Constraint-Based Scheduling

Constraint-based planning creates optimal production plans by taking into account supply chain constraints such as hourly production throughput, stored goods, storage capacity, and transportation capacity. A limited number of resources, such as packaging machines and production lines must be planned to perform a range of activities in a designated time, taking into account all applicable constraints.

Outdated Plans and Inconsistent Data

Creating efficient production plans while managing inventory and expected service levels is a big challenge. The production planner must make daily decisions about the quantity and timing of production runs for a wide range of products. The planner must consider factors such as inventory coverage, resource usage, and delivery performance.

To synchronize fluctuating supply and demand across the supply chain, a planner must quickly understand the cause-and-effect relationships between a large number of data points. ERP systems can provide some of the data, but cannot respond quickly to changing demand patterns, account for dynamic lead times, minimize overtime, optimize asset utilization, manage material deliveries, and streamline or balance production lines. As a result, planners often have to live with a variety of different spreadsheets, whiteboard calculations, or handcrafted tools, all too often exposing only a climps of the planning problem to be solved. The resulting plans are incomplete and too static, making it impossible to effectively manage supply chain disruptions and demand fluctuations.

Production planning in the supply chain

A company’s supply chain can make or break the business. Constraint-based planning provides powerful support for better resource utilization and balancing of customer requirements with costs while taking into account manufacturing constraints.

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Concurrent Planner Solution

The Concurrent Planner increases product availability, minimizes inventory, and improves on time delivery. It is a lightweight, yet comprehensive solution connected to the company’s information systems. The Concurrent Planner provides users a modern web-based solution.

The Concurrent Planner maintains consistency between sales plan and production plan at all time and plans production in real-time – even for the whole business year – taking into account the various constraints concurrently.

Prioritized, real-time planning

Companies strive to profitably align supply with demand. When orders come in, a successful company is able to create accurate delivery offers that are adhered to. This assumes that availability can be promised reliably and in real time. Not all customers are equally important to a company. With the Concurrent Planner, you have a powerful solution to ensure that your key customers receive the special treatment they deserve.

When customers order your product, the Concurrent Planner allocates orders based on their priority to sales forecasts. When orders are processed, they are assigned to the planned demand. This means that certain customers, distribution channels or geographic regions will be given preferential treatment according to your rules. Forecasts, customer reservation of goods and sales quotas are the input for production planning. This order prioritization is carried out according to strict rules, which give higher-margin customers a higher priority, for example. Priorities are assigned to orders, thereby ensuring that urgent orders are always automatically treated according to their urgency.

Concurrent Planner creates an achievable production plan with constraint-based production planning that improves customer service and reduces production costs. With the Concurrent Planner, you can identify early on whether sales plans can be implemented, for example, taking into account important material and capacity constraints. The Concurrent Planner software identifies discrepancies between supply and demand – even months in the future – and helps you adjust your purchasing plans and production capacity accordingly.

Optimized production schedules

More and more manufacturing companies are seeing a shift in customer order types, quantities and requirements. Customers are increasingly demanding a more diverse product mix and products that can be delivered more frequently. As a result, manufacturers are facing massive changes in their business, such as how to operate their factories, maintain profit margins, and generate profits. In this business environment, manufacturing operations need to be much more flexible to meet rapidly changing production needs, including real-time planning of production and efficient execution of key orders.

Moving to a larger product portfolio brings with it a whole new set of challenges, such as more daily changeovers, a greater variety of materials, and more diverse set-up strategies for production runs. In this volatile production environment, the Concurrent Planner enables accurate, on-demand production planning to deliver on-time deliveries at the lowest cost of production. By optimizing production schedules immediately, changing requirements such as short-term, important orders or unexpected orders are efficiently taken into account to maximize production output and customer service. The Concurrent Planner integrates production information into a system that is connected through a single database. In this way, production parameters can be automatically verified while maintaining user control. Once the sales plans and orders have been automatically imported, the system selects the orders and quantities to be optimized and scheduled based on established priorities such as the destination windows (e.g., a day, a week, etc.).

Maximize cost-effective throughput

To remain competitive, companies must reduce the total cost of the supply chain to reduce their inventory and capital requirements. A well-run organization makes it possible in many cases to work effectively with virtually no stock. If the inventory is kept in a distribution center or factory, there are a number of potential pitfalls. Prefabricated products or finished goods may be stolen, damaged or misplaced, and in some instances, goods may expire over time. In addition, warehousing often requires a lot of space and high costs.

The Concurrent Planner avoids overproduction by using scheduling methods – such as prioritized production groups and adaptive, on-demand safety stock for products – that adjust production rates accordingly. Ideally, the company produces the product when a customer buys it. Such planning requires rapid updating of sales figures and a flexible production plan. The Concurrent Planner achieves the highest possible throughput while minimizing inventory to ensure high quality and delivery performance. The Concurrent Planner optimizes against all resource-specific constraints such as cleaning and set-up times, throughput times, storage and transport capacities.