Advanced Planning and Scheduling Concepts

2/1/21 10:30 AM

The challenges faced by manufacturers are becoming more complex each day. Most manufacturing facilities lack the visibility they need into their capacity and have difficulty adapting to rapid changes in demand. While some manufacturing facilities can manage their operations using traditional ERP or MRP softwares, most manufacturing operations will have a hard time improving their facility without using Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software.
advanced planning and scheduling in manufacturing operations

In order for your company to handle the challenges that come with growth, your planning and scheduling system must help you optimize your production schedule, accurately quote and meet delivery dates, decrease materials and inventory costs, and ultimately increase your profits. 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling software has become a key component for production facilities that are attempting to increase areas of production such as inventory planning, waste reduction, and overall efficiency. Before implementing Advanced Planning and Scheduling software, it is essential to understand the key concepts and general notions pertaining to the software. 

Key Concepts Within Advanced Planning and Scheduling

A few of the main concepts within Advanced Planning and Scheduling include the following:

  • Concurrent Planning - Traditional planning and scheduling softwares break down planning and scheduling into different processes that are often performed independently from each other. Advanced Planning and Scheduling combines these functions to perform materials planning, capacity planning, and scheduling concurrently. This allows the operation to run much more efficiently and generate feasible plans that production can follow with ease. Concurrent planning and scheduling is imperative for manufacturing facilities wishing to use just-in-time scheduling based on customer demand dates. When planning and scheduling is done at the same time, you benefit from knowing exactly how much of each item or materials you have on hand so that you can produce only what is needed. You also have the peace of mind of knowing that the orders you commit to can be completed as you have the required materials and resource capacity.
  • Constraint Management - Any manufacturing facility is bound to have bottlenecks and constraints. Traditional ERP softwares cannot analyze and create a production plan that takes into account the various constraints that may be required. Advanced Planning and Scheduling frameworks locate bottlenecks within the supply chain and attempt to model the throughput in the software with restrictions of the bottleneck. Modern day Advanced Planning and Scheduling softwares can locate bottleneck operations and accommodate multiple constraints, varying run rates, and changeover times to create the most accurate and optimal production schedule possible. What-If scenarios have the added benefit of allowing planners and schedulers to create multiple versions of the schedule and choose the most profitable one.Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software Concepts
  • Global Optimization - Taking your operation to a global scale is challenging enough, and without having an advantageous software fit to do so, it is virtually impossible. Advanced planning and scheduling seeks to drive coordination between multiple plants and optimize demand within the supply chain. This aids global production through effective communication among the facilities and ensuring that production is able to keep up with a varying demand. The increased visibility between multiple plants can help re-organize the production schedule in cases of machine breakdowns by offloading some work to additional capacity in a different plant to meet demands.
  • Collaboration - In correlation with global optimization, having a collaborative system is extremely important within the facility. The collaboration component of the software ensures for effective communication and for multi-departments to be able to function collaboratively instead of individually, ultimately pursuing an overall goal. If the sales department does not have visibility into the production and capacity workload, they run the risk of promising orders that cannot be met. Having advanced planning and scheduling software like PlanetTogether APS will reserve resource capacity and materials when orders come in and will determine whether the required need date can be met or propose a new date.
  • Flexibility - A big challenge that comes from using traditional ERP and MRP systems is that they lack the flexibility required to accurately model your production plant. PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling software provides the additional flexibility you require to create an accurate production schedule. You can set different production run rates based on the machine or labor resource that is working on the product. You can also easily make adjustments to the schedule using the drag-and-drop functionality.

ERP and MRP systems are simply not enough to support manufacturing operations with specific goals and intentions. Advanced Planning and Scheduling is well-suited to handle a variety of complex production environments where resource capacity is constrained or limited and where frequent schedule changes are required.

This is where PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling software can play a role in taking your manufacturing operation to the next level and increase the production efficiency of your organization.


Our scheduling system was limiting our production capabilities. It had become the determinant of growth potential, not capacity.



Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software

Advanced Planning and Scheduling Softwares have become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations as customer demand for increased product assortment, fast delivery, and downward cost pressures become prevalent. These systems help planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans. APS Systems can be quickly integrated with an ERP/MRP software to fill the gaps where these systems lack planning and scheduling flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency.

With PlanetTogether APS you can:

  • Create optimized schedules that balance production efficiency and delivery performance
  • Maximize throughput on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
  • Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
  • Provide company-wide visibility to resource capacity
  • Enable scenario data-driven decision making

The implementation of an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency by taking advantage of the operational data you already possess in your ERP system. APS is a step in the right direction of efficiency and lean manufacturing production enhancement. Try out a free trial or demo!

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Topics: Implementation, APS, APS, APS benefits, manufacturing scheduling and planning software


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