Key Differentiator: Even Solution Quality

OVERVIEW

All Optessa solutions, whether high level plans or detailed production schedules, will be of even quality. The term “evenly favorable” is also used, indicating that the solution is equally good across the entire horizon. More importantly, the last part of the solution will be as good as the start. Optessa technology optimizes the entire solution at each step of the solution process, which ensures the even solution quality

Very often, other planning and scheduling systems make the best choices at the beginning of the horizon. For example, in a weekly schedule, the schedule for Monday might appear to be good. Having made good choices early on, the system finds itself restricted, and forced, to making lower quality decisions in the later parts of the schedule. By mid-week, the schedule is of lower quality and, by the end of the week, the schedule could degrade to an essentially “unbuildable” state – i.e. it cannot be implemented.

Why does this happen with other systems? Simpler “heuristics” used by other systems favor good choices upfront. Sometimes, these systems solve a subset of the problem by “relaxing” constraints to generate an intermediate solution and then try to get back to applying the original constraints. Or, the problem is divided into smaller bins, like a day, and the solution for each bin is separately generated.All of these approaches can generate uneven solutions. Or, techniques such as Linear Programming (LP) or Integer Programming (IP) are applied but scheduling problems are neither linear nor of integer type.

On the other hand, Optessa technology, which is built around modern and patented techniques, produces even quality solutions. The benefits are significant:

  • Less frequent rescheduling or replanning necessitated merely by uneven solutions
  • Smooth supplier requirements and reduce parts inventories
  • Fulfill sales orders rather than pulling in low priority stock or forecast orders to resolve schedule problems
  • Balanced product mix
  • Maintain high throughput
  • Balance and level workforce
Example

Optessa MLS has generated even quality schedules for problems as large as the following and can do so for all sizes of production scheduling problems, from a weekly basis down to an hourly basis.

  • Scheduling horizon: 2 weeks
  • Over 10,000 sales orders
  • Over 4 million order feature entries
  • Over 200 constraints

Optessa products have built-in analytics capability that generates a wide variety of charts and reports. The bar graph shows an even quality production schedule generated by Optessa MLS. The metric is in a narrow range between 20 to 23 each day, which indicates that the Optessa MLS production schedule was as good on Friday as on Monday and every day in between.