Reduce inventory by 62.8%

Installing Asprova

An auto parts manufacturer,  after discovering how Asprova has been helping a lot of companies make their manufacturing lean, installed it in their mainframe to improve their own processes. Their three main reasons for doing so were:

  • Sharing and general purpose capabilities
  • High-speed scheduling
  • Full scheduling logic

autopartsThese reasons further proved the credibility and reliability of the scheduler even more. Truth to be told, Asprova is widely-used all throughout world renowned companies in  Japan (52.4% market share dominance) and abroad, and is actively used in a wide range of manufacturing areas. Asprova also gives its users a friendly graphical user interface that allows them the ease needed to speed up scheduling processes. Lastly, minimization of set-up times has always been a normal achievement with Asprova, and has been vastly used to eliminate the causes of wastes.

Reaping the Rewards

Objectively speaking, the company experienced the following benefits:

  1. setup time reduction of production planning – they can now prepare detailed plans in time units that pay attention to loads
  2. effectively reduced finished product inventories to 62.8 percent
  3. and, they were able to control progress in real time.

These are just a few of the many merits that can be achieved with Asprova.

Lead time reduction: what are its effects?

Reducing Lead Time

Lead time reduction, was previously discussed in the article Lead Time Reduction and the Limits of MRP published under the umbrella of Production Scheduling Lessons in this site. It is generally known as reducing the latency (or delay) between the initiation and execution of a process. This is a very important feat in production.

A world renowned manufacturer, who launched the first facsimiles for office use,  that was in the expanding phase in their sales, experienced an increase in the high- mix and low-volume production. As demand increases, the need for production processes goes up along with it. The company needed to increase their machines and make production more efficient. They needed a production scheduler to make the processes smoother, and they called for Asprova.

To be more efficient in production, they needed to reduce lead time. If a company needs to reduce inventory, it would be better if they would rather reduce lead time than directly reducing inventory itself. Asprova gave them just the help they needed.

After implementation of this production scheduler, they were able to witness a great reduction in lead time—it was actually cut in half. WIP (Work-in-process) inventory was also reduced by 50%. They improved the efficiency of the whole production process. They even experienced a reduction in delivery delay.

Would the PDCA cycle become faster when accuracy improves?

Make-to-Stock

Vibration-proofing products are the specialty of this Make-to-Stock (MTS) manufacturer that we will try to analyze in this article. There are two reasons why they installed Asprova mainly: to improve efficiency and to upgrade accuracy.

The Production schedule, before Asprova introduction, was made three times a month. Because the company needed a lot of help with their vulcanization processes, they wanted to focus on narrowing this out for it to be automatically scheduled. Scheduling only three times a month made it hard for them to do so. But, after Asprova installation, they were able to schedule every day and made the processes more efficient and accurate. After this event, the company plans to expand the use of Asprova in other aspects of their production processes.

Production Planning Enhanced

According to their managers, the improvement of efficiency in making production plans is one of the best effects after Asprova introduction. Another is the accuracy enhancement of production plans.

The use of Asprova does not end in just the aforementioned details. The company predicts that in the future, there will still be effects like great reduction in-progress inventories.

What are the Benefits of Synchronizing Sales Production Orders?

Manual Scheduling

We’re now going to focus on an international company which does Make-To-Stock (MTS) manufacturing. This company is known for supplying disks to aircraft engines. Like other companies, this one had problems in scheduling because of their manual approach. This often caused delay in production operations. They also had to respond to frequent order changes.

The company needed a high-speed production scheduling tool that can function well in a fast-paced production environment—and also promise results. They tried a lot of schedulers to solve this issue before, but among all the production schedulers they tried, there was  one who could perform better than others.

It was Asprova.

Synchronizing Sales and Production Orders

According to the manager of this company’s production department, they chose this production scheduling software because it has large parameters that can be assigned by the user. “There are particular conditions and requirements here that are unique to us. Asprova’s flexibility fills the bill in that regard,” he adds.

The software helped the company synchronize their sales orders as well as their production orders. With Asprova, they were able to attain a uniform production planning and created precise production plans. Another noticeable achievement after the installation of Asprova is the automation of the previously manual scheduling operations.

