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Advanced Production Planning, Scheduling And Quoting Software Explained
Scheduling/ Capacity Planning Software - A Definition
Scheduling/ capacity planning software plays an essential role as part of modern manufacturing/ ERP software solutions, providing an understanding of how - in the context of orders in effect - the demand for capacity correlates with the already existing capacity of a company. Subsequently, this information can serve as a knowledge basis for scheduling resources (both material and personnel-related) and operations so that customer demand and deadlines are respected professionally and responsibly.
Competitive scheduling/ capacity planning software modules provide access to a vast array of features designed to minimize manufacturing delays and backlogs, as well as prevent resource shortages. They help a company's scheduling department to designate resources as necessary, based on factors like delivery dates, production rates and equipment requirements. Scheduling/ capacity planning software can also serve as a great communication medium between the production planning department and the manufacturing floor of a company.
Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software
Similar in many aspects to production planning and capacity planning software, advanced planning and scheduling software (APS) still has the advantage of being more encompassing than the former. The sphere of advanced planning and scheduling software goes way beyond shop floor capacity constraints, as in addition to that, it covers inventory and bill of material issues, inventory stocking, replenishment levels and order generation policies, etc.
At its most basic, advanced planning and scheduling software helps users determine whether it is possible to execute forecasts, handle production orders, as well as meet customer deadlines with the company's current resource base and infrastructure.
On the plus side, APS software can operate in periods, which are sensibly longer than the sum of all acquisition and production lead times. Current modules accept input in the form of both sales and forecast orders, and, through a bill of materials, can generate reports as purchase and manufacturing orders.
Depending on the situation, advanced planning and scheduling software can operate as part of, or independent from, MRP and ERP systems. Moreover, when it comes to generating reports and plans, APS software is not limited to a single location - if necessary, it can account for multiple locations throughout the supply chain. When adapted to serve exclusively for this purpose, APS software becomes a vital component in any supply chain management software suite.
Quoting/ Estimating Software
Quoting/ estimating modules are a fundamental part of modern manufacturing/ ERP software solutions. Quoting/ estimating software makes it possible to generate professional, accurate and profitable project quotations and estimates by calculating costs using historic data integrated with current pricing strategies. With the help of quoting software, manufacturers can take advantage of the strong points of automated quotation creation and thus get the upper hand over competitors that generate their quotes manually, using spreadsheets.
Since quoting software is generally an integrated component of manufacturing/ ERP software modules, the management department of a company has multiple options for optimizing internal workflow. Depending on their specific needs, requirements and goals, users may choose to focus the automation capabilities of quoting software in a different direction, i.e. to convert awarded job quotes into contracts, create sales/ work orders, or determine inventory needs.
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