In manufacturing organizations, many responsibilities and actions are handled by different positions within the company. As such, these individuals may need to use PlanetTogether differently to fulfill their duties. The following article will list some common users of PlanetTogether, their roles, and important features of the software.
Executives look to provide vision and leadership while making high-level decisions about policy and strategy for the greater good of the business. These decisions are then carried out by the rest of the business's operations. Different executives may manage different aspects of the business, but each is the leader within their own purview.
The daily concerns of executive officers of a manufacturing organization can be quite different from those of a capacity planner or scheduler. PlanetTogether can provide the type of information that is most relevant to them from a business standpoint. As executives are not usually directing the day-to-day operations of the plant, they are more focused on providing the business strategy that directly influences and affects the jobs of the people who manage the shop floor. As such, executives may be more concerned with the Reporting Features and KPI Tracking than with the daily minutia of what jobs are running and when.
Capacity Planners & Schedulers
Capacity Planners & Schedulers are typically the primary end-users of PlanetTogether. These individuals work closely together to keep a manufacturing organization productive, profitable, and efficient.
Capacity Planners are responsible for determining and managing the balance between the demand for particular products and the amount of labor and resources required to produce items within a given amount of time. The Capacity Plan is a handy tool for these individuals. It allows users to get a visual overview of the capacities in use and the available capacities over a specified period.
Schedulers will generally be responsible for determining which jobs should run, at what time, on which production line, and in what sequence.
PlanetTogether offers tools that provide visibility to see future bottlenecks in production or future spikes and valleys in demand. The most visual and commonly used tool in PlanetTogether is the Gantt Chart which allows Planners and Schedulers to see the result of their scheduled days, weeks, and even months in advance.
Manual tools are also essential for these individuals. For example, choosing to expedite a job that needs to run today may, in fact, create a shortage for downstream jobs in the future. Schedulers may also need to reschedule a job to a preferred resource and use the drag-and-drop function to do this.
What-If scenarios are another useful tool to evaluate proposed changes in resources, demand, or scheduling rules before they are accepted.
Material Planners are the inventory-bound counterparts to capacity planners. The Material Planner ensures that the release and procurement of materials are in sync to meet the incoming demand.
Material Planners often require the same visibility as Capacity Planners do but from how inventory levels are affected. For example, releasing materials early may result in a material shortage later, and the Material Planner must track the safety stock of every item in the master list. Being able to see the supply and demand information for any item, track how and when it will be consumed, and by which job or production order are all concerns of Material Planners.
PlanetTogether provides an Inventory Plan that shows on-hand quantities, safety stock levels, and color-coded warnings triggered by shortages and items that are above their max inventory levels.
PlanetTogether also aims to fill a crucial gap in MRP in the sense that while MRP produces a master production plan to satisfy demand, MRP was not historically capacity-constrained and therefore assumed infinite capacity. As a result, PlanetTogether allows for Finite Capacity Planning while balancing capacity planning with material availability. It also provides the necessary tools for Material Planners to collaborate with other planners to ensure that the manufacturer does not suffer from material shortages or material release bottlenecks.
Additionally, PlanetTogether can use its own lightweight MRP functionality, which automatically creates production orders to satisfy demand while simultaneously scheduling them within finite capacity constraints.
System Administrators may not deal directly with the planning and scheduling aspects of the business, but they are crucial to the functioning of the business as a whole. They are in charge of maintaining the different software packages, servers, logins, passwords, and securities that come with every commercial software implementation.
These individuals organize the different logins and permissions within PlanetTogether so that the roles don't accidentally get confused. To that end, PlanetTogether allows for multiple levels of access that make it easier for Admins to apply the right permissions to the right people. System Administrators for PlanetTogether are generally responsible for the following:
- Maintaining Usernames and Permissions
- Message Codes
- Connection to Third-Party Systems (SQL Management Studio, etc.)
Any user and any type of user can be marked as an Administrator and maintain the list of users and permissions.