Choosing the production scheduler: 8 practical tips

In manufacturing companies, the production process is the one that plays the most important role, which is why the choice of software that organises production is crucial.


8 practical tips for choosing the scheduler for production processes

The numerous experiences made with client companies have allowed us to highlight several tips, useful to manufacturing companies that are in the phase in which they are about to choose the most suitable software to plan and schedule their production.

  1. Define your goals and needs well
    For the company that decides to adopt a production scheduler, it is important to know what the company actually needs, what are the deficiencies of the tools in use at that time, what are the critical issues and how the organization can be modified.
    This is important to have a fairly broad vision of the project, to reduce the time once the implementation has started and to be able to sponsor the project adequately.
    In some cases it may be appropriate to invest time in an in-depth internal analysis of operations and processes, as this is where everything comes from. It may seem a relatively unhelpful time during which nothing is developed but in reality the initial analysis is fundamental as it is what defines the project guidelines. It is therefore important to work as a team with the IT department to carry out this analysis, from which then define the various constraints that CyberPlan will use when it imports data from the management system or manages them from within. It is worth noting that the choices made during the analysis phase minimize the subsequent implementation.
    “What I think you have to do in general when dealing with projects of this type is always understand the needs you have internally and understand what the prerequisites are for tools like CyberPlan to perform at their best” L. Pettarin, IT Manager, HT Heathing Technologies
  2. Have the necessary technical prerequisites
    Companies that intend to evolve methods and tools used to plan and schedule their production must have at their disposal the information necessary to correctly carry out this type of calculation. Do you have correct and verified production times? If the answer is no, it is important to correct them and check that you have at your disposal parameters that will be necessary, such as the processing cycles, the master data and other related parameters.
    This technical preparation related to the data used as well as allowing a rapid implementation of the planning and scheduling software allows the company to become aware of its operation and to eliminate incomplete data or deficiencies.
    “The advice is to make sure you have a functioning and verified office or coding structure, with well-calculated bills of materials and requirements.” G. Mele – Manager – Imeva
  3. Average knowledge of what an APS is
    An Advanced Planning and Scheduling solution is a very powerful tool for a manufacturing company as it allows its production planning department to replace obsolete tools that require numerous interventions by the operator with an advanced software solution that frees the operator to focus on high value-added activities by adding analysis and forecasting capabilities previously unknown. Such a solution, in order to be fully exploited, requires a minimum knowledge of the tool, so that you can define all the objectives that best suit your reality. Download the free guide to advanced planning and scheduling.
  4. Collaborate with the supplier and work as a team
    Teamwork between customer and supplier is a fundamental aspect for the success of an APS implementation project. The work team of the client company must in fact communicate frequently with the consultants in order to share needs and doubts; the consultancy team must at the same time understand the needs and fears of the client in order to be constantly aligned, to guarantee the achievement of the relevant objectives and to dispel any doubts or curiosities of the clients.
    From the outset, an excellent work team has been created that has allowed us to overcome the difficulties encountered. Already a few months after the “go live” of the Manufacturing Forecasting and CyberPlan, the results were appreciated.”  M. Palazzetti – CEO – Palazzetti Group
  5. Check supplier references
    If the software house has among its references companies similar to its own, by type of product and/or production, this can be a guarantee of the success of the project. If it is true that each company is different from the others, in fact, it is also true that companies that make the same product or have the same processes, face similar problems and therefore consultants already know how to overcome certain obstacles or how to get the most out of the solution applied in that particular context.
  6. Be prepared for change and evolution
    The implementation of an Advanced Planning and Scheduling software is an important moment for the planning department but also for the entire manufacturing company, as the benefits fall on different sectors and aspects. In almost all cases, companies that decide to implement an APS plan production with outdated tools and therefore, more than an implementation, we are talking about an evolution. This should not scare but motivate all the people involved who will benefit, once the implementation is over, from benefits that were not even hoped for before. It should also be noted that the adoption of an APS software takes about six months and that the time is shorter the greater the knowledge of the objectives and requirements by the company that is going to implement it.
  7. Define the work team 
    One piece of advice concerns the definition of the work team that will take care of the implementation of the APS together with the team of consultants. It is important that the organisation dedicates the right resources to the project and these can belong to the different departments involved: production planning, information systems, purchasing, sales and warehousing. In fact, all these departments can be touched by the project and receive benefits, as shown by the numerous success stories we have collected over the years.
  8. Evaluate future developments
    Do not stop at the first review of the project but carefully evaluate what future developments could be. Some software houses do not stop at APS but offer additional and additional services that give the possibility to continue improving over time. Cybertec’s high-value consultancy, already an aspect that can benefit over time, allows you to adapt APS over time to business growth and to implement over the years different aspects, such as S&OP, Manufacturing Forecasting, KPIs built ad hoc, developments for warehouse optimization, and so on.


The best production scheduler

Companies that have the ambition to improve and evolve their planning department find Cybertec the ideal partner. In fact, we have always believed in improving the performance of manufacturing companies through the improvement of piloting and control capabilities. For this reason, for almost thirtyyears we have been developing solutions characterized by specialized software and expert advice, covering the entire area from sales forecasts to detailed scheduling, through master planning. In particular, we develop CyberPlan, the latest generation APS, able to extend the potential of management systems and simulate possible future scenarios, significantly increasing the speed of response, accuracy and centralisation of data. Find out how to benefit from the same advantages as leading manufacturing companies in their industries by contacting a Cybertec expert.

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