Case Study: Scheduling Nutritional Products with Standard Process

6/13/16 3:00 PM

Standard Process of Palmyra, Wisconsin, has manufactured popular dietary supplements under the Food and Drug Administration's stringent quality control standards for almost 90 years. The company previously employed traditional processes for their manufacturing and production scheduling. When demand grew and revenue growth increased, basic spreadsheets and simple Gantt charts used for production planning were no longer sufficient.

shutterstock_313089407_preview-1.jpegLimited Constraints

Standard Process has a Microsoft Dynamics GP platform for enterprise resource planning and their spreadsheets, charts and Material Requirement Planning (MRP) system just didn't interface well with each other. They needed to check inventories manually to draft job schedules. Bottlenecks would occur regularly due to unknown and unanticipated constraints. Customers began to chafe from missed shipment deadlines. Something needed to be done. Standard Process began the task of vetting four different Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software packages. Their final choice was PlanetTogether's powerful, easy-to-use, Microsoft.NET-based planning and scheduling platform.

Easy Integration

First, PlanetTogether had to implement the software and integrate it with the other active platforms. In order to accomplish this, PlanetTogether's engineering team created a data map which incorporated Standard Process's product information, inventory statistics, and scheduling procedures. This work enabled an efficient, user-friendly system that the entire production plant could utilize. The integration of PlanetTogether's software was smooth and Standard Process was pleased.

Standard Process' Production Scheduler, Gregory Van Leirsburg, estimates that the number of “hot” jobs dropped, resources are scheduled more efficiently, constraints are no longer a manufacturing issue, and the whole operation has a less stressful working environment. Even more benefits slowly started to trickle in. LCD screens in production areas now show up-to-date weekly schedules. Supervisors have greater control over their workday. Key stakeholders leverage manufacturing order visibility in order to make proactive decisions in a nimble environment. In essence, any schedule changes are transmitted in real-time for all to view.

One Year Later

Over time, Standard Process has moved closer to ideal lean manufacturing processes. The APS platform assisted schedulers with lean resource allocation, constraint identification, and efficient communications throughout the operation. Gregory Van Leirsburg has nothing but praise for the way Standard Process' production plant is now operating. “...(It) is faster and more efficient, which keeps our facility (employees) in better spirits and (jobs) running smooth... PT enables us to provide a quality product to our customers in a timely manner.”

PlanetTogether's APS platform enabled this successful yet restricted company to adopt a more favorable manufacturing solution instead of relying on outdated, manual methods. The result was an easy-to-use tool that essentially paid for itself.

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