Scheduling Software vs Enterprise Resource Planning Software

Jul 12, 2016 11:16:08 AM


When you think about production planning, scheduling and resource management, you may think that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) replaces Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software. Actually, APS and ERP complement each other. You can trust your planning and scheduling software to work hand-in-hand with your ERP software.

To better understand how APS can improve your experience with ERP software, we need to cover 3 important areas:

  • Capacity Planning: planning for the unknown is hard, but when you work with a scheduling software, you have the ability to create “what if” scenarios and see the impact of changing equipment, labor, constraints etc. on your capacity and to identify bottlenecks that will delay orders if not remedied.
  • While ERP software can alter schedules, it can’t create comprehensive scenarios without making permanent changes that impact actual schedules that your team is working towards. Planning software working with ERP data, adds the flexibility necessary to get “what if” data and change the scenario data without impacting the production data. 
  • Your ERP will provide the time standards and order data to your APS, and then in the APS system you will be able to modify your tentative resource plans, inventory policies, forecasted growth and other important possible changes to better understand your options and make better decisions.
  • Production Planning: ERP software allows you to create production plans but with limited options and with often too strict limitations and missing flexibility. When you use advanced planning and scheduling software to plan for production, you have more liberty on planning rules and a much more detailed control on capacity. When you work with ERP many details are left out, such as sequence-dependent setup times, shelf life constraints, machine assignment limitations, labor skill limits, product/machine preferences and optimization goals. With APS you can use the data from ERP as a starting point but still add these crucial details to your plan. 
  • Production Scheduling: when it comes to your biggest benefit from APS, it is probably in the area of detailed scheduling. While many ERP systems offer some scheduling features, these are often very basic and lack depth of functionality that is critical to ease of use and successful adoption of the system. By adding advanced scheduling software, you can do the following:
    1. Calculate setup times automatically when schedules change
    2. Optimize schedules around KPI’s
    3. Visualize your future schedules and see bottlenecks
    4. Know when orders will ship based on all constraints
    5. Create various alternative scenarios
    6. Write custom rules to adapt to special constraints
    7. Quickly recalculate and create new schedules when machines go down or materials arrive late
    8. Know the impact of expediting orders and which orders will be affected by the change
No need to decide between ERP and APS. These two complement one another. ERP is your solution for data storage and managing transactions, while APS is key for scheduling automation, capacity management, and adjusting plans to your needs and goals. Find out more about APS and how it works with ERP here.

Topics: capacity planning, PlanetTogether, ERP, APS, scheduling, planner



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