What is APS Software and Does My Company Really Need It?

1/21/22 10:30 AM

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Which method of manufacturing planning does your company use? Many long-established manufacturing management and scheduling systems employ a progressive procedure to assign materials and production to different facilities and departments. Methods like MRP are simple but not fluid; they don’t adapt easily to resource capacity or demand. Unlike previous systems, Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software plans procedures laterally for seamless scheduling. It may be exactly what you need to revamp your production schedule.

What does APS software do?

Planning programs are designed to coordinate all of a company’s operations, including sales, production, purchasing, and transportation. Essentially, they allow each department to know exactly what the other ones are doing.  For example, an order placed by Sales would be immediately sent to Production, who could then schedule the order to be made. Transportation is alerted as soon as the product is finished so that they can schedule shipment to the client.

APS software + the large company

Advanced planning software was primarily used in large companies until recently. It is obvious why large businesses with thousands of orders would need this software, but many smaller and mid-size companies make the mistake of assuming that they don’t need software like this. In reality, this software can help a small company compete against their biggest competitors.

Turning the tables for smaller companies

APS software is able to do a lot more than simply keep every employee aware of what’s going on. The best programs are also able to anticipate orders, optimize scheduling, and analyze market trends in order to predict the best times to make purchases and sales. While large companies have offices filled with staff who perform these functions, a small company typically doesn’t have the resources to analyze years of production, purchasing, and sales reports to find patterns. APS software, however, can perform many of these functions instantly. This allows company staff to get the data they need before their competition, giving them an advantage that few other manufacturers have.

Utilizing APS in today’s manufacturing facilities

Today’s planning software can analyze past purchasing data and predict the times during which raw materials will cost the least. For many companies, the money they save in this area of their spending alone more than makes up for the purchase of the software. Advanced planning software can then review hundreds of orders and design an efficient production schedule. These programs take into account production reports from previous years in order to schedule maintenance and employees for the least amount of downtime possible. Computerized scheduling will also ensure that the finished product spends little time in storage before being shipped to the customer or the next production facility.

Seeing the benefit

For small companies that are operating on a tight budget, this software can give them the same advantages as large companies with huge research budgets. This can allow smaller manufacturers to compete on price, customer service, and product availability.

Would you like to learn more about how small businesses can utilize production planning software? Sign up to .

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Topics: Advanced Planning and Scheduling

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