Sub Resource

First, we will register the sub resources such as jig tools, molds, and workers, etc. Sub resources can be assigned to the same time with the main resource or to the setup time only.

Now we will generate a schedule with the sub resources such as jig tools, molds, workers, etc.

In the Integrated Master Editor, product AX will be assembled at Assembly 1. The setup time is 4h and the production is 1hp, which means 1 hour per item.

When you run the reschedule button, the 3 orders will be displayed as below.

The Instruction code M in the Integrated Master Editor indicates the main resource and the S0 indicates the sub resource.


If the operator named Worker 1 works during the production time, set 0 as its Production.


Run the reschedule button and as a result, Worker 1 will be assigned within the production time.


On the other hand, if Worker 1 works on setup, set 0 as setup.


Run the reschedule button – you will then see that the Worker 1 will be assigned to operate the setup. This is called the internal setup where it occupies 4h from both main resources and sub resources.


If you want to set it the other way around – as external setup, set 4h only for sub resources and press the Reschedule button.


The Setup instruction will be eliminated from the Assembly 1 resource and it will be occupied only during production time in 12h. By this, the external setup has an effect on the throughput of the operation.


To learn more about Asprova specific to this sample demonstration, you may visit Asprova’s e-Learning videos at (see 24. Scheduling Logic).


Continuous Improvement Tool: Quality Circle

Kaoru Ishikawa, a professor at Tokyo University, is attributed with much of the development of the idea of quality circles. It created great excitement in the West in the 1980s, at a time when every Japanese management technique was treated with great respect. A quality circle is a small group of between three and 12 people who do the same or similar work, voluntarily meeting together regularly for about one hour per week in paid time, usually under the leadership of their own supervisor, and trained to identify, analyze and solve some of the problems in their work, presenting solutions to management and, where possible, implementing solutions themselves.

Most people have the ability to tackle a wide range of problems at work in an imaginative and creative way. However, the ability of an average person at work is used partly. The QC concept assumes that once members are trained, they will be able to organize themselves to use their time effectively and there will be no need of outsiders to tell them what to do. If everyone is given a chance to use his/her talents to solve work related problems collectively, the results will be extremely positive. Problems at work place are best solved by the people most affected.

Ira B. Gregerman outlined a number of requirements for a business contemplating the use of quality circles. First, the business owner should be comfortable with a participative management approach. It is also important that the business have good, cooperative labor-management relations, as well as the support of middle managers for the quality circle program. The owner must be willing and able to commit the time and resources needed to train the employees who will participate in the program, particularly the quality circle leaders and facilitators. It may even be necessary to hire outside facilitators if the time and expertise does not exist in-house.

Some businesses may find it helpful to establish a steering committee to provide direction and guidance for quality circle activities. Even if all these requirements are met, the business will only benefit from quality circles if employee participation is voluntary, and if employees are allowed some input into the selection of problems to be addressed. Finally, the owner must allow time for the quality circles to begin achieving desired results; in some cases, it can take more than a year for expectations to be met.

Successful quality circles offer a wide variety of benefits for businesses. For example, they serve to increase management’s awareness of employee ideas, as well as employee awareness of the need for innovation within the company. Quality circles also serve to facilitate communication and increase commitment among both labor and management. In enhancing employee satisfaction through participation in decision-making, such initiatives may also improve business’s ability to recruit and retain qualified employees. In addition, many companies find that quality circles further teamwork and reduce employee resistance to change.

Reliable resources gathered from Asprova allows QC members to validate that the “problems” are indeed problems, select the priority problem, and again use the information to define the extent of that problem. Besides, our advanced planning and scheduling functions also facilitate QC members to devise solutions to such problems that will ultimately improve business’s overall competitiveness by reducing costs, improving quality, and promoting innovation.


Photo credits: flickr © 드림포유

Henry Ford: The Tale of Assembly Line

15016456290_1457a5a4af_zHenry Ford (1863 – 1947), one of the most influential industrialists in history, introduced his greatest innovations in October 1913 – the assembly line. The advance transformed the industry worldwide, and his mass-produced Model T helped create the American middle class. At that time, automobiles were expensive, custom-made machines. However, Henry Ford’s ambition was to make “a motor car for the great multitude” and he wanted to build a high-quality automobile that would be affordable to everyday people. He believed the way to do this was to manufacture one model in huge quantities. In doing so, he shaped the culture of America forever.

