Some elements help the firm for the smooth flow of production. This article discloses one of that element. That is advanced planning and scheduling (APS). The article tells how APS helps to enhance your business, important components of APS, 5Ms of APS, and software systems of APS.

What is Advanced Planning and Scheduling?

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) is a system that helps to track the resources of a manufacturing unit for smooth production. It helps in optimally allocating raw materials and production capacity to meet the demand.

It takes into consideration all the major production factors including people, machines, inventory, and costs.

APS ensures an appropriate balance between raw materials and the production processes of the business. It is an important division of supply chain management.

How can Advanced Planning and Scheduling enhance your business?

  • It generates realistic reports that will help in analyzing the production capacity of the unit and accordingly plan the next course of action
  • Helps in understanding the production and listing out the required raw materials to ensure a smooth working production of the system.
  • It helps in streamlining the inventory system of the business and make it more efficient.
  • Assists in improving the time management system by analyzing and interpreting the time consumed for each process.
  • Designing a real-time data system that captures the time and the resources required. Improves the delivery time and in delighting the customers with prompt services.
  • It helps to identify the exact resources that are required for production.
  • Helps the manufacturer to determine what to make, how much to make, when and where to make it.

Advanced planning and scheduling help to supervise some of the aspects of the production process. Those are

  • Enhancement of advance schedule
  • Controlling of advanced materials
  • Make to order planning
  • Make to stock planning
  • Visualization of assemble process
  • Advanced constrain modeling
  • Planning of Bill of Materials (BOM) level 
  • Master production schedule creation
  • Visualization of interactive schedule

Important components of Advanced Planning and Scheduling

Planning of demand: Demand planning helps to generate an accurate forecast by considering the previous sales data and importing consumer forecast. Demand planning allows you to manufacture the exact quantity of products with reduced inventory cost and waste.

Planning of production: Production planning is a process. This process gives a clear picture of available raw materials, available labors, tools to make products of the specified quantity. The production plan allows an organization to carry out various production activities without any interruption.

Scheduling of production: The production schedule is also a process that helps to handle, arrange and optimize the work in the production process. It helps to reduce inventory and load on laborers.

Planning of distribution: This process allows workers to set inventory parameters like on-hand inventory at the beginning and the safety stock requirements for a period of time to reach order fulfillment.

Planning of transportation: This process helps to identify the goals, future policies, investments required to transport people and goods to destinations.

Five Ms of APS

  1. Money
  2. Material
  3. Man
  4. Machine
  5. Methods

Mathematical applications used in advanced planning and scheduling

  • Linear programming
  • Constraint-based programming
  • Heuristics and algorithms

APS can offer solutions to various issues that a company might face in a course of time and also can boost the customer service system.

With the help of APS, a company can formulate accurate strategies by clearly defining the market demand and how the production can gear up to capture a bigger share of the market with adequate supplies.

It will help the business to make crucial decisions about business expansion by analyzing the company’s production capacity and sales forecasting.

It can help the company to study all aspects of the business from manufacturing to distribution and then schedule the production accordingly.

The advanced planning and scheduling software systems

There are various APS software systems available both in the commercial and open-source variations.

One of the open-source APS software system available for the Supply chain is Frepple.

Most of the modern cloud ERP solutions are either available with APS functionalities or can be integrated with external advanced planning and scheduling systems.

  1. What are the software systems available for Advanced planning and Scheduling (APS)?

    A few of the popular APS software systems available are, PlanningForce, Cybertech, Dynasys, Ortames, Orchestrate, Optessa, and Delfoi.


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