatly improves collaboration between design and manufacturing.

This collaboration is essential in the biotech and the pharmaceutical industries where plant and process design are often a top priority due to high equipment costs and the long time necessary to obtain FDA approvals.

Other new features include:

  • Import/export to Excel: planners and industrial engineers are now able to run what-if analysis by modifying planning data in MS Excel.
  • Master data editing: changing the master data can be complex and time consuming. PPO 3.1 offers extended functionalities to perform this type of simulation extremely easily.
  • Multi-site planning: production planners can now consider different plants and warehouses in a distribution planning view. A warehouse summary view has also been added to analyse the details of a multi-site plan.
  • Interactive Production Planning: planners can now easily interact with a Master Production Schedule by changing and fixing production or delivery decisions and re-optimising the plan.

ILOGs LogicTools Suite of Supply Chain Applications capitalises on ILOG's 20 years of leadership in optimisation and LogicTools' supply chain customers, expertise and thought leadership. More than 250 companies use the LogicTools suite for network design, production sourcing, inventory optimisation, transportation planning, as well as production planning and scheduling.

With the acquisition of LogicTools, the company founded in 1995 by David Simchi-Levi, Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT, ILOG today provides solutions that complement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and enable companies to make better decisions faster by optimising their logistics networks and transportation strategy, setting safety stock levels for their sales and operations planning and improving their plant operations through sophisticated production planning and detailed scheduling.

About ILOG

ILOG delivers software and services that empower customers to make better decisions faster and manage change and complexity. Over 3,000 corporations and more than 465 leading software vendors rely on ILOG's market-leading business rule management system (BRMS), supply chain and planning and scheduling applications, and optimisation and visualisation software components, to achieve dramatic returns on investment, create market-defining products and services, and sharpen their competitive edge. ILOG was founded in 1987 and employs more than 850 people worldwide.

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