Having implemented SAP, the planners in this fast growing company were using ECC for their production planning. Unfortunately this did not allow for the allocation of labour to and across their production lines. The biggest constraint on their production was the availability of labour rather than number of production lines.
Consequently the weekly production plan was put together on a spreadsheet and e-mailed to each interested party. Each morning the shop floor supervisors would meet to sort out the detailed schedule for the day, depending on the teams and the lines available and responding to any emergencies which might have arisen, since the issue of the week’s plan.
When the company implemented APO with the help of Pivot, they were able to plan the shift patterns, the allocation of labour and line maintenance in SAP. The company now challenged Pivot to replace the weekly schedule spreadsheet with something more immediate and more interactive.
The Pivot consultants first implemented the optimiser within SAP’s APO-PPDS. This greatly improved the efficiency of production by minimising the downtime between runs of different products on the various lines. It did this by matching the properties of the products against the volumes required to determine which products should be made on which lines and in what sequence.
Pivot then developed a web based, interactive tool to enable users to post alerts and changes required to the production schedule as soon as they arise or become manifest. This changing picture is then available to everyone who needs to know across the company.
A number of big screens are now positioned in key areas on the shop floor to enable the workforce to see the schedule and the production requirements, updated every 5 minutes. Operatives can scroll down to display detailed information about each production order and scroll across to show the coming 7 days schedule and even the past 3 days.
The next step will be to deploy this web based tool on mobile devices, i.e. tablets to enable production personnel to issue alerts and changes ‘on the hoof’, rather than having to return to an office or other fixed location.
“… I didn’t have any doubts about Pivot delivering!!”
Head of IT