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Stop Scheduling Using Your ERP: Unlock Greater Efficiency and Profitability

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In today's hyper-competitive business environment, the pursuit of efficiency is relentless. Companies large and small rely heavily on transactional systems such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) for various purposes: order management, material tracking, quality control, customer data, and financial administration. Indeed, these tools are vital for the smooth operation of business. However, as critical as these systems are, their use for planning and scheduling - especially in complex production environments - can result in missed optimization opportunities and significant losses.

The Limitations of ERP Systems for Scheduling

While it's true that many ERP systems come with planning modules, these are not always sufficient, especially when your operation is not straightforward. When your production process is multifaceted and dynamic, planning in your ERP system may not be the best approach.

Consider the various complexities that may exist in a production process:

- Product Mixing: Balancing the precise quantity and quality of ingredients in a mix is not a simple task. How do you optimize this process without compromising the end product?

- Complex Changeovers: Let's say you run a food production operation with allergen considerations. How do you minimize cleaning time by optimizing production line assignments and sequences?

- Product Batching: How can you efficiently batch orders on a machine like an oven to increase efficiency and minimize energy usage?

- Product Freshness: Freshness is crucial, especially in perishable goods industries. How do you decide when to freeze a product or when to choose a different mode of transport?

When these factors start to creep into your scheduling process, things become more complex. It's already a challenge to create a valid schedule - optimizing that schedule to maximize your KPIs can swiftly transform into an overwhelming endeavor.

The Fallacy of Workarounds in ERP Systems

Despite the inherent complexity, some ERP consultants claim they can circumvent these limitations within your ERP planning module. But do these workarounds actually work? From our experience, these quick fixes often result in suboptimal planning solutions, with more than 15% in optimization potential left on the table daily.

How did we arrive at this 15% figure? When scheduling rules get too intricate for an ERP planning module, planners tend to rely on certain "rules of thumb". For instance, they might use specific machines for specific products. However, with the daily product mix changing, considering alternative machines could be more profitable. Utilizing a system that considers all available options and readily displays the consequences of schedule changes can significantly enhance productivity in complex production settings.

The Smarter Approach: Best-of-Breed Planning Solutions

So, what's the solution? Stop planning and scheduling using your ERP. Instead, leverage a best-of-breed planning solution to truly optimize your operation. With these specialized solutions, you can harness advanced planning and optimization capabilities, making the most of your production resources and human capital. Remember, this is not about replacing your ERP system – it's about integrating a tool that brings intelligence in the area of planning and optimization.

In conclusion, ERP systems are fantastic for transactional tasks, but they fall short in complex planning and scheduling scenarios. To overcome these limitations and unlock greater efficiency and profitability, consider the power of specialized planning solutions such as More Optimal. You might just find that this is the missing piece in your production puzzle.

More Optimal

Published on June 5, 2023

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