Production Planning Software "What if" Feature

5/5/15 9:00 AM

While plenty of factory managers are familiar with production planning software, few of them realize that these programs can do a lot more than schedule production equipment, maintenance, and personnel. One of the most exciting features of our production planning software is a tool that allows you to predict how certain events will affect the productivity and on-time delivery at your facility.production planning software

American manufacturers are known for their ability to adapt to change quickly and efficiently. Of course, people in the industry know that this is the result of hours of work and planning to make sure that changes to a process, line, and/or personnel go off smoothly and without an interruption to other parts of the factory. One of the best ways to make sure that changes are implemented properly is to have a plan in place before the change arrives.

Installing new equipment, adding or subtracting employees, or even changing a maintenance routine can have a huge impact on the way a facility operates. In the past, many of these effects were hard to predict.  For example, every experienced manager realizes that preventive maintenance, if not planned carefully, will mean an interruption to the production schedule and a potential impact on customer delivery. Exactly how significant will those impacts be, however? Is there an earlier time slot where the maintenance would be less disruptful? How would the impact change if extra technicians were brought in for the day?Would the extra wages paid to those workers be worth the decreased down time of the line?

These kind of questions are the ones that most facility managers spend significant time figuring out. Fortunately, they’re also the ones that production management software is best at answering. By analyzing and using data from your past facility upgrades, product launches, employee holidays, and even minor disasters, this program will be able to predict the effect of a variety of events on your facility’s production, profit, and customer shipment schedule.

Instead of spending hours coming up with the possible problems that every new challenge in your facility will present, why not go to your superiors with actual verifiable, data-based predictions? Not only will you be able to lay out the events that will occur as a result of a change, but you’ll also be able to cost-compare various options. You’ll know if it’s better to install automated equipment with a high upfront capital investment and increased maintenance time or if your factory should continue to use the production equipment and labor that it has now.

Many managers also use these scenarios to develop contingency plans. If a fire or flood damaged all or part of a facility, would you be able to maintain profitability? If certain employees were to leave, how would that affect output and deliveries? If demand of a product family grows as hoped how well could you deliver on the opportunity?

The “what-if” scenario feature in production planning software is a valuable tool that will help your facility to make order quoting, purchasing, maintenance, personnel, investment, and other scheduling-related decisions quickly. Even better, you’ll know that those decisions are based on data, not guesswork.

Would you like more information on what production planning software can do for you? Click here to see how production planning software can help up efficiency.

Related What-If Video

 APS Resources

Topics: manufacturing, Lean Manufacturing, Implementation, APS, APS, what-if scenario, implementation speed, APS benefits, Agile manufacturing

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