Planning Determines Company Success!

But: How is the quality of planning systems optimized? The digitization and the growing integration (horizontal and vertical) of value chains, as well as rapidly changing customer requirements, increase the complexity of the production planning and controlling systems.

Planning systems are the heart of order management and capacity planning and today mostly work in semi or fully automatic frameworks. They lay the foundation for the company’s ability to supply and for delivery performance, inventory (Net Working Capital), capacity utilization and production costs. This results in growing challenges for planning departments to generate “good” plans. B&C has repeatedly discovered that many companies do not fully exploit the benefits of integrated planning systems and that the planning system often is only used as a “typewriter”. Thus, potential remains unexploited.

As a result, questions like “Is my plan good?” or “How good could my plan be?” can be very difficult to answer; if they can be answered at all. Often it is hardly possible to understand the functioning and results of the planning system and the underlying algorithms. Even worse, determining the plans’ accuracy towards the given corporate objectives is not possible. As a consequence planners are often satisfied with the fact that “a” plan has been created at all.

The B&C tool APS CONTROL offers the option of downsizing complex planning problems into comprehensible and interpretable sub-problems, define expected results (“how should the planning system react?”) and automate verification of the planning systems results. APS CONTROL in fact checks the expected results against the actual results of planning runs and provides information on whether the system is reacting to planning problems properly and given objectives are addressed. Finally, the planner will have a foundation to decide if the generated plan can be qualitatively accepted.

APS CONTROL can be used not only for the optimization of current systems, but also for quality assurance in implementation projects of planning tools. By archiving planning problems and test results, they can be reproduced automatically as often as needed to continuously control and adjust the planning system. Usage examples are the integration of new functionalities or the shift of planning objectives. The automated and integrated approach not only saves time and money; it also ensures the quality and performance of the planning system and ultimately the company’s success.