An excellent level of service with CyberPlan: Uniflair from the Schneider Electric Group

APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling) - Electromechanical Sector

The story of innovation in Uniflair’s production planning, told by Luca Masiero – supply chain manager of the company that is part of the Schneider Electric group. The famous Venetian company has been choosing Cybertec for almost twentyyearsas  a

partner to govern the production planning and scheduling processes, achieving high levels of performance.

How did production planning work before CyberPlan?

“Before CyberPlan, that is, until the year 2000, we did not have a real planning system. At the time we used AS400 and an MRP that exploded the bills and showed the stocks of all the warehouses, without distinction, “says Masiero. “Later we worked on some prints, rather bulky in size, so as to manually discern the materials according to the warehouses in which they were located.”  This process required long processing times and did not allow Uniflair to manage a level of detail sufficient to guarantee a level of service excellence.

What prompted you to equip yourself with APS software?

The Supply Chain Manager tells how before acquiring the CyberPlan software, the production planning in Uniflair was carried out in an artisanal way and that this “placed limits on a production that instead proved to be growing both in terms of size and complexity”.

The main reasons that have led Uniflair to improve its processes and tools derive from the desire to guarantee its customers precise and reliable delivery dates and to increase the efficiency of its supply chain, from purchases to warehouses.

The Venetian company therefore felt the need for a tool that would guarantee a fast, detailed and efficient planning process.

Masiero goes on to describe how the company’s management decided to invest in new and innovative tools capable of evolving Uniflair’s supply chain and adequately seizing the opportunity represented by strong growth. The company management thus had the foresight to invest in highly specialized tools that supported ERP “A long software selection was carried out, at the end of which the Advanced Planning and Scheduling software, CyberPlan emerged as a clear winner thanks to its distinctive features.” 

What are the characteristics of Uniflair production?

“Uniflair is a company with a production that is 50% ETO (Engineer To Order). For this part of the productions, therefore, the bill of materials is not configured but is made specifically for the customer according to his requests; this determines the need to make adaptations in production. Other features are the fact that some Uniflair products have bills of materials with more than 350 components and that while some products have a crossing time of 1/3 days, others have times of 1/3 weeks, “says Masiero. “We have 10 production lines for air conditioners and chillers that work with a lean perspective: it is therefore of fundamental importance that the necessary materials arrive at the beginning of the line, before the start of production.”Uniflair Production Planning and Scheduling with CyberPlan Cybertec

So in 2000 you implemented CyberPlan. How did the project unfold?

“The CyberPlan implementation project lasted a few months and was followed by Cybertec consultants. First of all, we have tried to integrate as many things as possible into the master data, so that CyberPlan can draw on the data contained in AS400 and make the best use of it. We then configured CyberPlan so that we have the opportunity to understand how much material we have in stock, in terms of stock and how much is required by each line of business. Over the years we have wanted to implement the potential offered by CyberPlan – continues Masiero – creating useful monitoring for the best use of the materials contained in the warehouses”. 

How is CyberPlan used in Uniflair?

In the beginning there was only one CyberPlan user, but after realizing how the tool was also useful to other figures, we decided to increase users up to the departments: planning, purchasing, production and warehouse.” The supply chain manager explains that “CyberPlan gives the user visibility of the consequences, of certain actions on production and orders, which also allows them to have professional growth. Having something visual and quick is a real leap in quality. ”

Moving on to the actual use of the tool, Masiero explains that “In the morning we open CyberPlan and visualize the data  with the dual objective of giving precise delivery dates to customers and validating purchase orders at procurement, based on the real needs of production“.

Regarding dating, the supply chain manager explains that: “When dating with CyberPlan, the date of delivery to the customer (an extremely important data for the on-time delivery KPI) and the relative production start date are first defined. Subsequently, the plant ensures that the materials (coming from outside or from the company warehouses) arrive at the beginning of the line to which they belong at the beginning of production”.

What were the consequences of joining the Schneider Electric group on the use of CyberPlan?

“Joining an important international company, such as Schneider Electric, often involves respecting certain KPIs and using the systems present within the multinational. At Uniflair we have demonstrated how, thanks to the systems already in use, we can manage a complex production such as that of air conditioners and chillers, keeping the KPIs at values of absolute importance. In fact, on-time delivery is around 96% and the turnover rate of the warehouse is excellent. Thanks to these excellent results, we have maintained our IT structure including CyberPlan as APS software to manage production planning and scheduling.”Uniflair Air Production Planning and Scheduling with CyberPlan by Cybertec

What are the benefits of using CyberPlan?

CyberPlan, thanks to its visibility and speed, is a fundamental tool to achieve an enviable level of service, especially considering that some products have characteristics such that the delivery date is a critical factor, which makes on-time delivery an extremely important KPI.

It may be surprising that the Advanced Planning and Scheduling tool is used not only for production planning: “The potential of CyberPlan has also made it a useful tool for other departments such as customer service which, by querying the software, manages to improve customer service. CyberPlan’s goodness in providing visibility into the production process has thus led us to use it in the planning, production, purchasing and warehouse departments. “

Luca Masiero explains that: “Thanks to Cybertec’s APS tool, Uniflair is also able to communicate more effectively with suppliers and customers“. With regard to suppliers, Uniflair has gained the opportunity to share information about the times and quantities of products it will need, to the point that with some of them it has orders that remain open for long periods. Suppliers are thus able to self-regulate and produce independently in order to meet Uniflair’s requests. Thanks to CyberPlan Uniflair is able to obtain the materials necessary for an order (whether they come from procurement or picking) in the line of belonging, at the beginning of the production date: a fundamental result to achieve a level of on-time delivery like that of Uniflair.

Cybertec’s APS is also useful to Uniflair towards customers: “Thanks to CyberPlan we have solved a good part of the problems arising from the variations, which for several reasons begin to arrive immediately after the order confirmation. In fact, its MRP allows us to better manage the consequences of these variations on already planned processes “. Uniflair examines possible changes to orders and their consequences. This aspect is extremely important in the field in which we operate – continues Masiero – as customers often require changes to orders. Increasing the possibility of satisfying them allows Uniflair to increase customer satisfaction, without having repercussions on its supply chain.

CyberPlan is also useful for purposes that may not typically be connected to an APS: “sometimes we also use CyberPlan to understand customer requests. Often we are dealing with a front office and not with the end customer, and often this is done by phone, a circumstance that requires immediate response times. In a worldwide production like Uniflair’s, answering the question on the phone about the possibility of anticipating an order may not be immediate, without such a tool. “

Finally, with a single click, in Uniflair it is possible to understand how much material is in stock, how much is in stock and how much is available for line business.

“Having the opportunity to obtain requests visually and quickly was a great leap in quality, both in terms of planning, purchasing, production and warehouse. Thanks to the support of CyberPlan, today Uniflair has an on-time delivery of 96%, guaranteeing an excellent level of service Luca Masiero – supply chain manager.

Uniflairs, precision air conditioners, refrigeration systems and raised floors

Uniflair was founded in 1988 as a company specialising in the design and production of precision air conditioners, refrigeration systems (also known as “chillers”) and raised floors. In 2010 Uniflair joined the Schneider Electric group. The combination of APC’s Cooling portfolio and Uniflair has resulted in a comprehensive offering of solutions to meet any precision cooling needs for IT environments and mission-critical applications.

Learn how to plan and schedule production in an advanced way and achieve goals as a Uniflair. Download our free guide:

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