Drawing Conclusions about Superplants

8/15/22 2:30 PM

This concludes a weekly series on the concept of a Superplant. Every Monday will be a new entry in this ongoing series. This is week eight.

Here are our other entries: Week 1 |  Week 2 |  Week 3 |  Week 4 |  Week 5 |  Week 6 | Week 7

RapidResponseHave you ever wanted to give your customers faster delivery quotes based on real-life capacity, on-hand quantities, and incoming material purchases? With PlanetTogether's Capable to Promise (CTP) feature, you can provide an accurate production quote in seconds!

Capable to Promise is about a company making sure that they have enough capacity and materials to create a product by a certain time frame. To create accurate quotes, you need to take into account different constraints such as lead times to procure materials and the available capacity for the required resources.

CTP is made easy with PlanetTogether's Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software

The CTP feature will use both available materials and available capacity to give a realistic picture of whether or not you are able to fulfill demand within a given time frame by creating a simulated job. It will essentially create a "What-If" scenario for that single job. If the delivery date cannot be met, PlanetTogether will provide you with a realistic delivery date.

This powerful feature is extremely easy to use. The only data point that is required in order to submit a CTP request are:

  • Inventory (Warehouse & Item)
  • Required Quantity
  • Need Date
  • Routing to create the Item

The software will then use these data points to create a template job that is used to calculate the timeframe to produce the desired quantity.

Once a CTP has been submitted, PlanetTogether will project a Start and Finish time and will determine if the job is expected to be late or early according to the current optimization rules. If the job is projected to be late, PlanetTogether will determine which constraints are bottlenecking the process.

Additionally, PlanetTogether will allow the CTP to reserve Resource Capacity and Materials until a user-defined date to allow the customer to decide whether or not to go through with the order.

The best part about the CTP feature is that once a job is approved by the customer, it can immediately be added into the schedule in the most optimized way to ensure that no other jobs become late because of this addition. You don’t have to spend hours trying to re-schedule all of the jobs to add a new CTP job. PlanetTogether does this for you.

The winds are shifting in the world of manufacturing. In order to remain competitive during this transitional phase, manufacturers must adapt and stay up-to-date on developing industry trends. More specifically, recent developments in trans-continental commerce have led to the inception of multinational superplants across the globe. The outcome? These trends have shown an increase in sizable competitors, support faster product development, and require more flexible manufacturing systems. Not to mention, increasing standards of living and growing consumerism have resulted in an unparalleled number and variety of products in the marketplace. While this may benefit consumers, manufacturers have found it increasingly difficult to predict product popularity and plan production accordingly.

As a result, we’re witnessing more instances of inaccurate forecasting in conjunction with rising costs for those missteps. Due to these inaccurate forecasts, manufacturers and retailers end up with unwanted goods that are either marked down or sold at a loss. To combat this issue many Superplant manufacturers are embracing two solutions: accurate response and innovation through collaboration.

The accurate response is a new approach to the entire forecasting, planning, and production process. This methodology helps companies improve their forecasts by redesigning their planning processes to minimize inaccuracy in forecasts. Inaccuracies are reduced by initially analyzing what forecasters can and cannot predict (this allows you to determine the areas with the largest variance). Managers can then postpone decisions with the most unpredictable items until the right market signals are triggered. Essentially accurate response helps large entities, like superplants, correctly align supply with demand.

The method incorporates two elements other forecasting systems lack:

First, it takes into account missed sales opportunities by factoring in costs per unit of stockouts and markdowns.

It also distinguishes between those products with predictable demand from those with unpredictable demand. This enables companies to focus on more stable front-end production and frees up capacity for auxiliary items when demand spikes.

The annual Global Manufacturing Outlook Report investigates constantly evolving strategies that manufacturers deploy in order to drive optimal performance. According to a recent report, more than two-thirds of respondents said they’re adopting more collaborative business models. Multi-facility manufacturers (superplants) have a growing focus on the need for innovation through increased communication and investment in research and development.

With trends like 3D printing on the rise, we’re witnessing a dramatically reduced product development life-cycle. Superplants that have started to leverage tools like 3-D printing now have the means to produce widgets on-demand, reduce overstocked inventory, and more accurately meet market demand. Growth through innovation is slowly becoming the norm and those who embrace multi-plant collaboration with more streamlined technologies are sure to distinguish themselves among manufacturers.


An APS system is a planning and scheduling system by which raw materials and production capacity are optimally allocated to meet demand. It allows for simultaneous planning and scheduling of your production based on available material, labor, machines, constraints, power, and other sequence-dependent setups. The result is a feasible plan optimized for your KPIs of interest created in seconds. 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling software 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 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

Implementing 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!

Topics: manufacturing, Lean Manufacturing, superplant, food manufacturing, manufacturing technology, Agile manufacturing, manufacturing process, manufacturing execution system, manufacturing resource planning, manufacturing scheduling and planning software, manufacturing trends, manufacturing planning and control


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