OUR STORY

Our Purpose

PlanetTogether was founded in 2004 as the culmination of decades of academic research at Cornell University combined with over 20 years of industry experience focused on making manufacturers more successful by applying software to solve production planning and scheduling problems. With our powerful, easy to use, integrated software tools and education, manufacturers can attract and retain customers by delivering faster—and do it more profitably by minimizing resource and inventory costs. PlanetTogether is on a mission to make the planet more productive, one manufacturer at a time.

Our Story

PlanetTogether’s passion and knowledge in the area of production scheduling trace back to two Cornell University Professors, Dr. William Maxwell and Dr. Richard Conway.  Maxwell and Conway began their life-long research on production scheduling in 1958 and, with the support of Cornell, the Office of Naval Research, The National Science Foundation, The General Electric Company and the RAND Corporation, published the industry-leading book Theory of Scheduling (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Scheduling). The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) lists the book as a landmark in the timeline of Operations Research. According to Cornell Professor, Dr. Robert Bland, “It placed on a formal foundation the study of the entire area of production scheduling.”
  

PlanetTogether founder, Jim Cerra, first learned of the dire need that manufacturers have for better scheduling tools while studying under Maxwell and Conway to obtain a bachelor of science and master’s degree in Cornell’s Operations Research and Industrial Engineering program. Maxwell and Conway went on to found a production scheduling software company, C-Way Systems, Inc. in Ithaca, New York and Jim was one of their first hires. For the next nine years Jim worked directly under Maxwell and Conway as a planning and scheduling consultant at C-WAY, implementing systems in companies of all sizes and sectors, optimizing performance of companies from Pratt & Whitney jet engine manufacturing to Procter & Gamble consumer goods.

Working side-by-side with Maxwell and Conway over these years, Jim developed a shared passion for solving scheduling problems. This lead to his lead role at California-based Epicor Software as the Advanced Planning & Scheduling Product Manager after Epicor acquired C-Way. It was at Epicor that Jim and PlanetTogether co-founder, Larry Hargis, first joined forces. Larry was recruited by Epicor after he served during the Gulf War in the U.S. Air Force in the transportation squadron. Larry’s adept skills in specialized computer programming landed him as chief developer of Epicor’s APS system. Ultimately Jim and Larry left Epicor to found PlanetTogether, a next generation APS platform that would surpass any before it in flexibilty and ease-of-use.

PlanetTogether was founded in 2004 and is based in San Diego California, a hub of leading-edge technology and research. The new PlanetTogether system, written from the ground-up in Microsoft’s flagship .Net platform encompasses the research and knowledge from Jim’s Cornell, C-Way and Epicor experience and adds tools for managing production bottlenecks according to Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s best-selling book The Goal. Jim and Larry also saw the need, in company after company, to improve communications between departments, plants, and plannersthus leading to PlanetTogether’s unique memory-resident, multi-plant, multi-planner architecture (and, in case you’re wondering where our name came from… now you know!).

From 2004 to present, PlanetTogether has been implemented successfully in almost every manufacturing sector ranging from food & beverage, to chemical, medical device, industrial, automotive and aerospace. This important flexibility supports PlanetTogether’s vision of a scheduling system that can make the all the world’s manufacturers more productive, no matter what they make or how challenging their scheduling problems are.

Our People and Culture

PlanetTogether’s software and solution engineers are the heart of our company. We choose people who have passion for problem solving, big brains and humble, helpful attitudes. Working hand-in-hand with our clients, our engineers pride themselves on being “flexible to a fault”, doing whatever it takes to get the job done successfully. At the core of what drives us is the desire to make our customers happy with a solution that makes doing their job easier and their business more successful.

Our team is also energized by having an impact on non-profit organizations and developing nations. We donate a portion of every sale to the non-profit Kiva to fuel the growth of up-and-coming manufacturers in developing countries. We also donate our software and service to the most inspiring non-profit companies to help amplify their outcomes through greater efficiency, partnering with universities to bring smart, motivated students into these rewarding projects together with us.

Our Vision

Productive use of resources is at the heart of profitability and customer service for manufacturers. Despite this, the vast majority of companies still use outdated manual methods of managing their resources and customer orders resulting in wasted time, energy, money, and opportunity. Our vision is a manufacturing industry that uses planning and scheduling technology and best practices to approach 100% on-time delivery to their customers with 0% waste of resources. We know the day will come when every well-run manufacturer will manage and optimize their business with an APS system and we plan to lead that transformation.

Believers in Manufacturing

At PlanetTogether, we believe manufacturing is a powerful force of social and economic change. By creating great jobs and amazing products, manufacturing lifts people out of poverty, makes people happy and even saves lives. This is why helping manufacturers to have a greater impact, serve their customers better and be more successful drives us to push harder every day.

We focus on companies that have the potential and desire to make the greatest positive impact on the most people. This usually means large, multi-plant manufacturers who are striving to be the best in their market. It also includes companies of any size who are especially beneficial to their customers and communities.

We strive to partner with every one of our clients to deliver results that drive productivity, customer service, and profitable growth. This is accomplished by deploying a planning and scheduling software platform that employs the power of today’s computing to easily create realistic plans and schedules that maximize throughput and on-time delivery while keeping inventory and labor costs as low as possible.
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Responsive Support for Global Clients

Nothing makes us more excited than playing a part in the success and growth of our clients’ businesses, especially our global Fortune 1000 clients. Spread around the planet in different countries, speaking different languages, and planning in different time-zones they represent the pinnacle of what we strive to achievegreater team work, efficiency, and customer service through better collaborative planning and scheduling. Supporting global clients demands more from us and we’re ready for it - multi-language software and support delivered seamlessly as a joint effort between PlanetTogether engineers and regional partners. Wherever you are in the world, help is there when you need it.