LSI's Process Methodology

LSI’s commitment to helping manufacturers adopt and succeed with Preactor Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) software requires a deep understanding of how they are currently managing schedules, the impact of existing ERP systems, and your current and future growth goals.

"The LSI team has worked hard to understand our business and to create a scheduling solution that allows us to schedule the way we need to schedule to run our unique business."
Leigh Sargent
Founder, Applied Composites Engineering

How LSI Works With Clients

No two customers are alike. To use a “cookie cutter” approach in implementing an advanced planning & scheduling software solution would be unsuccessful and could even be damaging to your productivity and outcome.

LSI has applied this understanding and experience to perfecting a unique methodology called 80/Twenty that is driven by customer demand while delivering on exceptional customer service. With this methodology, our solution is designed to address 80% of your needs while allowing you to handle your exceptions. 

How the process works:

Discovery

One of our senior consultants will be assigned to get a basic understanding of what it is you are looking for in a manufacturing production schedule. This will allow you to ask questions and give the opportunity to find out more about your concerns, issues, and objectives so that we can quickly determine if there is anything we can do for you. If there appears to be mutual interest, then we would typically talk to your scheduler(s), your operations people, and your executive to get a better understanding of some of the more complex issues facing your company. If it appears that we can help you, then we will recommend an Assessment.

Assessment & Design

The Assessment will require an investment of time and money from you, but it will provide you with a clear understanding of where you are on the APS Pyramid compared to other companies, as well as other insights that will be useful even if you decide not to proceed with LSI.

The Assessment also gives us an opportunity to listen to your planning and scheduling objectives so that we can help you understand what is achievable depending on your budgetary and time constraints. Typically, we will recommend a Phase 1 project that is capable of delivering significant results while laying the foundation upon which additional functionality can be added in the future. Once we have a clear understanding of what we want to achieve, we move to the proposal.

The Proposal

The Proposal for Phase 1 allows us to document our findings from the Assessment and typically it would include the following:

  • A firm price
  • A project timeline
  • A clear description of what will and won’t be included in Phase 1 and the benefits
  • An overview of the long term plan if it differs from Phase 1
  • An understanding of what will be expected from your employees

The Agile Design

This step is the most critical and the most difficult part of the Advanced Planning & Scheduling software solution implementation process. Based on years of experience, we have found that the quicker we can build a preliminary Preactor model and populate it with real data, the quicker you can start understanding some of the more subtle issues. It is important to note that this would normally bring to the surface a number of issues that were not identified in the initial process. We would like to think there was a way of avoiding this up front, but we have come to recognize that this is not usually possible. Because we build in some time for this process up front, most of the time it does not change the overall scope of the project. However, if it is decided that new functionality is required that will change the cost, then a change of scope document is prepared and agreed upon by both parties.

This step also allows a significant amount of time for validating the data coming from other systems such as your ERP system.

The Full Client CRP

Once all of the pieces have been unit tested, we move to the CRP (Conference Room Pilot). The CRP involves getting everyone together who will be impacted by the new scheduling system and creating scripts to test all the possible transactions. This provides the opportunity to involve other departments (such as sales, engineering, shop floor and purchasing) so that they can understand how the new system will impact their jobs and what is expected from them.

Depending on the results, there may be a need for more than one CRP, but once it has been completed successfully, you will be ready to go live with a level of confidence.

The Implementation Process

Assessment

The Two Day Assessment© is designed to explore all aspects of scheduling in your organization and how they impact your business. This is an on-site visit which includes: data collection, facility tour/review, interviews, and the analysis of current and future planning/scheduling requirements. The deliverables of the Two Day Assessment are a findings document which includes: a summary of the visit, key issues and opportunities, a proposed solution to your planning/scheduling needs. Key Deliverable: Assessment Findings

Design

The design phase takes the findings from the assessment and details the plan of attack including: the project kickoff meeting, functionality checklist, client contact/environment checklist, project metrics, & the project plan. Design sessions address: model design, rule design, integration design, customization design (optional, custom rules are not included in the foundations estimate). Key Deliverable: Design Document

Configure

The configuration phase is the beginning of an iterative modelling process where the design is executed and fine-tuned. The iterative steps include: Configuration, Integration, and Testing. Steps involved in the configuration phase are: system connectivity, software installation, model template selection, table/menu definition, script definition, & rule definition. Key Deliverable: Base Preactor Model

Integrate

Integration is done in conjunction with configuration. Using the Preactor integration toolset, connections to virtually any ERP, MES or other database/data collection systems are made possible. Steps in this phase include: inter system connectivity, integration template selection, template customization, mapping customization, & data validation. Key Deliverable: Integrated System

Test

With our hands-on workshops, the entire team is involved in testing, data validation, and functional testing. Steps involved in the testing phase include: model testing Iitegration testing client walk through/functional testing, & the conference room pilot. Key Deliverable: Testing Sign-off

Deploy

Team involvement from all areas of the company from the start results in a smooth cutover, significantly reducing the risk involved in implementing a production dependent scheduling system. Steps involved in the deployment phase include: cutover planning, training, development of the schedulers daily task list, parallel test, & the go-live. Key Deliverable: Operational System

Support

After your system is operational, we continue to support you, ensuring that you continue to reap the benefits of your system year after year. We are committed to developing long-term, lasting relationships that begin with our initial conversations and continue to grow long after your implementation.

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