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Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS)
Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) and Forecasting Trend

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) is a system which helps to track the resources of a manufacturing unit for smooth production.
It takes into consideration all the major production factors being people, machines, inventory, and costs.
It 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 APS 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.
   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.

Five Ms of APS

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

Mathematical applications used in APS

  1.   Linear programming
  2.   Constraint-based programming
  3.   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.

Advanced planning and scheduling software differs from traditional  planning and scheduling in that it is not bound to a strict mathematical  formula, but rather can tradeoff between a number of factors to find  the best solution from many alternatives. That ability to weight  multiple factors and find an overall best solution is called  optimization.
  
 
Supply chain planning, production planning and production scheduling  are complex processes that require the planner to constantly consider the interactions between many different factors. For example, freight costs can be reduced by shipping larger quantities less often, but that requires maintaining larger inventories at the receiving end, which increases cost there. Additional inventory also requires more storage space, equipment and people.

Optimization via advanced planning and scheduling software

Arguably all supply chain planning and scheduling decisions are complex and require tradeoffs.  There is a range of alternatives, and the planner must sort out all the  related costs, as well as the potential impact of the decision on availability  and shortages; capacity and capabilities of producers, transportation  links and cash flow; and many more interactions and dependencies.
 
Some transportation modes, like rail compared to truck, are less costly. But rail is slower, and it often requires transfer to a truck for the initial or final move from source to depot or depot to destination. Air is fastest of all, but is much more expensive.

Straightforward mathematical algorithms, such as those used by traditional ERP  planning and scheduling, are limited to standards and assumptions, as  well as predefined logic. They are unable to weight the relative merits  of multiple factors as outlined above, so they are of limited usefulness  in anything other than stable, controlled environments where fixed  rules are sufficient and judgment is not required.

The optimization available through  advanced planning and scheduling software changes the game by making  such judgments based on a set of rules and relative values that the user  company assigns when setting up the optimization software. The system  can then solve for minimum or maximum value for many, many different  combinations of the identified factors.
 
In a simple example, traditional plant scheduling calculations  use standard lead times, wait times and processing times to map out a  production schedule for each identified job or work order. Each schedule  is calculated independently, with no consideration for other work order  schedules. As a result, the system might schedule two, three or even  four or more jobs for the same machine at the same time, when that  machine might only be able to do one job at a time. Additional software,  like capacity requirements planning, can provide visibility into this  problem, but the planner must resolve the issue manually.

An optimization-based, so-called advanced scheduler or finite-capacity scheduler  can determine the earliest possible and latest possible schedule for  each job at each work center, and then try different combinations and  schedules until it finds the best fit overall. That best fit may be the  lowest overall cost, highest work center utilization, least amount of  overtime, highest percentage of on-time completions, highest on-time  percentage for preferred customers or products, fewest delays across the board, or some other measure of maximum value or minimum cost or penalty, as defined during the setup.

The end result is a more realistic plan or schedule that is more  likely to come to fruition. It is also more likely to provide better  information for customers, including more realistic lead times and  promised completion dates, and can offer better resource utilization, lower costs and better customer service.


EOQ (Economic Order Quantity)







Forecasting







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