Frequently Asked Questions
Before purchasing an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) solution, you may have some questions. The FAQ below is 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.
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”.
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.
Yes, Opcenter 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 Opcenter.
Yes, in fact early adopters of APS systems like Opcenter will have a significant advantage by having the ability to react to change faster and smarter than their competitors. Speed wins.
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.
This depends on how complex your scheduling needs are. In the 25+ 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 Opcenter, that is both flexible and powerful. Not all scheduling tools meet this standard even though they demo well.
If someone tells you that their APS software is plug and play then they are lying to you.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
This is unlikely but it is possible.
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? Opcenter APS is currently a client server application although it will become a web-based solution in the near future.
Each year, when on active annual maintenance or subscription, you are provided access to the latest releases & support.