Jul 27, 2023

Implementing Production Scheduling Software with Limited Resources


Key Highlights

  • Optessa establishes a partnership-based relationship with customers, involving key team members responsible for planning and scheduling, to ensure a comprehensive understanding of their business processes.
  • Prioritizing data gathering allows for a solid foundation in the implementation process, with early analysis and adjustments based on relevant data sets.
  • Regular and open communication is emphasized, including daily or semi-daily contact and weekly status calls, to address concerns, clarify questions, and ensure a smooth implementation.
  • A case study highlights Optessa's flexibility in assisting a customer with data challenges, collaborating with their IT department to troubleshoot and find practical solutions.
  • Optessa's implementation roadmap incorporates flexibility to accommodate customers' limited resources and staff, considering factors such as inflation, labor shortages, and the impacts of the pandemic. Extra time is built into the timeline to account for potential delays and ensure successful testing with actual planners and schedulers.

How Does Optessa Work With Customers to Identify Strategies for Implementing Production Scheduling Software With Limited Resources and Staff?

At Optessa, we know that many customers face challenges with limited resources and staff when it comes to their planning and scheduling processes. Often, customers rely on manual methods that are resource-intensive and seek a solution to alleviate these constraints.

When working with customers, our team makes it a point to establish an initial relationship based on partnership. We conduct a kickoff call where introductions are made, and the team members' roles are discussed. It is also essential to involve key team members responsible for planning and scheduling, as they possess crucial insights into your business processes.

On our end, we implement several strategies to address projects involving limited staff and resources. We know how critical it is to understand the customer’s business processes, particularly those performed by the planning and scheduling team on a daily basis. If team members are unable to participate in sessions, we can gather requirements based on the input of available teammates.

Additionally, our team sends a draft functional and technical requirement document for review, allowing you to provide feedback at your convenience. This iterative process helps optimize the solution based on your unique needs and constraints.

Finally, while we prefer involvement from the actual planners and schedulers during the requirement gathering stage, we are able to adapt to situations where a single point of contact, such as a manager, represents the planning and scheduling department. In these cases, we’ll work closely with that person to review requirements with individual planners and schedulers, ensuring comprehensive coverage and minimizing any potential gaps in understanding.

What are the Best Practices for Businesses Planning to Implement Production Scheduling Software With Limited Resources and Staff?

There are a few best practices our team recommends when it comes to implementing software with limited resources and staff. These best practices include:

  • Prioritize data gathering: Before diving into the functional and technical requirement gathering sessions, it’s crucial to focus on collecting and providing relevant data. The data should ideally represent all the business use cases to be discussed. Supplying the data sets early on allows for analysis, identification of anomalies, and necessary adjustments, providing a solid foundation for the implementation process.
  • Establish regular communication: Creating an implementation structure that ensures constant contact with the customer is key. Regular communication, including daily or semi-daily contact and weekly status calls, helps keep all stakeholders involved throughout the implementation. This practice facilitates the discussion of concerns, addressing issues promptly, and clarifying any questions or uncertainties.
  • Emphasize open communication: Encouraging open and transparent communication between both parties is essential. Establishing the right communication parameters and touchpoints allows everyone to share their thoughts, discuss concerns, and ask questions throughout the implementation process. This approach helps prevent potential issues from arising later during user acceptance testing (UAT) and enables timely resolution of any misunderstandings or gaps.

Appliance Manufacturing Case Study

Our team once worked with a customer who encountered difficulties in obtaining the initial data required to initiate the implementation process. The customer faced challenges with gathering data from multiple systems, making it challenging to consolidate the information into a single data file, which is crucial for our implementation. On our end, we recognized the significance of addressing this issue effectively to ensure a smooth implementation.

To assist the customer, we engaged in extensive discussions and collaboration with their IT department. We worked closely with them to explore solutions for extracting and formatting the data from the various systems involved. This collaborative effort allowed us to troubleshoot the data issues and find practical ways to obtain the required data.

While we typically do not outsource implementation tasks, we extended our support to help different groups within the customer's organization with specific tasks related to data gathering and troubleshooting. This additional assistance was provided due to the challenges they faced in delivering the data required by our implementation process.

Through this experience, our team gained valuable insights into addressing complex data challenges and finding workarounds when certain data points were missing. It reinforced our problem-solving capabilities and enhanced our ability to adapt to unique circumstances faced by customers.

Overall, by working closely with the customer to troubleshoot their data issues, we were able to overcome challenges together and ensure the successful delivery of the required data for the implementation process.

How Has Inflation, Labor Shortages, and the Pandemic Played a Role in Optessa's Implementation Roadmap?

Inflation, labor shortages, and the pandemic have certainly impacted Optessa's implementation roadmap. These factors have posed challenges for businesses across various industries, resulting in limited resources and staff availability. Our team recognizes the significance of these constraints and incorporates flexibility into its implementation roadmap to accommodate clients' specific circumstances.

Our implementation roadmap is designed with flexibility in mind. It acknowledges that some customers may have limited resources and staff due to factors such as inflation, labor shortages, or the impacts of the pandemic. 

By providing a roadmap that allows for adjustments and adaptations, Optessa can work collaboratively with customers to accommodate their resource limitations. The implementation timeline takes into account potential delays or constraints associated with limited resources, ensuring that clients are not unduly pressured to meet rigid deadlines.

Finally, Optessa understands that the involvement of actual planners and schedulers is crucial for testing and validating the solution. Recognizing that customers with limited staff may face difficulties in allocating personnel for testing, Optessa builds in extra time in the timeline. 

What Sets Optessa Apart from Others?

When it comes to production planning software, Optessa stands out as a specialized platform that is dedicated to its purpose. Unlike other software that promises to do it all, Optessa focuses solely on advanced planning and scheduling. This is what makes us unique. Optessa works collaboratively with any provider in the space to ensure that the data flows in and out of the system seamlessly.

With over 20 years of experience, Optessa has over 20 years of experience and is committed to being open, transparent, and collaborative with our clients. The company's promise is to work together to figure out how to meet your unique needs. 

At Optessa, we see our clients as partners and approach every implementation as part of a total digital transformation journey.  If you're looking for assistance or have questions about production planning software, please feel free to  reach out at 1-800-918-3597. You can also email marketing@optessa.com or visit us at https://www.optessa.com/ 

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