What is the Importance of Scheduling in MTO Manufacturing?

MTO Manufacturing

GammaIn the case of a Mexico-based Make-to-Order (MTO) company, production only starts when the order is received. Each customer order is unique, requiring the really intense coordination of every single activity, from paper purchase to artwork and plate preparation to machine make-readies. There are many restrictions and variants in MTO. Also, there’s the problem of how to deal with shortening lead time.

Without a very flexible and capable tool for scheduling, the operators, in this MTO Company, will only be processing orders chaotically, especially on times when there are tons of orders. Sometimes, the operators might be forced to refuse some orders and would be unsure of the delivery time. This will also prove to be a hassle if the customer cancels the order. This company experienced these ordeals before they met Asprova.

After implementing Asprova, positive changes become apparent. According to case study 12 of Asprova, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) in the company increased by 80% after using the scheduling tool for a while.

There were other benefits like the late delivery which was reduced by 50% and WIP (work-in-progress) which was cut by 66%, but more importantly, the company was able to utilize their assets better, all thanks to Asprova.

 

Production Scheduling Software: In-house VS Standard Packaged

Quick Response

Consumers look for certain traits in their service and/or product providers. Two of the many things that customers assess in manufacturers are these: a swift product delivery and a fast response to their orders or order changes. These have been continuing to stand as a firm production standard and have also taught as a management concept known to many as Quick Response (QR).

QR is a management concept created to increase consumer satisfaction and survive increasing competition from new competitors. It intends to shorten the lead time from receiving an order to delivery of the products and increase the cash flow.

Asprova, the product that aims to apply the QR concept on its clients has certainly proven itself to a well known international company that produces heavy electric machinery systems, industrial mecha-tronics, information and telecommunications systems, electronic devices, manufacturing and sales of home electric appliances, and more.

Production Scheduling

According to the company, even though they have developed their own in-house scheduler, it required a great deal of troublesome work in establishing a system. Scheduling took a long time when it is applied to actual use. In order to solve such problems, they considered the introduction of the packaged solution—Asprova.

The previous in-house made scheduling software is very simple but it was also very slow. When the company switched to Asprova, they experienced a shift from the 5-10 minutes scheduling to a 2 second scheduling. The scheduling implementation was reduced by 80% and drastically shortened the implementation overhead.

Also, one of the most notable improvements, the company said, is the fact that it enabled them to respond quickly and accurately to customer orders.

Why is Planning Efficiency so Important?

Flawless Production Planning

“A goal without a plan is just a wish” says Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a renowned French author of Philosophy books. The same can be said in modern manufacturing.

Planning is one of the most crucial stages in the processes of production. Without a detailed plan, goals cannot be met with ease. Even so, no matter how important planning is, it must be—like most things in life—fast and, as much as possible, flawless. No company who’s in their right minds would wish to unnecessarily lengthen this phase of production. Rather, we daresay that all manufacturers wish that the planning stages in their production processes would, as much as possible,  be shortened without the risk of errors, apparently.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Efficiency in planning is without a doubt, an attainable goal. This has been the fervent desire of one of the leading international camera film producers at some point. As we have discussed in previous studies, deficiencies in planning results in too many unwanted miscalculations and slip-ups in production.

Low cost, High-Speed Production Scheduler

This company has experienced these, and decided to switch to Asprova as well, and the reason was “In order to cope with rapidly changing business environments around that time, the manufacturing process for camera films required an improvement in efficiency in preparing plans. Given these circumstances, we considered utilizing Asprova as it was not only already in place for our other products but also didn’t require a high introduction cost” says a Logistic System Department Officer of the company. It did not only help with planning itself, but also gave the company a very cost-efficient deal.

According to the data found in Case Study 10 of Asprova, this company cited the following as highly rated effects after using Asprova:

  • Promotion of visualization
  • Keeping delivery dates
  • Reducing inventory
  • Improving operational ratio
  • Reducing lead-time
  • Improving throughput
  • Reducing planning cycle
  • Handling frequent planning changes
  • And, consolidation of  valuable human know-how into system resources.

But out of all this goodness, their most notable experience would be that the planning period was shortened by more than 20%, and saved a lot of money by reducing the planning staff by 50%.