Tactical steering is at the heart of the value chain. It regulates flows in order to optimize the functioning of the chain. Optimizing the value chain means finding work solutions that minimize the cost of carrying out orders, starting the very moment they enter the system all the way up to delivery.
Tactical planning distributes tasks across the entire value chain, matching them with resources. It does so by simultaneously addressing the entire set of orders, constraints, deadlines, supplies, resource capacities, preferences, etc.
The sequences delivered by PlanningForce are optimized by virtue of its calculation engine. The schedule is established to meet deadlines and to optimize resource use. It also works to prevent any potential material standstill, breakdowns (thanks to advance scheduling of preventive maintenance), waste and reworks (the right resources are at the right place at the right time), administrative work (e.g., reduction of manual data capture) and, of course, time spent on scheduling.
On a given date or when the need arises, the progress of activities is evaluated in order to calculate “unfinished work” for each operation. This function helps us identify where in-progress orders stand. With this information, companies can measure any possible gaps between what has been completed and what was expected.
As periodic progression is considered, the “unfinished work”, as well as the new orders, undergo a new planning phase which will yield a new version of the plan.
The planning cycle that this sequence constitutes can refer to the sequence “Plan – Do – Check – Act” dear to Edwards Deming.
Simulations allow testing different planning solutions for an array of distinct activities and resources. A simulation is an alternative plan in which one or several dimensions – such as priorities, goals, and schedules – can be changed.
The criteria and preferences used in simulations can benefit certain stakeholders (e.g., clients, shareholders, associates, suppliers), and less so, others.
The simulation tool therefore becomes a kind of laboratory in which each configuration is analysed from the point of view of stakeholders using “score cards”.
The reporting functions capitalize on the data relative to both planning that is in progress and simulations. But they may also concern successive versions of the plan.
PlanningForce’s database saves all plans in their correct succession. A full range of reports and online tools facilitate the comparison of past situations with current ones regarding key dimensions, such as time, money, activity and resources.
These reporting tools help support decision making. To name a few, they are used to understand how to modify the priorities of in-progress activities, how to adjust templates, how to reinforce work teams, how to influence team staffing.