Supply Chain Visibility

farhanThe complexity and unpredictability of requirements make the supply chains most difficult to manage. One proven way to increase the reliability and responsiveness of supply chains is to increase visibility into everyday supply chain functions. Supply Chain Visibility (SCV) is the capability of a supply chain player to have access to or to provide the timely required information/ knowledge about the entities involved in the supply chain from/to relevant supply chain partners for better decision support. The aim is to provide controlled access and transparency to accurate, timely and complete events and data — transactions, content and relevant supply chain information — within and across organizations and services operating supply chains.

The need for visibility is driven by both the desire to improve the supply chain and the need for compliance from the customer and legislative requirement, especially for those who are operating globally. Visibility is often included in the risk management toolkit. By coupling process changes, the improved intelligence from supply chain visibility, and fast decision cycles, organizations hope to out-maneuver interruptions in the flow of material, capital, or information. Here are some tips to help enable end-to-end visibility across your enterprise:

  • Sense and respond are critical processes for supply chain visibility and can only be achieved through a collaborative network that is coupled with advanced analytics.
  • Visibility encompasses not only sensing data, but also how to analyze it and take appropriate action across the extended enterprise.  Use predictive and prescriptive analytics to support your visibility goals.
  • Eliminate silos within your organization to take full advantage of end-to-end visibility. Create an outside-in way of thinking within your organization by focusing on customers and trading partners instead of looking internally.
  • Utilize cloud-based shared process and information layers within your information architecture to sit above physical assets, supply chain, and operational applications.
  • Make it easy for trading partners to connect by eliminating barriers to on-boarding.

Unfortunately achieving visibility is quite difficult, particularly for global supply chains. Many different companies and individuals are involved in a global supply chain, and all are operating under a different set of motivations and constraints.  Although a supply chain feeds a specific customer outcome, each participant is focused on their own self-interest. They all want to maximize their own profit, even at the cost of the rest of the supply chain, a typical capitalistic behavior.

Asprova makes sure that information is available smartly at your disposal and to other firms in your supply chain which improves visibility dramatically. Our advanced planning and scheduling functions has the ability to “see” from one end to the other in the supply chain, providing players a clear view of upstream and downstream inventories, demand and supply conditions, and production and purchasing schedules.


Five Problems of Chemical Industry


The solution to this area of manufacturing is, according to Asprova’s experts, visualization and reduction of lead time. These two are the main key areas that manufacturers should take into consideration, if they would want to improve or maintain their products’ quality, keep up with the deadlines and due dates, reduce costs and maximize profits, keep tank facilities in check, and globalize.

Asprova’s visualization features include the following:

The Gantt chart—this enables checking of overdue orders, wait times of each process, and inventory allocation.
The Load graph—this includes displayed periods, displayed resources, and text display that can be customized according to your needs.
The skill map—enables managing of employees’ capacity, ability/inability and processing speed, separate to integrated master tables such as the BOM (Bill of Materials) and resource capacities.
The sales plan table—you can easily view the information on orders for a certain period can be registered with the accuracy of company forecast, sales forecast, customer forecast, and confirmed orders.
Inventory graph—here, inventory changes and material requirement can be calculated at one view. In addition, production graphs and consumption graphs are available. Calculation functionality for each term is also included.
Key Performance Index—including sales, profits, profit rates, the material cost can be calculated by cost per item and working cost per resource.

With Asprova’s visualization features, your company can attain improvements and efficiency in scheduling. With these, reduction of lead time will be an easy task.

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Food and Consumer Goods Industry

Consumer goods are characterized by final value-added products that are disseminated in mass markets. Consumer goods according to, are also “referred to as household goods and are produced in tremendous volumes not reached by niche market goods, industrial goods, or other products purchased only by industry and businesses.”

Following the degrees of production, this industry represents a big manufacturing sector in the international community that is responsible for the creation and supply of goods that is directed to households. That is, to say, that this industry is REALLY BIG and it requires manufacturers to protect the quality of their goods.

Speed is another factor. Due dates in this industry is totally different from other industries and requires high-speed scheduling.

The solution according to Asprova includes two points: “visualization and reduction of lead time.” By carefully considering the needs of this industry, Asprova found out that “Visualization and reduction of lead time are realized by installing a scheduler with finite capacity”. Schedulers with finite capacity make production schedules as to reduce lead time, considering facilities and workload. Having Scheduling result, production progress, and future schedule accessible for anyone to see realizes visualization”.

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Solution for the Five Problems of the Material Industry

Material Industry Solutions

In a very fast-paced and yet prolific business like the material industry, it is always inevitable to find troublesome ordeals in the aspects of product quality, due dates and deadlines, costs and profits, tank facilities, and globalization. However, like in other industries, Asprova offers relief—and in this case, Visualization is the primary cure.

With the expiry dates of in-progress goods, manufacturers in this industry face an interminable speed requirement. At the same time, there is a need to keep the products’ quality in check. Clearly, an effective schedule should be made. In response to these issues, Efficient Load Adjustment, an element hailing under the umbrella of Asprova’s Visualization features, takes the lead. With this, you can carefully adjust all the factors that would always keep the big Q in quality in check.

As products pass the in-progress state, the due dates and deadlines draw nearer. This issue can easily be solved be referring to the Gantt chart—another outstanding feature of Asprova.

