Results of Integrating Asprova with ERP

pentelA Japan-based manufacturer, that has been a subscriber to Asprova Production Scheduler for 10 years, thought that they needed to replace Asprova with SAP. This is all due to the fact that other factories had been using SAP, and it was becoming a trend. To keep up with others, the company decided that they should replace their Asprova with SAP/R3. However, this did not happen.

Why?

The company found out that SAP/R3 cannot fully replace Asprova. This is because the scheduling function of Asprova continues to be a big asset to the company – you can try it out too for free. And because of its flexibility, Asprova can be used hand in hand with SAP/R3. With some tweaks, the company found out about a way to use Asprova together with SAP/R3.

How is this possible?

In production scheduling, Asprova was utilized because of its speed and accuracy. Plans created by Asprova are returned to SAP and SAP creates and issues instructions to each production sites.

As a result, they were able to dramatically decrease their inventory—unshipped items are decreased by 1/4~1/2. The accuracy of orders’ due dates went up to 97~98%! The Information Systems officer interviewed by Asprova claimed that “Optimal scheduling brings satisfaction to our clients”.

Asprova’s scheduling capacity remains undisputed. If you’re thinking of replacing Asprova, you should think twice before you do it because you might be able integrate it with the product that you want to use, for example, ERP. And, with proper systemization, you will be able to achieve outstanding results.

BTO and the Need for High Level Scheduling

Kobayashi Create

Prescale Film

Manufacturing recording papers is the specialty of this featured BTO Japanese company. Due to the innovations brought about by Information Technology and the digitalization of printing, the pressure to supply complete solutions to respond speedily to market demand increased. This made communication between different departments an important issue that should not be overlooked. To realize seamless communication and to quickly respond to customers’ needs, the production management of this company decided to set up a collective management system. However, their scheduler at that time was unable to adapt to the integrated system that they wanted. This led them to find another scheduler that actually can.

A flawless connection

To simultaneously take a lot of factors into consideration and keep delivery dates in check, an advanced scheduler was needed. Asprova is widely known throughout Japan and the company immediately called for its help. By utilizing this Finite Capacity Scheduling software, making optimized production plans became an easy task. With its help, they were able to connect to the ERP they used and it became possible to reduce lead times substantially. “The existing scheduler was not able to connect systems and to create an overall optimized schedule. One reason for selecting Asprova was that it can flexibly be connected to peripheral systems. This made it possible to improve same day delivery responses from 20% to 80%,” says the production management team members.

Progress visualization

To monitor the progress of the production, the scheduling managers used Asprova MES. This greatly reduced the number of inquiries from other divisions as it made the progress available for every department.

After the success of the company in integrating Asprova to their system, the company plans to use Asprova on their other businesses. This company placed their trust on our production scheduler. It’s time for you to discover why!

 

Addressing Scheduling Complexity through Software Flexibility

Electrical products (Electric wire, cable, electronic connectors, etc.) are the main merchandise of our Hong-Kong based manufacturer. In their earlier years, this company relied on Excel, human schedulers, and an ERP for their production planning. However, in the long run, when the variety of items reached 10,000 and the orders rose to more than 5,000 a month, it made the schedule managers perplexed because of the difficulty of making a production plan on excel. They tried company’s ERP but according to the IT manager, “Our ERP has a scheduling function, but it is difficult to create a feasible plan and it is too slow. Therefore we had to search for a more professional, advanced scheduler.”

To improve production efficiency and reduce costs

Because it has become too complex to make a production plan based on MS Excel they needed a better scheduler, one that is more flexible. “Our product technology is not very complicated, but the convergence, decomposition, and other modes of producing process make the production very flexible. When rush orders come in or the yield is not satisfactory it’s really hard to handle, as we are have to solely rely on our experience,” the production management department leader said.

After assessing their needs, they decided to try our Finite Capacity Scheduling software—Asprova, that is known all throughout the world for its flexibility as a scheduler. They did this to address the scheduling complexity brought about by their businesses’ expansion, to optimize capacity, and to increase production efficiency.

Implementation effects

After five months of transition, the results of switching to Asprova became evident. The managers noticed that production time was reduced significantly. According to their data, it used to take about 2 hours to make a plan and even longer if rush orders came in. Now, it only takes 15-30 minutes. The scope of their scheduling also expanded considerably. In the past, the company only planned its main processes, but with Asprova the copper twisting and extrusion processes has been included in the planning. The most amazing effect after Asprova implementation is when plan execution reached 90%. Due to the lack of an effective management basis, the plan execution rate used to be very low. After introducing Asprova, the managers worked according to Asprova’s scheduling results, increasing production efficiency and at the same time reducing costs.

 

Musical Instrument Manufacturer Reduced Lead Time, Planning and WIP Inventory by 30%

Good Feedback

One of the key factors that anybody would want to look at before trying a product would be feedback. This is one of the reasons why this international musical instrument manufacturer, that has approximately one-fourth market share in the whole world, chose Asprova. The scheduler was known to have provided good service to many other big companies.

Before Asprova, they also tried other software; in fact, they were using SAP as their ERP. But, it was not enough, they needed to incorporate data from outside of SAP’s scope, especially processes which are more complicated and has diverse details. They needed something that is superior and has exceptional scheduling abilities. They searched, and alas, they found our Finite Capacity Scheduling software wherein they were able to easily integrate with SAP. But, here comes something most organizations fear—the shifting stage.

