About Lean SchEduling International (LSI)

LSI Production Planning and Scheduling Experts for Manufacturers

Lean Scheduling International (LSI) was cofounded by Mike Liddell and Dan Hahn to help manufacturers implement smarter and more innovate APS Solutions.

Mike has 40+ years working within the manufacturing industry, initially as an ERP consultant and then after realizing their severe scheduling limitations felt that he needed to develop a workable Planning and Scheduling Solution. Mike is also the highly respected author of an international book titled “The Little Blue Book on Scheduling” and has written numerous published articles on the subject.

Dan has over 20 years experience in retail and manufacturing technologies, including system selection, project management, implementation and development. Before forming LSI with Mike, Dan had already achieved numerous accomplishments with client successes including reducing a Major Manufacturer’s inventory by $20million with a 40% reduction in clerical staff.

Combining their skills, LSI Cofounders Mike Liddell and Dan Hahn have created and perfected a unique process that is designed to take manufacturers from a typical but flawed ERP planning and scheduling process (Level 5 –see below) to one that is driven by customer demand and the need to continuously improve customer service (Level 1).

One of the things that fundamentally separate LSI from most of its competitors is that we offer as little or as much involvement from us as you desire. Some companies simply want a successful initial implementation. However, normally most clients want a long-term relationship and so we build strong long term strategic partnerships with these key clients. For the most part building and maintaining the types of innovative solutions that allow our customers to gain a competitive advantage in their industries, can only be done when there is a deep level of trust. Typically we have found that there are very few companies who can supply the level of expertise that can take a manufacturer from a Level 5 to a Level 1 or 2.

For a more detailed understanding of the different levels please see below.

APS Levels

The chart below shows the traits that we typically associate with each of the APS level. These levels tie directly to a company’s ability to compete and succeed in today’s fast paced world.

Level 1 Manufacturing Scheduling Software and Production Scheduling Software


Our experience shows us that Level 4 and 5 manufacturers are not able to compete with a Level 3, 2 or 1 company and we would expect each change in Level to deliver an increase in sales volume, customer satisfaction and ultimately profitability.

Liddell notes that the APS software (Preactor) is an important part of the solution but it’s like trying to improve your golf game by buying a new set of golf clubs… it won’t work unless you have someone who can show you how to use them. Dan Hahn confirms that attempting to implement Preactor without following a proven process is likely to deliver only minimal results.

Both Liddell and Hahn point out that most companies don’t have the high levels of commitment, motivation and innovation that are required to get to Level 1 or 2.

Why use LSI? - The Difference Between Success and Failure

The difference between implementing an APS system and building an APS solution that gives you a permanent strategic advantage is night and day. We now know, with absolute certainty, that the only way to achieve meaningful results implementing a successful Advanced Planning and Scheduling Solution is to adopt a three legged stool strategy. Unless you take the time to make sure that all three legs are firmly in place, your APS solution will give you only minimal benefits.

APS Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software PreactorTHREE LEGGED STOOL STRATEGY

  • You need the right software
  • You need the right partner
  • You need the right level of commitment and the right people

Why is Preactor the Best APS Software?

Unless your APS software can model your real world constraints you will not be able to produce a valid schedule. Since it is almost impossible to know all of your requirements up front and since those requirements will change over time you need software that has proven itself in thousands of companies and in almost every industry. We have proven over and over again that it will not only support your current needs but it will support your future needs too.

Why is Lean Scheduling International (LSI) the Right APS Partner?

It can be easy to lose sight of your business objectives when you see a sexy looking APS demo and a clever sales pitch showing the latest high-tech gimmicks. The reality though is that over the last 20 years we have seen many such systems and almost all of them quickly disappear leaving a trail of unhappy customers who have invested a significant amount of time and money on something that never actually works in the real world.

Historically we have also seen that manufacturers who think they have the in-house expertise to select and implement an APS solution almost always fail miserably even if they were fortunate enough to select the right software.

Over the same time period LSI has consistently been able to deliver APS solutions that address the specific needs of their clients and over the years we have helped these customers get more and more from their Preactor investment.

By avoiding the numerous and expensive pitfalls that typically ruin most APS implementations LSI will help you drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to start getting measurable results while putting in place a platform that allows you to constantly improve and innovate.

The hard truth is that most ERP resellers and consultants do not have the in-depth knowledge and experience that can only be gained through years of working in the trenches. They may talk a good game but they really don’t know what makes the difference between success and failure.

In the end, the only people who can give you the full story of what it takes to succeed are our customers.

How do you select the right people?

Since this is so important, we take the time to help you understand the type of person you will need to deliver the results you expect and the skills they will need.

Advanced Planning & Scheduling Consulting Services:

The LSI Advanced Planning & Scheduling Consulting Service will help you design the right solution that meets your objectives based on where you are today and where you want to go. This allows us to present you with a number of options based on your budget and your timeline.

  • The Assessment Process
  • The Design Process
  • The Development and Prototyping Process
  • The Implementation & Testing Process
  • The Continuous Improvement Process

For a detailed explanation about each of these processes please see The Little Blue Book on Scheduling.

Support Services:

Once you have implemented your APS solution you will likely need to fine tune Preactor by making a number of small, incremental improvements. Involving LSI in this support process will typically allow you to quickly achieve the kind of results that have a significant impact on your ROI. We have a number of Pre and Post Sale support strategies to help you.


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