Why Your ERP is NOT a Production Scheduler

Fraser Bonnett, Senior Project Architect for Lean Scheduling International with over 20 years solely focused on implementing APS solutions

So, you’ve turned on your ERP’s scheduling module. You’ve spent hours making sure all your product routings are correct. The setup and run times are spot on and your machines & work centers are all properly defined. Everything seems perfect! You finally run the production schedule with eagerness! But when you look at the results, it’s nothing like how your production lines actually run… So, you resort to exporting all the data to Excel and try to manually create the production sequence yourself. However, that takes too long, and whenever anything unexpected happens (i.e. machine breakdown, an expedited order, etc.) you have to do it all over again.

Does this sound familiar?  Well, you’re in good company because the majority of ERP-bundled scheduling systems fall short when it comes to actual job sequencing.  Typically, they only provide forwards sequencing by a due date or a priority.  However, your industry is also concerned with proper sequencing based on the attributes of your products.  For example, the food industry is driven by allergen sequencing and the effect of cleanouts and washdowns. The chemicals industry is concerned with contamination between products.  Other industries are more concerned with machine downtime than they are meeting a certain date.

So, what is the solution?  The answer is a dedicated Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) system that can handle all manner of complex sequencing based on the specific requirements and attributes of your production environment. An APS system enhances your ERP’s capabilities by connection to your ERP system, downloading the information it needs, and merging it with attribute data that the ERP system lacks.  Then using those attributes, a production schedule can be created that makes sense in the real world.

You’ll never achieve production scheduling efficiency by using your ERP’s scheduling module alone. With over 25 years of experience implementing Advanced Planning & Scheduling solutions, we’ve seen this time-and-time again and know it to be true! Don’t make the same mistake others have made. Let us show you how an APS solution will revolutionize your scheduling process, leading to increased productivity & efficiency that is guaranteed to impact your bottom line.

For more, check out our web page What is APS? or LSI CEO Mike Liddell‘s article featured on Siemens’ blog entitled “Why Do Production Planners Still Use Excel?”

After serving 10 years in the United States Air Force as a program manager followed by a number of years working with SCADA software at Raytheon, Fraser Bonnett has spent the last 23 years delivering Siemens’ Opcenter APS software solution, formerly known as Preactor Advanced Planning & Scheduling. He now serves as Senior Project Architect for Lean Scheduling International.

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