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Implementation example – Production Scheduling System Asprova

Strengthen Production Planning work by Advanced Planning System

Customer Profile

M company, interviewee of this time who has many factories in Thailand, is thinking of customers as the 1st priority and producing goods with sincerity. Gained trust from many customers, and succeeded for a long time. The department, utilising Asprova as a Production Planning support system, is a department who manufactures metal die/mold. This interview was done by hearing from a Japanese department manager and Thai staffs who is actually applying the system.

Working and Issues before the system implementation

A part of this interview was hearing management method and issues before M company implements Asprova.

Before implementing Asprova, how was management of Production Planning?

Before implementing system, the shop floor-responsible Thai staff was creating schedule table by Excel, and using it for management. By Excel, it was difficult to manage large-amount of data, and could not visualize detail deepened into level of minute and second. Beside, not only unable to visualize detailed plan, sometime was unable to gain result as scheduled. Futhermore, it was problem of delayed production . The cause was the date that the work should be done was not realized, and the situation was realized later after it had delayed. And the schedule was being changed continuously every day, so it was hard to assign plan to shop floor for fulfilling maximum capacity.

Passing [Trial Period] for considering system implementation

According to above mentioned detail, included in the method of proposing to M company, it was using Free Trial Version for Training and Trial until final decision for Asprova Implementation.

Asprova Implementation Schedule

1) Training for experiencing Asprova

  • By utilizing Free Trial Version, 5-days Training with charge
  • For confirming image of practical operation, Hearing along with Training

2) Period of Self-training by users’ themselves and trial

  • By utilizing Operation Manual made on previous training as a result, Self-training by all users’ themselves
  • Repeating self-training until able to use as practical operation, and Q&A by mail for deepening knowledge about Asprova

3) Practical operation with CSI support

  • Through Self-training and Training period, Confirming usage of Asprova for improvement of own work, And purchasing Package License
  • With question support and customization support (e.g. changing parameter) from CSI, Starting full practical operation

4) Self-practical operation

  • With CSI support and almost no improvement point, Entering stable go-live
  • After entering stable go-live and without CSI support contract, Entering operation by completely only users’ themselves

Deciding to use Asprova after Trial

Why did select Asprova?

From the begining, during demanding a system implementation for making Production plan, there were various considerations such as other system which was being sold in the market and system which was selling by same-business maker. Anyway; by considering program adaptation for matching with current Excel, document, and data pattern; it seemed to be the best merit by Asprova from CSI.

How was Training?

At the first time, it was as predicted. Because of difference on appearance and operation procedure between Excel and Asprova, the responsible staff could not be accustomed instantly. And, also, it took high load to register many data. There was consulting with CSI for continuous adjustment that brought to be relieving work by step-by-step, and be able to do practical use. When a new system would be implemented, for the users, it is understandable that a period of time for getting used to the system is necessary. But, because of such as data correction and re-training after correction were required, it looked like time of on-site training was shortened. As mentioned cause, the users think the time of training is better to be longer.

How was 5-months Trial?

At the period of Trial, it was not to follow command from Japanese staff, but the responsible staffs who will actually use the system was using Asprova every day by themselves. During the Trial, at the begining, it was parallel operation by both Excel and Asprova. Excel, an accustomed operation, was issued planning result as the usual speed. But, because of Asprova which just started trial was not an accustomed operation, such as data input was difficult, and the created Production Plan was not satisfied as same as expectation and still required manual adjustment. According to mentioned problems, in some day that had high number of orders, it took maximum time about half day until able to issue Planning result.

Anyway, after ending Trial period, at timing of considering to purchase a license, responsible Thai staffs commented that it is usable. It was not order by top-down from Japanese staff, but to respect convenience of staff who would actually use.

Merit gained after System implementation

Although Asprova implementation decision was based on confirmation that [it is really usable], there was a confirmation during interview about merit gained after implementation.

Plan Creation Speed

Plan creation by Excel was taking time about 6 hours. Due to insuffient time, it was possible to make plan only one time per day. In creation period, 4 hours was for plan creation, and it had ever been unfinished even taken 6 hours. Manual adjustment, by 1-by-1 work operation, was unavoidable. And it caused taking very much time.

Currently, every day is using only Asprova. Using on morning from 8AM and afternoon from 1PM which takes about 2 hours per period. During using Asprova for 2 hours, it is not only operation over Asprova. Based on result issued from Asprova, also considers work result and urgent order for discussion with concerned staffs then adjusts plan detail. In case of Asprova, it is able to issue result suddenly after only importing data. Comparing to Excel, it do not take time for plan creation. In case of Excel, plan creation was only one time per day. But after changed to use Asprova, able to do plan creation 2 times per day. Beside, in every day that the plan is changing continuously, it is able to adjust plan automatically. The users think this is the best merit they have gained from using Asprova.

Accuracy of created Production Plan

When using Excel, the plan had been created manually, and the management was by only [1 hour] unit. At that time, though wanted to change plan just only 30 minutes, it was possible to be changed only 1 hour per step. Beside, high-volume-data management caused high load when managing detailed time. And, for example, in case of having adjustment, there was high possibility to make a mistake.

By Asprova, the result has more accuracy than Excel. After changing to Asprova, it is able to manage deep into [Second] unit. Different from when using Excel, it is able to create detailed plan, and the users are not worried about high-volume-data management. Furthermore, Excel which was created manually ever had duplication of Work assignment over same machine and time, but Asprova will create plan without duplication automatically. And, by Gantt Chart, after plan creation, it is easy to confirm the plan without taking time. Also, with automatic coloring by machine, the user think it is good because of it is easy-to-understand for planner.

Decreasing delayed plan

It is good to be able to completely follow the plan, but it will not be like that in reality. Anyway, because of it is quite able to visualise the plan, it looks like able to proceed as planned. If it is able to proceed as schedule, it will affect cost-effectiveness.

Next expectation

Linking to SAP

At M company, there is a schedule to implement ERP package named [SAP]. The schedule is to start go-live of Asprova with linking to SAP on June 2018. Toward linking to SAP, Asprova training will be started again from January 2018. For that task, CSI have already discussed about requests toward current usage of Asprova.

Next expectation toward Asprova

Current Gantt Chart is hard to see because of too many numbers and letters on it. Then, though the displayed information could be decreased, but it is still hard to explain detail to manager. For example, if it is able to show such as how much percent of the rest and how long until reaching due date, it would be usable as report for manager and it is preferred. Also, progress information is also preferred. About this scope, the user want to consult with CSI later.

Beside, it would be good if multiple staffs are able to use. Currently, staffs are able to use Asprova by only 1 PC. If able to work without limiting number of staffs, such as 1 staff for drafting schedule and 1~2 staffs for checking at the same time, it would be more convenient. And, if authorized staff is able to see Asprova screen instantly, it would be able to show Gantt Chart to other staffs, and the user think they could expect better effectiveness.

Comment from responsible person of CSI

Although said humbly [It depends on management level’s decision], but still evaluated positively by saying [Personally, we still want to continue using Asprova].

Beside, commented about CSI that [Managed well by corresponding to customer’s demand] and [Supported creating solution for us which adapting to demand as expected at everytime], and we are very glad with these evaluation words. For CSI, it is a great honour to work with customer who accredit us by this kind of thankful evaluation, and also a great honour from the achievement which is from Asprova implementation. For such as linking with SAP and [It would be better to do like this] demand, we will make more effort for more using easiness and more satisfaction.

In this occasion, we would like to thank sincerely for cooperation in this time’s interview. CSI hope we will continue our good relation from now on.

Production Scheduling System “Asprova”

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