In the previous Mapping APO Functionalities to Different Supply Chains (written quite qa long while back) the discussion was around Demand and Supply Network Planning modules of APO. This blog will focus on Production Planning module of APO.
After Demand and Supply Network Planning the next logical APO module is Production Planning. Actually the PPDS module consists of both Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling functionalities. This module is the most detailed on in APO and also most closely related to execution system SAP R/3 or ERP Production Planning module. As the name suggests this module is to plan for in-house Production but can handle external procurement (typically done in SNP) as well. In some ways it has overlap with SNP module in terms of planning for in-house production and external procurement but the master data used is different. For in-house production the master data used is PPDS PDS (Production Data Structure) or PPM (Production Process Models) while for external procurement the master data is External Procurement Relationships in form of Purchasing Inforecords or Contracts or Outline Agreementments all of which create the basic required master data of Transportation Lane. The main difference between SNP and PPDS lies in how in-house production orders are handled. The PPDS PDS/PPMs are much more detailed than the SNP PDS/PPMs. The other important aspect is how Resouce Scheduling is done in PPDS – its detailed (continuous not bucketed to a Day like in SNP) down to seconds.
Depending on the industry the usability of PPDS vaires a lot. For example the Consumer Electronics industry is primarily dependent on Contract Manufacturing. So the usability of PPDS is quite limited unless the company has its own Production plants. On the other hand both in Pharmaceuticals and Lubricant Manufacturing of Downstream Oil Industry, PPDS functionalities are used significantly to support in-house production through use of Production Planing Runs among other features. Heuristics offer one-stop shop of services to carry out numerous functions in PPDS. Behind each Heusitic there is an associated algorithm in form of Function Module that provides the code for the fuinctionalities like basic MRP, MPS, Scheduling etc. Among the PPDS functionalities Finite Planning on Bottleneck Resources is common especially in Filling operations be it Pharmaceutical or Lubrciant industries. In the Pharmaceutical industry especially for API manufacturing Campaign Planning is used extensively. The Sequence Dependent Production Planning functionality provides for the optimal scheduling considering Setup Times between different kind of APIs.
Finite Scheduling / Sequencing of operations on bottleneck resources is another strong feature of APO PPDS and is quite useful for companies having costly in-house production facilities. The Schedulers find DS Planning Board quite user-friendly to scheule operations / orders in near term due to the grpahical interface with drag-and-drop functionality. Simulations are possible along with reporting. Once happy with the schedule its just one button click to save the schedule in Active Planning that sends the plan to Execution system (like R/3 or ECC).
Before closing just wanted to point out one feature called Trader’s and Schedulers WorkBench which is available in SAP R/3 or ECC IS-Oil. TSW is used to plan for bulk movements of products in the Oil & Gas Industry where the logistics of material movement (i.e. transport resource) like Tankers, Rail Cards, Pipelines are a bottleneck rather than the product itself. Although some of the features are more relevant to Planning (integration with Demand and Supply Network Planning of APO) it remains a very specialised application in the Execution system. Refer to this article on TSW.
PS: All links are for APO 4.1 help documentation only.