Ford and his company’s engineers designed a car named the Model T. First offered for sale in 1908, the Model T was produced like other cars—one vehicle at a time. But the Model T was more sturdy and powerful than other cars. Considered relatively simple to operate and maintain, the auto offered no factory options, not even a choice of color. From the start, the Model T was less expensive than most other cars, but it was still not attainable for the “multitude.” Ford realized he’d need a more efficient way to produce the car in order to lower the price. He and his team looked at other industries and found four principles that would further their goal: interchangeable parts, continuous flow, division of labor, and reducing wasted effort.

Using interchangeable parts required making the individual pieces of the car the same every time. Any valve would fit any engine and any engine would fit any frame. The standardization of parts also meant improving the machinery and cutting tools used to make the parts. Each worker then was trained to do just one step or a very few steps. Economists refer to this practice as specialization. To improve the flow of the work, it needed to be arranged in a way that as one task was finished, another began, with minimum time spent in set-up. Ford was inspired by the meat-packing houses of Chicago and a grain mill conveyor belt he had seen. If he brought the work to the workers, they spent less time moving about.

Ford also called in Frederick Taylor, the creator of “scientific management,” to do time and motion studies to determine the exact speed at which the work should proceed and the exact motions workers should use to accomplish their tasks. Ford put these principles into play gradually over five years, fine-tuning and testing as he went along. In 1913, they came together in the first moving assembly line ever used for large-scale manufacturing and Ford produced cars at a record-breaking rate. That meant he could lower the price and still make a good profit by selling more cars.

With careful guidance of Asprova’s resourceful software, Ford’s manufacturing principle has been successfully adopted by world class companies. Our advanced planning and scheduling function is able to bring the luxury, convenience and freedom of the automobile to the masses by drastically reducing the cost of production through elimination of waste, establishing a smooth flow of standardized work and by providing higher quality and more reliable products.



Photo credits: flickr © Paul VanDerWerf 

Supply Chain

Photo credit: © Nick Saltmarsh

Photo credit: © Nick Saltmarsh

As Alan Waller says “The supply chain lies no longer with an individual company; we have global networks cutting across countries and organizations. The only way to achieve this is to get players working to a common agenda-the collaboration agenda. We have been taught to compete: nobody has taught us to work together. The need and awareness is there but still nobody is taught how to do it.” It would seem a possibility that supply chain development may falter because of the prevalent way of management thinking. Therefore there is a real challenge to learn anew and, in so doing, to change. Learning and changing are indelibly connected; you cannot have one without the other.

Many companies start into SCM, by working only with the closest suppliers and customers. They should however, first ensure, that all of their internal operations and activities are ‘integrated, coordinated and controlled’. Nevertheless the full benefits of SCM will only come when there is an examination of all costs/service levels together with all the players. This will result in reduced lead times and improved total costs/service for all parties in the network. This means going beyond the first tier of suppliers and looking also at the supplier’s supplier and so on.

The format of inventory is raw material, sub-assemblies or finished goods. This is often held at multiple places in the supply chain and is controlled in theory by many different players who are usually, working independently of each other. This results in too much inventory being held throughout the supply chain. So the format of inventory and where it is held is of common interest to all supply chain players and must be jointly investigated and examined.

The customer is the reason for the business; so continually working to serve the customer better is critical. The customer is the business, after all. But who is the customer? The traditional view is perhaps the one that has placed the order/pays the supplier’s invoice; but by seeing the next person/process/operation in the chain as the customer, this means that there are many supplier/customer relations in a single supply chain. If all of these single relationships were being viewed as supplier/ customer relationships, then the whole would be very different.

Many researchers have suggested that the key to the seamless supply chain is making available undistorted and up-to-date information at every node within the supply chain. Asprova disseminates quality and reliable information throughout the chain for integrated thinking and effective planning. So clients are increasingly dependent on the benefits brought about by Asprova’s advanced planning and scheduling functions to: improve supply chain agility, reduce cycle time, achieve higher efficiency and deliver products to customers in a timely manner.



Photo credit: © Nick Saltmarsh