Sep 25, 2023

Maximizing Data Insights with Advanced Planning & Scheduling Reports


Key Highlights

What kind of data insights can businesses gain from using Optessa's Report Center?

What kind of data visualization tools are available?

How does Optessa work with clients to develop customized reports that meet their specific needs?

How can businesses use the data insights gained from the Report Center to improve their processes?

In today's competitive landscape, businesses are under constant pressure to optimize their operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. You may have all the data in the world, but if you're struggling to turn that data into actionable insights, you're missing out on valuable opportunities for improvement. 

At Optessa, we've spent years developing and refining our Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) software, including our comprehensive Report Center, to help businesses like yours transform raw data into strategic action.

We've worked with a variety of industries and have seen firsthand the transformative power of well-analyzed data. Our software is designed to offer not just data collection but also the tools for in-depth analysis, including a range of customizable reports and data visualization options.

In this article, you'll learn how to maximize the data insights gained from Advanced Planning & Scheduling Reports. 

You’ll find

  • A look inside Optessa's Report Center
  • A discussion on the importance of customized reporting
  • A case study that demonstrates the real-world impact of effective data analysis

By the end of the article, you'll have a clear understanding of how to leverage APS reports to improve your business processes, and you'll be equipped with actionable steps to start making those improvements.

A Look Inside the Optessa Report Center

Data Insights Within the Report Center

The Report Center is a treasure trove of data insights designed to help you make informed decisions. One of the most crucial reports available is the Violations of Production Rules report. This tool tells you exactly which production rules are being broken and where, allowing you to take immediate corrective action.

Another key report is the Plan and Feasibility Report, tailored for our planning solution. This report helps you identify conflicts with any hard or "unbreakable" production rules, showing you exactly where non-compliance is occurring.

For those concerned with timeliness, the Early-Late Report will be extremely helpful. This report shows whether a job is being produced on time based on its due date, helping you maintain a smooth production flow.

Last but not least, the Inventory Report tracks parts or products through the lifecycle of your production plan. This report allows you to monitor inventory levels, helping you identify areas where you may need to allocate more resources.

Out-of-the-Box Versatility

One of the best things about Optessa's Report Center is that these reports come "out-of-the-box," ready to be used across the board for every client. This means you can hit the ground running, without the need for extensive customization or setup.

The Most Frequently Used Report: Sequence Analysis Report

While all the reports offer unique insights, the Sequence Analysis Report stands out as the most commonly used. What sets this report apart is its flexibility. It's a jack-of-all-trades report that can be configured to include whatever information you find most relevant. This makes it incredibly versatile, so you can perform your own data analysis based on your specific needs and objectives.

Data Visualization Tools in the Optessa Report Center

Data is only as useful as your ability to understand and act on it. While raw numbers and spreadsheets have their place, data visualization tools can make complex information easier to digest and analyze. 

Our team understands the importance of presenting data in a way that's both accessible and actionable. That's why our Report Center is complemented by a range of data visualization tools designed to empower our clients.

Types of Visualization Tools 

While our Report Center offers a wealth of insights through various reports, it's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our visualization tools. 

For those who are comfortable with Excel, our reports can be exported in a general common Excel format, allowing you to customize the data presentation to your liking.

Beyond that, we offer specialized tools tailored to different needs:

  • Grid Browser: This tool provides a graphical representation of your sequence or schedule, allowing you to see your plan in a more visual format. You can configure the display to suit your needs and even make on-the-fly changes to your sequence or schedule.
  • Plan Browser: Similar to the Grid Browser, the Plan Browser is geared towards our planning solution. It offers a visual representation of your planning data, making it easier to understand and act upon.
  • Chart Browser: This tool offers a variety of charts based on your sequence data, including pie charts and bar charts. The Chart Browser is configurable, allowing you to choose the visualizations that best suit your needs.

The Importance of Flexibility

One of the key features that set Optessa's visualization tools apart is the flexibility they offer. We serve a broad range of clients, each with unique needs and ways of using data. By providing flexible and customizable tools, we empower our clients to analyze their data in a way that's most meaningful to them.

And, while some might question the utility of exporting data to Excel, viewing it as a step backward. However, we see it differently. The ability to export data to Excel provides an extra layer of flexibility, allowing clients to manipulate and analyze data according to their specific needs. 

This approach aligns with our commitment to empowering clients, giving them the freedom to use the data however they wish, without being limited by the software's built-in capabilities.

Tailored Data: Customized Reporting with Optessa

Understanding Existing Reports

When we first engage with a client, one of the initial questions we ask is about the reports they are already using in their processes. This helps us understand their current needs and identify whether our existing suite of reports can meet those needs. If not, it signals an opportunity to develop customized reports right from the get-go.

Discovery During Initial Engagement

The process of discovering what reports a client needs often begins at the project commencement stage. 

However, it's not uncommon for clients to be unsure of their reporting requirements initially, especially if they are new to the software. This is why our process is designed to be flexible, allowing for adjustments even towards the end of the project. As clients get their hands on the software and understand its capabilities, they often realize additional reporting needs, which we are more than happy to accommodate.

Special Cases: Green Phase Customers

For clients who are not yet in production—what we refer to as "Green Phase Customers"—the reporting needs can be particularly fluid. These clients often don't have existing reports or a clear understanding of what they might need. In such cases, the customization generally happens towards the end of the project, as they become more familiar with their processes and the software.

Leveraging Optessa's Experience

What sets us apart is our extensive experience in the APS domain. Even if a client is new to production or doesn't yet know what they need, we can draw on our past engagements to make informed suggestions. We can recommend reports that have proven useful for similar operations, providing a valuable starting point for clients who may be unsure of their needs.

How to Improve Your Business Processes with the Optessa Report Center

The Power of "What-If" Capability

One of the standout features of Optessa's software is its "What-If" capability. This feature allows businesses to compare a new process or method against their existing baseline. 

The Report Center plays a crucial role in this by helping validate whether the new process adds value to the production process. In essence, it enables businesses to test drive changes before implementing them, minimizing risk and maximizing potential gains.

Case Study: Automotive Producer Improves Paint Batching Process

In the early days of Optessa, we worked with an automotive producer who was contemplating adding a new paint line to their facility. The question was whether this was necessary or if they could improve their existing paint batching process. 

By using Optessa's "What-If" capability, they were able to model different scenarios and ultimately found that they could make significant improvements without the need for a new paint line. This insight led to changes in their production process, saving them the considerable expense and effort of adding a new line.

The ROI of Process Improvement

So, what did this mean in terms of ROI? In a paint production facility, minimizing changeovers from one color to another is a key objective. For instance, painting a red and white car back-to-back without proper cleaning could result in a pink car—a costly mistake. By using Optessa, the automotive producer was able to optimize their paint batching to avoid such scenarios, thereby improving efficiency.

The savings were substantial. Creating a new paint line is an expensive endeavor, and by optimizing their existing processes, the company avoided this cost entirely. This case study serves as a compelling example of how data insights can lead to tangible financial benefits.

The Optessa Difference

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 is committed to being open, transparent, and collaborative with our clients. Optessa’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 or visit us at

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