A smooth transition

A good thing that the company experienced with Asprova is the fact that it does not only provide you the product, and then leaves you alone to fend for yourself. It initially provides a trial version where you can first evaluate, and then gives training, so that you could incorporate your actual data with the system and basically let’s you experience a smooth transition. According to the Digital Instruments Division leader in the company, “once you learn the basics, you are able to operate it fairly smoothly.” It also offers great training. “The perfect training system is one of the points that Asprova excelled in” the division leader adds.

A lot more rewards

Aside from the smooth transition, there are a lot of other positive effects that came along with the implementation of Asprova. We’ll cite a few; one of the highlights would be shop floor acceptance—and the compatibility of the product with the how the company operates. Others would be the scheduling time, production lead times, and WIP inventory that were all reduced by about 30%. Lastly, by optimizing setup, machine downtime was reduced and work instructions on paper were completely eliminated.

Combination of Automatic Scheduling and Manual Adjustment

There is a saying that goes: “before we point at others, we must first look at a mirror.” The quote implies that when you look at yourself in the mirror, you would see your own flaws. If you seize this moment constructively, and as an opportunity to reflect on what you see, you will attain self-improvement. In a professional setting, a term called SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis has the same idea as the premise of this paragraph—analyzing your flaws, and improving upon it. Using this as our guide, we can now examine how the Taiwan-based company achieved this 110 million New Taiwan Dollars (NTD) increase in their savings. For this article, we’ll focus on S, W, and O.

Strengths

The company was growing rapidly. They were able make a name for themselves through the development of high-quality tires and production of UHP, SUV, LTR, PCR, and other series tires. They were becoming a big-shot in the tire industry; however, they noticed that production efficiency was not maximized.

Weaknesses

Before we can increase our profit, we must first look at what’s holding us back—this might be the idea that came to the minds of the consulting department manager and the production planner when they initiated the plan to improve. There were two key areas that needed attention:

  • Using Excel for production plans—this is a weakness because Excel could not consider current sales information nor inventory levels. This made Synchronization difficult and affected company profits.
  • The inability to respond to an increasing number of small and diverse orders, rush orders, and frequent order changes. It became impossible for them to update the plan manually and in time. This led to late deliveries and an inefficient allocation of production capacity.

Opportunities

After finding out about their flaws, they had a chance to improve upon it. They searched for a production scheduler, and after a series of evaluation, they found the perfect partner—Asprova. Because of its known abilities in scheduling, the company was able to overcome their weaknesses and turn it into strengths. Objectively speaking, the percentage of products delivered directly without having been stored, increased from 45% to 85%; this lead to savings of 50 million NTD per year. Lastly, inventory turnover was reduced from 20 to 15 days contributing another 60 million NTD per year.

Do you find it hard to manually schedule rush orders and never-ending order changes? There’s still hope, let us help you make your company more profitable and your job a lot easier. You can start with this free trial version of Asprova so you can evaluate. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Achieving Overall Optimization Through Short, Medium and Long Term Planning

While planning is indeed a basic need to each and every company, it is not an easy feat. Let’s take a look at a ship manufacturer who decided to try Asprova and have experienced four reasons to choose our Finite Capacity Scheduler.

Impressive foresight

In this featured company, in order to keep their equipments running, they relied on professional human planners to make schedules. However, they could only do plans that are 1-2 months ahead. Anything further than that, becomes a workload rather than a detailed and carefully considered plan. This changed when they chose to switch to Asprova. The scheduler helped them create plans that cover up to two years and managed 5000 orders, 6-7 target processes, and 30,000 operations.

An error free schedule

Because of a standardized system that comes along with Asprova, there is little to no room for errors in planning. This is a very important factor that helps maintain high efficiency. Asprova prevents process omissions and shows warnings if time constraints will be breached.

Overall optimization and accuracy

Planning for four months to a year ahead is no joke. It requires accuracy and an in-depth understanding that should be used to adjust delivery dates and carefully predict the upcoming workload. The company, instead of using just excel, switched to Asprova because of it can easily produce accuracy in optimization.

More money

Of course, one of the main goals, if not THE main goal, of the company would be to increase their profits. Even when these are not on the list of reasons of Asprova introduction in the company, lead time reduction, improving cash flow, and inventory reduction are perceived as something that will come to them in the long run with the help of Asprova.

 

Speedy action for everything!

A Japanese company manufacturing digital camera, car audio and navigation has been steadily yet vigorously striving to expand their business (like any other company) encountered the need for speed. Their motto: “Speedy action for everything” implied that they really valued time and wanted to progress by reducing whatever they can to save time, and of course, to increase their profit.

This company battled challenges common to every manufacturer out there: uncertainty, frequent change in orders, equipment failures, worker holidays, visualizing orders and product finish time, shortening lead time, inventory reduction, etc.—all of which relates to the fact that there is undoubtedly an urgent need for speed. In line with this, the company also wanted to excel on three related areas:

  • Uniform management from beginning to completion
  • Optimize management system and speed up decision-making
  • Visualization of information in order to promote consensus view for all employees

After careful assessment of their options, they concluded that they need a production scheduler that already holds proven records when it comes to speed and accuracy, and can also help with other related areas in production. They placed their trust then, on Asprova’s high speed scheduling capacity to help them in their journey on this fast-paced industry. And they were not disappointed.

According to the higher-ups of the company, Asprova helped them improve in several key areas: assembling lines, post-processing, visualization – enabling them to clearly see the manufacturing flow, availability of components that can now be confirmed in advance, and other superb speed-related factors.

To read the full case study, please click here.