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.

 

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.

Accuracy and Quickness in Quoting Due Dates

Handwritten Schedule

A world-renowned home-appliance manufacturer who’s deployed previous version of Asprova (year 2000) decided to go for an upgrade knowing that it would help them in a big way.

Before the upgrade, the company decided to use handwritten methods in scheduling along with the obsolete scheduler. However, it cost them lots of trouble (inefficiency, cost, labor, etc.) and needed a long time before a schedule can be made. Keeping up with this fast-paced industry is really no joke.

With this in mind, the company decided to call on Asprova for an upgrade and was not disappointed, “Through upgrading, Asprova overall became more expressive. With so many items and jobs being carried out in small lots, it is important to understand the entire process visually, and Asprova is very effective in that regard…[we] really appreciate their help in reaching our goal.” says an employee who is known of the situation.

Tool to Make Money

And of course, the upgrade came with the much expected effects. Planning time was reduced from 8 man-days to 2 man-days, production lead time reduced 2 weeks to 1 week, and it became possible to answer the delivery dates more quickly and accurately. The company is now aiming for Asprova to be their “tool to make money” by cutting costs on several areas of their manufacturing.

 

Shortening Lead Time with Speed and Accuracy

Electronics Manufacturers’ Dilemma

Speed and Accuracy do not always go together. It is for a fact that, these two things would try to get in each other’s way, especially in manufacturing of electronic products. The reason for this is the detail-oriented specifications that are needed to be considered in most devices. Sometimes, by striving to go too fast in production might result in wastes if some important details were overlooked.

Let’s look at the case of a world renowned Japanese manufacturing company which have been producing wide variety of electronic products since 1987. The company was trying their best to meet customer demands. They simply wanted to upgrade their systems to achieve both scheduling speed and accuracy and possibly, they wanted to improve on the following areas: shortening of lead time,  improving productivity of their every employee, and shortening the operational time in preparing planning.

To accomplish this task, they searched for a scheduling package that can do all this and more. After a while, they found the scheduling software, Asprova, that offers a solution on all these areas and gives them a lot more than just that. Asprova has been known as having the uncanny ability of resolving companies’ scheduling nightmares and if its potentials will be utilized a hundred percent, then you will be able to improve upon not only in the areas mentioned above, but also on other important matters in scheduling – and most importantly, increase your company’s bottom line.

Improvements

In conclusion, the aforementioned company who was searching for a decent upgrade in their processes achieved what they were searching for after implementing the use of Asprova. According to Case study 9 of Asprova, lead time was shortened by 20%, the unevenness of lead time was reduced by 30%, production productivity per person was enhanced by 43%, and operational time in preparing planning was chopped by 16.7%. These are definite results highly improving in terms of speed and accuracy. And lastly, these are not the only things that their company improved upon.

The installation and implementation of Asprova has been seen by this company as the harbinger of productive and profitable times ahead of them. We urge you to experience high-speed and accurate scheduling with the help of Asprova.