Production Scheduling Software for  Manufacturers

The most accurate production schedules for enterprise manufacturers. Mathematically guaranteed by our patented optimization algorithms.

advanced planning and scheduling patent optessa

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 manufacturing scheduling software. But this is exactly what our customers, in 100+ active deployments, on just about every continent are achieving every day.

Trusted by global brands

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
  • Routings
  • 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.

advanced planning and scheduling patent optessa

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 and sequences 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:

  • Orders
  • Forecasts
  • Material availability
  • State of the production equipment/machinery
  • Other master scheduling data

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.

Serving Discrete Process Manufacturing Industries

Optessa meets all four production scheduling system criteria. Our production scheduling software effectively manages enterprise complexity and generates the perfect schedule. But will Optessa work in your industry?

One of the benefits of constraint-based optimization is rapid configuration and deployment. This has enabled Optessa to be effective in just about any production environment.

Optessa has been in continuous operation for the past 20 years. We have global deployments with 4 of the 6 largest auto OEMs globally. Our solutions are deployed in hundreds of factories, on every continent.

We serve other discrete manufacturers too including:

  • Heavy equipment
  • Industrial
  • Electronics
  • Semiconductors

We also provide scheduling for process manufacturers including:

  • Food and Beverage
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemicals
  • Personal Care
  • Paints and Coatings

Contact Us for a Free Demo

If you are an enterprise manufacturer, we are confident that we can make you more efficient and profitable. We will help you deploy Fast Optimization Technology to streamline and expand the scheduling capabilities of your manufacturing systems.

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