Advanced Planning and Scheduling

What is Advanced Planning and Scheduling?


The term Advanced Planning and Scheduling encompasses a wide variety of software tools and techniques, with many applications in manufacturing and logistics.

Advanced Scheduling Software are decision support tools for planning and scheduling that use computer-based optimization.


Advanced Planning and Scheduling



Why use Advanced Planning and Scheduling ?


For planners, Advanced Planning and Scheduling systems quickly analyse the implications of alternative decisions, highlight consequences and problems, and generate optimal or near-optimal plans and schedules.

Advanced Planning and Scheduling systems provide on which planners and managers can base their decisions. They are tools and techniques to help manage complexity. Fast-moving environments with large numbers of items, orders, machines and people are difficult to plan effectively, as are environments with complex constraints.


Advanced Scheduling Software and techniques focus on a part of the supply chain, and some can cover all aspects. This includes areas such as:

  • Supply chain planning
  • Demand management and sales forecasting
  • Factory planning and scheduling
  • Inventory planning
  • Transportation planning
  • Product lifecycle management
  • Electronic procurement
  • Inter-enterprise and intra-enterprise collaboration
  • Strategic planning


Advanced planning and scheduling is to a manufacturing management process by which raw materials and production capacity are optimally allocated to meet demand. The flexible scheduling module executes the plans and allows real-time adjustments to allow for unplanned events while ensuring optimal throughput through the enterprise.


How to benefit from Advanced Planning and Scheduling systems?


APS incorporate some form of computerized optimization, using one or more mathematical algorithms. They can operate on individual transactions e.g. customer orders without the batching characteristic of MRP. In manufacturing, APS provides a method of concurrent synchronization of material and capacity with customer orders. APS systems are not transnational systems. They prepare plans and schedules but then need to be linked to a transnational system like ERP to manage the execution of the plan or schedule


What are the results of using Advanced Planning and Scheduling systems?


APS systems provide visibility of and compute plans and schedules for multiple simultaneous variables and constraints (e.g. materials, resources, demands), permitting them to generate plans that are optimised for multiple criteria (e.g. profitability, service, inventory level)


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