Balancing the Old and the New

2/28/22 2:30 PM

By admin


One of the inherent challenges in implementing an automated system (including an Advanced Planning and Scheduling system) is determining which functionality requirements are suitable for the implementation.

Every implementation requires changes to the customer's business process. One of the important steps during the implementation is for the team to discuss and agree upon a "To-BE" business process that includes the newly implemented system. This can be an uncomfortable task especially if the customer has adopted and enjoyed their original process for many years, with experienced employees knowing every rule and exception front to back. In order for the transition to be a smooth one, the team as a whole must come to an agreement on the functionality requirements the system must satisfy in order to justify its place in the new business process.

Often a functionality requirement exists because the task has been handled manually based on the team's knowledge and experience. This can result in two types of situations. The first is a process characterized by extreme flexibility with no consistency, whereby a "rule" is immediately followed by a laundry list of exceptions. Such requirements are difficult to satisfy with an automated system that functions based on defined rules.

The second situation results in a requirement born out of rigidity, whereby a process has been put in place to simplify what would otherwise be an unfeasible task for mere mortals, due to the tremendous amount of time necessary to accomplish it.

Seeking to satisfy such requirements may hinder the customer from truly enjoying the benefits of an automated system, since such rules may only be necessary if a human is handling the task manually, wherein spotting irregularities or exceptions can be more difficult and time-consuming. If, however, an automated system can assist the task by processing the number crunching for us, it would allow value-added times for users to spot exceptions and make decisions only a human mind can accomplish (at least until artificial intelligence comes along).

PlanetTogether consultants utilize years of experience in implementation to advise each customer in order to execute the best approach to developing a planning and scheduling model that will maximize the benefit of having an automated system while preservingas much as possiblethe business rules already in place so that the users can experience the transition comfortably. Of course, this isn't possible without the consultants working together closely with the customer team, which is why we approach implementation as a team effort.


Topics: Factory Scheduling, Lean Manufacturing, materials planning, ROI, Demand planning, production management software, Shop floor data collection, just in time, warehouse, strategic goals, six sigma, retail distribution center, Gantt Drag and Drop, Concurrent Planning and Scheduling


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