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The Ultimate Advanced Planning & Scheduling Quiz - What's Your Score?

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

-Shashank Nanivadekar

The age of scheduling on the board is gone. Manufacturers are using Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) as one of their weapons of mass production. And as custom and on-demand manufacturing make their way into the business models of ambitious manufacturers, factors like customer satisfaction, service levels, and zero rework become core principles for any successful producer.

Regardless of the industry, from aerospace, automotive, Food & Beverage, packaging, or medical devices: manufacturers have identified that they need to be agile if they want to stay relevant. And to stay relevant means giving the right aspects of your operations the highest priority.

Optimizing production sequencing

In the short-term, manufacturers need to be able to adjust schedules as factory conditions change. Machines need maintenance, materials can run out, unfinished inventory can go bad, and personnel shortages inhibit the master planner from having a static plan that is good and correct forever. To reflect these constraints into your plan, you need to be able to optimize your resources if you want to avoid shortages becoming showstoppers.

Synchronized Planning

The modern-day manufacturer sequences jobs on the line in a way that the machine is fully utilized at all times. Work Orders are sequenced in a way to streamline production so once a batch is complete, the next WO is underway. But production schedulers are paying serious attention to what happens when one of these order slips. Longer-than-usual cycle times, quality issues, sudden reworks, or just spotting a problem in the process mid-way through the batch. Production Schedulers want to synchronize their plans in such a way that if one order slips, the downstream effect of that slippage is immediately apparent and visible. Doing this in Excel or ERP is inherently troubling because ERPs mostly rely on infinite capacity whereas synchronized planning relies on a finite-capacity approach.


Finite Capacity Planning is a constraint-based planning methodology that accounts for real-life availability of a machine, material, plant, and personnel. To learn more, download our free whitepaper on Finite Capacity Planning today!


Load Leveling In addition to short-term synchronizing and optimizing, master planners want to also have an overview of how the longer term orders will pan out. Maintaining the long-term horizon based on backlog or forecast in the same context as the short-term planning is critical so companies can use their schedules as a measure of how successful they will be at making deliveries on jobs 6-12 months from now based on their current and future capacities. Being able to run What-If Scenarios using custom resource constraints allows manufacturers to stay ahead of issues today and in the future and plan with intelligence instead of gut. Now that you know what the key priorities are for ambitious manufacturers, let's see if these are your priorities.

Below are five Yes/No questions. Give yourself 1 point if your answer is Yes, and 0 points if your answer is No.  Can you anticipate material constraints ahead of production? Can your plan accurately predict on-time deliveries for future orders? Are you adjusting machine or line schedule to improve service levels? Can you say that your production schedule is the best way to meet demands? Can you adjust your schedule if a machine goes down, or an employee doesn't show up or a rework occurs and still meet demands? Now think about your score: Are you happy with your score?  If you are motivated by enhancing the impact of your APS methodology to give you a competitive edge, click here to schedule a call with one of our product specialists. 

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