Advanced planning and scheduling (APS) is a process that manages a manufacturer’s supply of raw materials and its capacity to produce a finished product at the lowest possible cost. This process ensures that the client’s demand for the product will be satisfied in quality and quantity. APS can also improve the manufacturer’s rate of on-time delivery.
Many companies prefer advanced planning and scheduling because it can quickly adjust to unexpected fluctuations on the product demand. Traditional managing styles such as “manufacturing resource planning” use a process called stepwise, which performs each evaluation in a step-by-step arrangement. This can make for a slow and inflexible assessment. The APS, on the other hand, can evaluate certain matters in separate categories, not in a ladder approach.
The factors the process can optimize include cost and capacity of machine and labor, raw material availability and due date of deadline. In this way, advanced planning and scheduling can benefit made-to-order manufacturers, in which products are only created if a client confirms his order. Manufacturers that use the same plant for different products can also apply this management process to organize which products are given more priority. Cases of seasonal demands will also make use of the APS, since there are always unpredictable changes in schedules and quantities of orders.
Another reason why companies choose advanced planning and scheduling is that all the databases can be stored in an internal memory. All engine activity and operational models can be automatically stored. This makes it easier to solve problems and estimate figures such as how many steps it takes to finish a product, and how many products can be made in a certain period. Memory servers can even simultaneously solve and evaluate issues like capacity resource planning and master production schedule.
Advanced planning and scheduling are widely available as software programs and tools, making manufacturing problems easier and faster to solve. Computer-based APS can also produce a more accurate database, a helpful factor in predicting needed resources, schedules, and cost. Some software can even automatically postpone manufacturing of products if materials are insufficient.
Companies that use advanced planning and scheduling can gain a good reputation from their clients by keeping to the promised time of delivery with high-quality goods. They can also broaden their scope of planning for months or years to come, as the APS can also forecast sales and demands. Manufacturers will also get real-time status and updates of inventories and production processes.