Advanced Planning

What is Advanced Planning?

Advanced Planning software takes account of production forecasts and long-term orders and supports decision making for the mid- to long-term feasibility of production operations. It helps manufacturers make strategic decisions about their factories, resources and workforce. In other words, Production Planning software helps manufacturers determine what and how much to make, where and when to make it, and exactly what materials and resources are required.

In concert with Advanced Scheduling software, Advanced Planning software helps manufacturers anticipate manufacturing resource needs; orchestrate efficient use of material, people and machines; and deliver valuable customer service and higher profitability. The combination can be used for long-term strategic planning covering months and years, medium-term tactical planning with a few weeks planning horizon, and detailed sequencing and scheduling.

Advanced Planning software can be used as a standalone system to manage planning and scheduling, and can also be integrated with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), and other software solutions.

Advanced Planning Functions

Advanced Planning software includes numerous features that help manufacturers oversee various aspects of production planning:

Bill of Materials (BOM) level planning -By enabling an exploded view of the Bill of Materials (BOM), Advanced Planning allows the production plan for lower-level items to be calculated. Proposed material purchase requirements can be exported to an ERP or other system for action.

Interactive schedule visualization - Once an initial Master Production Schedule (MPS) has been created, Advanced Planning software can display data as stock profile graphs and capacity usage graphs. Clicking and dragging a point on a graph may be sufficient to change the MPS.

Make-to-order planning - In a make-to-order environment, stock levels of finished and intermediate items will not be part of the key process parameters. Advanced Planning software enables a manufacturer to evaluate the effects of future demand changes on the manufacturing process. When a change in demand occurs, whether in terms of quantity or delivery dates, the manufacturer can quickly assess if it is possible to meet the new requirements

Make-to-stock planning - Advanced Planning software can generate accurate and achievable master production schedules (MPS) considering rough cut capacity, pack forward figures, target days of stock cover, manufacturing preferences, minimum and maximum re-order quantities, re-order multiples and product shelf life. Production capacity can be specified as a quantity, duration, or weight. With an Advanced Planning calendar system, production capacity can be varied over time. The capacity available then limits the production volume created in each period.

Benefits of Advanced Planning software

Advanced Planning software improves the synchronization of manufacturing processes and provides greater visibility to increase utilization and on-time delivery while reducing inventory levels and waste. Advanced Planning can help manufacturers generate and evaluate what-if scenarios to achieve the best results.

Additional benefits:

  • Full visibility and control
  • Increased utilization and leaner operations
  • Faster response to change
  • Better customer service
  • Higher margins