Advanced Planning, APS, FCS, S&OP

Among the most popular software planning technologies is Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS). This is a type of software solution that sets out to ensure production capacity and the materials required for manufacture are optimally sourced and allocated to satisfy demand. Other related tools include Finite Capacity Scheduling. This approach sets out to understanding how much production capacity is possible within a specified timeframe. The aim is to manage workflow at an even and efficient pace throughout the production process. Finite scheduling tools differ from infinite capacity scheduling tools in that the latter are in the main more simple and unable to account for system issues/constraints that happen in real time.


Preactor brings APS benefits to new partners

Mazak customers to benefit from Preactor

Building Frames On Time

Building Frames On Time

Kingspan Off-Site operates on a lean manufacturing basis and yet offers flexibility in meeting varying and demanding requirements of its customers. At the heart of this capability is Preactor APS scheduling that has been specially configured to meet Kingspans particular requirements by Pantek.

Preactor brings APS benefits to Syspro

Preactor International extends its proven planning and scheduling capabilities to customers of Syspro ERP from McGuffie Brunton, owners of SYSPRO UK.


New Breakthrough Features Target Complex Problem-Solving; New OPL Development Studio Also Announced

Consistency is capitalized

Axxom focuses on end-to-end supply chain design

Preactor announces record growth in 2005

New customers, new partners, and customer retention over 10 years in excess of 70%.

Manhattan Associates Announces Release of Latest Supply Chain Management Solutions

First Company to Offer the Complete Footprint for Supply Chain Planning and Execution.

Demand Management, Inc. have announced that 59 companies purchased Demand Solutions software and support in the last 12 months.

New customers include Chevron, Hansen Beverage Company, Carole Hochman Design Group, Castrol China, Kentucky Derby Hosiery and Vector Manufacturing. Demand Management saw software license growth in 11 countries, with sales especially strong in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sages leading software radically overhauled to improve operational efficiency of small manufacturers

Additions to Sage Line 50 Manufacturing range reflect growing adoption of lean practices throughout manufacturing community


New Plant PowerOps Integrates Planning and Scheduling, Delivers Significant Efficiency Gains, Supports Interactive "What-if" Analysis

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS).

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) refers to a manufacturing management process by which raw materials and production capacity are optimally allocated to meet demand. In manufacturing, the purpose of scheduling is to minimize the production time and costs by improving the efficiency of the operation. Scheduling is an important tool for manufacturing as it can have a major impact on the productivity of a process.

APS is especially well-suited to environments where simpler planning methods cannot adequately address complex trade-offs between competing priorities. Traditional planning and scheduling systems utilise a stepwise procedure to allocate material and production capacity. This approach is simple but cumbersome, and does not readily adapt to changes in demand, resource capacity or material availability. Materials and capacity are planned separately, and many systems do not consider limited material availability or capacity constraints. Thus, this approach often results in plans that cannot be executed.   Production scheduling tools greatly outperform older manual scheduling methods.

These provide the production scheduler with powerful graphical interfaces which can be used to visually optimize real-time work-loads in various stages of production, and pattern recognition allows the software to automatically create scheduling opportunities which might not be apparent without this view into the data. Companies use backward and forward scheduling to allocate plant and machinery resources, plan human resources, plan production processes and purchase materials. Forward scheduling is planning the tasks from the date resources become available to determine the shipping date or the due date.

Backward scheduling is planning the tasks from the due date or required-by date to determine the start date and/or any changes in capacity required. Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) provides an updated forecast that leads to a sales plan, production plan, inventory plan, customer lead time (backlog) plan, new product development plan, strategic initiative plan and resulting financial plan. Variations in frequency of the plan depend on the type of manufacturing industry. Short product life cycles and high demand volatility require a tighter S&OP planning than steadily consumed products.

A properly implemented S&OP process routinely reviews customer demand and supply resources and “re-plans” quantitatively across an agreed rolling horizon. The re-planning process focuses on changes from the previously agreed sales and operations plan. While it helps the management team to understand how the company achieved its current level of performance, its primary focus is on future actions and anticipated results.

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