The most accurate production schedules for enterprise manufacturers. Mathematically guaranteed by our patented optimization algorithms.
Production Scheduling Software Powered by Fast Optimization
Is the complexity of your production environment impacting your ability to generate accurate production schedules and maintain an efficient manufacturing operation?
Production Scheduling Challenges Encountered by Enterprise Manufacturers
Since 2001, we have been helping enterprise manufacturers with complex production environments resolve the following scheduling challenges with production scheduling software:
- Escalating production costs
- Missed production deadlines
- Missed delivery dates
- Violation of important production rules
- Unscheduled downtimes
- Line stoppages
- Inefficient manual scheduling
- A scheduling team that is rapidly growing in size and consuming a disproportionate amount of resources
- A mess of excel spreadsheets and macros that float around the organization
- Reliance on tribal knowledge
- Violation of important production rules
After 20 years of working with enterprise manufacturers, we are no longer shocked to discover that these challenges remain unsolved, even at most top Fortune 500 manufacturing organizations.
Why? Because many organizations still believe that production scheduling is too complex and therefore there is no solution to these problems.
Despite Scheduling Complexity, A Smooth, Efficient Operation is Possible
We disagree. Here is what our enterprise customers have been able to achieve:
- Production savings of up to millions of dollars per plant
- On-time delivery
- Accurate order to promise calculations
- Adherence to all critical production rules
- Adherence to secondary business objectives
- Reduced quality control issues
- Accurate production schedules that can be executed as-is on the production floor
- Ability to re-schedule quickly / on-demand
- Reduction in scheduling team size, allowing senior team members to focus on higher-level priorities
- A standardized scheduling process that can be executed by junior employees with limited scheduling experience
- A standardized scheduling process that can be executed in factories across the entire enterprise.
It’s difficult to believe that you can realize so many substantial improvements to your manufacturing operation with just scheduling software. But this is exactly what our customers … in 100+ active deployments … on just about every continent are achieving every day.
How do they do it? Fast Optimization.
Fast Optimization is the name for the next generation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software (APS). At the heart of Fast Optimization are powerful patented algorithms that allow manufacturers to do something that used to be impossible … create accurate schedules AND create them quickly (on demand).
The Optimization in Fast Optimization
Let’s talk about accuracy. Most of the challenges we discussed above are the result of inaccurate schedules. At best, inaccurate, unoptimized schedules result in the inefficient utilization of people, machines, and resources. At worst, they cannot be executed on the factory floor at all and bring the operation to a dead stop.
What makes Optessa’s Fast Optimization algorithms mathematically guaranteed to generate the most accurate production schedules? They simply work harder than any other algorithms available today, so that you can deal with the incredible complexity inherent in production scheduling.
Why is Optimization Indispensable for Production Scheduling?
Well show you how momentarily, but first, consider that a production schedule requires you to manage:
- Orders deadlines
- Order features
- Raw material/inventory availability
- Machine/worker availability
- Production rules / constraints
- Secondary business objectives / KPIs
This means that you have to account for thousands of production constraints simultaneously.
And when you combine all of these constraints together, they generate billions of possible final schedules. Each of these schedules has to be evaluated and compared … every single one … before you can select the one that is the most efficient and satisfies all of the production rules.
Fast Optimization Technology Enables You to Consider ALL Possible Schedules and Pick The Best One
Fast Optimization algorithms don’t take shortcuts like heuristic algorithms that are the norm in the Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) space today. Actually, heuristic algorithms are basically an upgraded Excel sort filter. They consider less than 1% of the entire solution space. And if a manufacturer is still using Excel, then they have access to even less processing power. When you consider just a fraction of the solution space, then it is statistically unlikely that you will pick the best or even an adequate schedule.
Fast Optimization algorithms process 99.9% percent of the solution space. They utilize advanced optimization techniques and artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML) to process production data faster and more completely than ever before. We encourage you to read our patent (US8509925B2), available in the Google Patent repository for more information.
Fast Optimization algorithms are revolutionizing enterprise-level planning and scheduling. Now a single junior scheduler with a Fast Optimization driven scheduling system can achieve a more accurate schedule than 1,000 schedulers working in excel or 100 schedulers working with heuristic scheduling systems.
The Fast in Fast Optimization
Accuracy is very important, but so is speed. In today’s business environment, with disruption becoming the norm, it is essential to be able to reschedule on demand and produce a workable schedule in seconds for immediate execution on the factory floor. It is also essential to prepare pre-emptively for disruption by preparing an assortment of what-if scenarios. You need speed for both reactive and proactive scheduling.
In the past, if you wanted speed, you had to sacrifice accuracy. Last-generation optimization algorithms were simply too slow. You had to bite the bullet, use a heuristic algorithm, and then deal with the inaccurate schedule as best you could.
Today, thanks to improvements in computing power and the breakthroughs Optessa made in optimization algorithm design, you have access to Fast Optimization technology … you can finally generate schedules of exceptional accuracy in seconds.
Modeling the Production Environment Through Configuration with the Powerful Constraint Library
Before we can put the powerful Fast Optimization engine to work, we must first digitize every facet of your production environment.
How do we turn every order, production rule, constraint … every worker, machine, and process … into code that can be uploaded into this engine?
One answer is integration. Fortunately, a lot of the information we need is fed directly into the software from your ERP, MES, and other production systems. This information includes things like:
- Material availability
- State of the production equipment/machinery
The rest of the data is captured with the help of our proprietary Constraint Library. This is a collection of constraints that we have developed over the past 20 years. These constraints enable you to model any of your production rules and any aspect of your production environment. And best of all, this is done through configuration … simple drag and drop … not through time-intensive and expensive custom coding.
