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Supplying Thought: Advanced Planning and Scheduling

25 May 2017 11:16 AM | Christon Valdivieso

By: Christon Valdivieso, CSCP, SSBBP and Afton Knight, CSCP, SSBBP


Making strategic business decisions can be stressful and difficult in the best of situations. Having good data and insight provide objective support and fact-based grounds for those decisions. I was able to work on a project recently with a California-based beverage company that was looking to develop an advanced planning and scheduling (APS) system. Manufacturers have historically relied on experienced production managers for their planning and scheduling needs but, as complexities increase within manufacturing processes and the supply chain as a whole, companies, including the beverage company we worked with, are moving toward automating their production planning and scheduling functions. After reviewing the benchmark data, we supply this thought: How advanced is your APS system?


The APICS dictionary defines an APS system as "any computer program that uses advanced mathematical algorithms or logic to perform optimization, and/or simulation on finite capacity scheduling, sourcing, capital planning, resource planning, forecasting, demand planning.” Our initial step in the project was to benchmark industry standards by spending time with planning teams from various operations. Through this process we developed three key factors needed for a successful APS system implementation: 1) Communication, 2) Visibility, and 3) Integration.


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