With regards to the Costs and Profits (C&P) section, the solution is simple—once again: Visualize! If this would be done right, the C&P data can easily be digested and put to good use.

Facility maintenance should never be neglected. Efficient allocation plans can take care of Tank Facilities. By giving them a load that is justifiable, less maintenance would be needed and money would once again be saved, thanks to Asprova’s Visualization.

Lastly, in this industry, close coordination with foreign factories is hardly maintained. Therefore, Asprova incorporated Japanese, English, Chinese (Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese), Korean, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Thai in its interface. Because of this, communication between different personnel from different plants is made easy.

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The Two Key Solutions to Industrial Machinery and Components Industry Problems

Industry Solution - Machinery

Like in other industries, visualization is one of the two key solutions to the problematic facets of the Industrial Machinery and Components industry. With visualization, monitoring production performance becomes an easy task. According to our recent post,“…good visualization of production operations will give you a better view on how to drive the best performance for the factory…Visualization leads to the maximization of the potentials of the production processes.” It would be easier to adjust or find the due dates, if the schedule is visualized. Visualization can even lessen the time allotted for planning. In Case Study 10, it was noted that the promotion of Visualization contributed to the shortening of the planning cycle and saving money by reducing the planning staff.

On the other hand, the second key solution to the problems of the Industrial Machinery and Components Industry is what field experts call lead time reduction. Lead time, or the delay between the initiation (planning) and execution (action) of a process, can be lessened to achieve greater results. By doing this, you can even reduce the time that the company’s product stays in the inventory.

With Asprova’s help, both of these solutions can be applied to address your Industrial Machinery and Components Industry problems. Lead time reduction and visualization can truly give substantial improvements to any company. Manufacturers featured on most of Asprova’s Case Studies would attest to the fact that it helped them achieve their goals.

Will shortening your lead time and visualizing the production operations of your factory give you a competitive advantage? The answer is an astounding yes! You can start making your company more productive with the help of our production scheduler, which by the way, is being used by more than 52% of Japanese manufacturers.

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Solution to the Four Main Problems of the Auto Manufacturing Industry

The path of the Automobile and Auto-Parts industry gives a mountain of challenges for manufacturers. These challenges can be enumerated in four specific areas. These are the following: Quality control, Cost and Profits, Due Dates, and Globalization.

In the aspect of quality, processes that are not standardized are often the root causes of defect resurgence. Sometimes, because of the speed requirements, the product’s quality would be sacrificed just to keep up with delivery dates and deadlines.

When it comes to Cost and Profits, data alone are a little hard to understand because of the amount of text in most outputs. When this happens, it would be harder to analyze and digest. This could result to delays and problems in the long run.

In due dates, the difference between order forecasts and fixed orders are hard to adjust—sudden orders and random changes in orders cause chaos and work stress for laborers.

Because of Globalization, close coordination and communication with foreign associated factories is hard to maintain.

In this industry that requires strict quality control, schedule management, and cost control, Visualization is imperative. Manufacturers from around the globe, who pursue this industry perform better, thanks to Asprova. This Finite Capacity Scheduling Software offers Visualization of schedules that surely helped clients’ needs.

In today’s fast-paced Automobile and Auto-Parts industry, you would need something that offers a little help, and solutions, to these four specific problems. This is Asprova to the rescue! This scheduler contains everything that you need, and more!

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Visualization: Providing a solution to the High Tech Industry

HitechThe High Technology industry has a lot of peculiarities. These are commonly product variations, the need for reducing the lifecycles of products, and the sudden changes in its demand curves. In this field, scheduling accuracy is necessary to address these volatile and sudden occurrences. In reality, nobody or nothing calculates a 100 percent accurate prediction. However, companies still strive to lessen the differences between the forecast and the actual results and they can actually manage the demand changes by minimizing inventories.

To help address this problem, Asprova’s high speed production scheduler enables visualization of schedules.

The following functions offer solutions to the common problems in the High Tech industry:

Finding the due date by schedulers with finite capacity:

Schedulers with finite capacity, make production plans which can be directly used as work instructions. By utilizing this feature, we can easily manage orders urgently and allocate inventories properly.

Efficient load adjustment

By taking into account facility investment simulations and manpower employment planning, we can manage to allocate to multiple production lines properly.

Skill map to manage workers capacity

If we use the skill map, managing of employees’ capacity, ability/inability and processing speed will be made easier.

Production Scheduling pegged to inventories and order information

We can eliminate unnecessary inventory because registering orders not only per production unit/lot but also per sales order unit/lot is possible.

Operation sequence control with strict delivery dates

The ability to quote delivery dates by adapting to automated processes of complicated machinery is also offered by Asprova. Its optimization options can control operation sequences effectively.

Evaluation of the result of scheduling and simulation by KPI

With Asprova, we are also able to calculate Key Performance Index—this includes sales, profits, profit rates, the material costs.

Adaptable to global network

Asprova can keep up with the multilingual platform by incorporating Japanese, English, Chinese (Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese), Korean, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Thai in its interface. Because of this, communication between different personnel from different plants is made easy.

If you are in the high tech industry, you might be encountering similar obstacles tackled. But, with Asprova’s visualization, you can experience all the solutions we have mentioned and more!

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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.


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.


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.


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.