We have a lot of trust in the modeling power of our Constraint Library so we are going to make a bold claim. We guarantee that we can successfully model your production environment with our Constraint Library regardless of your industry. More on this below.
The Value of Fast Optimization
Fast Optimization is a superior scheduling technology, but when we factor in cost, will it represent the best value for your organization?
Heuristic Scheduling Solutions - Low Startup Costs, but Huge Total Cost of Ownership
At a first glance, heuristic scheduling solutions seem like the best value because the software subscription fees are lower. But you will quickly realize that the schedules, heuristic APS solutions generate, will not have enough accuracy to be directly implemented into production on your factory floor. You will need an entire team of schedulers to adjust them manually.
If you are an enterprise manufacturer, with a complex scheduling challenge, this will be a large team of schedulers. When these additional scheduling labor costs are factored in, the total operating expense or total cost of ownership of heuristic scheduling software grows exponentially.
Custom Coded Systems - High Startup and Maintenance Costs
There is another option when it comes to scheduling solutions … custom coded systems. In the past, the only way you could introduce optimization into your scheduling process was to build your own scheduling system. And that is exactly what many enterprise manufacturers with deep pockets did.
Custom coded systems can be fast and accurate. But they are not true Fast Optimization APS solutions because they are stagnant. If your environment changes, if you introduce a new class of products, a new line of equipment, or a new business rule … you will need to manually adjust the source code of your entire production scheduling system. There is no constraint library that would allow you to make these changes on the fly.
Equally importantly, the cost of building and maintaining a custom-coded APS system is enormous. It costs no less than a million dollars to build this system. Assembling your coding team every time you need to make a minor change to your production environment also adds to the cost substantially. When you decide to scale, the rigidity of the code will make deploying this solution in different factory configurations globally very challenging.
Finally, system upgrades are another guaranteed expense. When a portfolio of clients, including you, work with an APS vendor, like Optessa, they indirectly share the cost of the development and maintenance of the APS software. But when your organization owns the scheduling custom-coded APS system alone, then the full burden falls on your IT department.
Fast Optimization - Medium Startup Costs, Huge Value
Fast Optimization software yearly subscription fees will fall somewhere in between those of heuristic and custom scheduling software. But the total cost of ownership will be significantly lower and the value you derive will be much higher. How is this possible?
When you create a schedule with Fast Optimization it is mathematically guaranteed to be the most accurate schedule possible. This means that you do not need any manual adjustments. You can execute it directly on the shop floor as soon as it is generated. This will significantly reduce the labor requirements of the scheduling team and result in tremendous cost savings.
And, if your production environment changes … and it will ... your schedulers will have the ability to quickly adjust the model through drag and drop configuration in the software. You will avoid the high costs of deploying your software development team to adjust code every time there is a change.
Finally, Fast Optimization software is powerful but intuitive enough to be used by junior schedulers. This means that you can re-assign senior schedulers to work on more advanced value add activities for the organization and save money on the more routine, operational scheduling processes.
Not Just for Automotive Scheduling
Optessa has been in continuous operation since 2001 and we have over 100 live implementations around the world. It is no secret that we are the scheduling and planning system of choice in automotive, with global implementations at 4 of the 6 largest auto OEMs.
So what makes us so confident that we can model the production environment and provide best-in-class scheduling for any industry?
When enterprise manufacturers from food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, industrial, electronics, and other industries approached us they were skeptical. They had heard about the power of our solution in handling complex scheduling requirements and the results we generated for our automotive clients.
But they were not sure if our success in automotive would translate into their industry. Some of these verticals focused on process, not discrete manufacturing. Others were concerned that we would not be able to model their production environment and constraints.
It was with these new use cases that the power of the Constraint Library became obvious. Our 20 different classes of production constraints have enabled us to model ANY production environment we encountered.
We proved the efficacy of our Fast Optimization scheduling technology in one Proof of Concept after another. We used the customer’s data and went head-to-head against other top APS vendors. In every case, we generated the most accurate, most efficient schedule … in a fraction of the time.
Time Tested Integration Process
If you are interested in changing the way you are scheduling and drive significant cost savings, implementing our software is a seamless process. First of all, we integrate with all major ERP and MES systems. We also have extensive experience with mapping our software to work with custom-coded native production systems. We have done hundreds of integrations around the world, in almost every type of industry, and we are confident we can successfully integrate with your ecosystem and deliver powerful results.
When it comes to training, in a week, we will transform your schedulers into fully self-sufficient power-users of Optessa production scheduling software. You will no longer be forced to rely on tribal knowledge. You will free your senior leaders to work on higher-level tasks and confidently rely on junior schedulers to run the day-to-day operations.
Beyond Tech Support
And once training is complete, we will assign a dedicated customer support representative at Optessa that will be devoted exclusively to your organization. We know that every company says that their support is great. But we have proof … the majority of our customers have been our clients for close to two decades now.
Here is one example of how we go above and beyond for our customers: our support is not just limited to helping our customers with the configuration and maintenance of the production scheduling software. We also help you with guidance on how to deal with specific scheduling challenges. Remember, we work with hundreds of manufacturing facilities around the world. We have seen just about every scheduling challenge you can think of and we are happy to share our knowledge as a part of our support relationship.
Free Unlimited Upgrades and Training
And speaking of knowledge, whenever we learn something new, or expand the Constraint Library, or develop new functionality, we will share it with you. All updates to the software are included free of charge. Your support specialist will also hold regular training sessions to bring you up to speed on newly introduced features that will help your business.
Learn More about What Fast Optimization Can Do For You
Fast Optimization is available only from Optessa and is revolutionizing the way that enterprise manufacturers schedule production. We invite you to set up a free custom demo so that you can experience what Optessa’s Fast Optimization production scheduling software can do for you.