Frequently Asked Questions: Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS)

Before purchasing an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) solution, you may have some questions. The below FAQ was based on what we hear from our customers when they are embarking on a journey with APS. If you have a question, not covered below, please contact us and one of our LSI APS consultants will be happy to answer your questions.

Why do we need Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software if we already have an ERP system?

The simple answer is most ERP systems use backward scheduling and infinite capacity. This means it doesn¡¯t matter how overloaded your plant is, your ERP system will create a plan that says you can deliver everything on-time although you may be overloaded. For more information on this we recommend Mike Liddell¡¯s ¡°Little Blue Book on Scheduling¡±.


Why should we use finite scheduling? Is it better than Infinite/Rough Cut?

Rough Cut in the ERP world typically refers to planning and is seldom used in the real world. For more information on finite scheduling refer to the answer above.


Will your APS software be fully compatible with my ERP system?

Yes, Preactor works with most ERP systems including SAP, Oracle, JDE, Syspro, Axapta, Sage and many others. 98% of the integration involves data such as routings, work orders and BOMs feeding into Preactor.

Will Preactor reap benefits for my industry?

Yes, in fact early adopters of APS systems like Preactor will have a significant advantage by having the ability to react to change faster and smarter than their competitors. Speed wins.

What measurable results should I expect?

Selecting the right APS solution and the right implementation partner will produce massive benefits in terms of increasing customer satisfaction (on-time deliveries), reducing confusion (eliminating expediting), and providing a platform that will allow you to grow your business without adding resources to your planning and scheduling department.

There are several Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software packages available, why should I choose yours?

This depends on how complex your scheduling needs are. In the 14 years LSI has been working with customers, we have found that almost every manufacturer has unique requirements even if they don¡¯t realize it. Because you cannot change the way you manufacture based on your software, the software must be able to model your real-world constraints. The secret is to find a tool that, like Preactor, that is both flexible and powerful. Not all scheduling tools meet this standard even though they demo well.

Would a plug and play solution work so I can implement it myself?

If someone tells you that their APS software is plug and play then they are lying to you.

What skill sets are needed to use Preactor?

This is actually a very important question since the success of any APS system will depend heavily on the person using it. LSI will help you identify and train and right individual and we will provide you with on-going feedback on their performance. Most of the time your existing scheduler will do well but this may not always be true. Learn more about our process here.

Do you offer training and what is your Pre & Post-Sales support?

LSI will become your planning and scheduling strategic partner and be around to help you design and implement your solution, provide training, provide on-going support and work with you to continuously improve the way you plan and schedule. Learn more about our support here.

How much does Preactor and implementation cost?

The software pricing and the implementation depends on your needs. LSI will do a Two-Day Assessment that allows you to get a better understanding of your needs and your existing systems before presenting options that fit your budget. LSI charges for the assessment but refunds this expense against the cost of implementation. Learn more about our process here.

How much time it takes to implement an APS solution?

Depending on the size and complexity of your business, it can take between 6 weeks and 6 months to implement an APS solution. Measuring the success of an APS implementation depends upon your objectives but it is critically important to use at least two or three predetermined measurements.

Is my company too small to benefit from an Advanced Planning & Scheduling solution?

This is unlikely but it is possible.

When evaluating the difference between APS software solutions, what comparisons should I make?

Because it is extremely easy to make an APS demo look stunning, you need to be sure that the company implementing your APS solution can point to other companies with similar requirements who will act as a reference. There are a many companies selling APS solutions who have little or no real experience. Ask questions such as how does the software work, or is it stored online or on our servers? Preactor is currently a client server application although it will become a web-based solution in the near future.

Do we get Preactor updates?

Every year you pay annual maintenance support to Preactor which means you always have access to the latest updates. Preactor releases a new version with additional functionality once a year.

I can see the potential benefits for our company, what should I do now?

We thoroughly recommend that you do Two Day Assessment to get a more accurate idea of what your costs and benefits will be. Contact us to set up a call to discuss your specific requirements.

 

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