The Benefits of Advanced Planning and Scheduling


Could you imagine the implications of not planning the schedule of an upcoming project? Not only will your team deliver shoddy work, you won’t be able to meet deadlines, may go over budget and generally have a very messy rollout. Poor planning and scheduling could also result in a high risk of inefficiency, poor productivity, employee fatigue and complete failure. Alternatively, with a clear objective, you will reap the benefits of advanced planning and scheduling.

Advanced planning and scheduling enable managers to create detailed and effective production schedules, allocate resources, track the progress of targets and optimize resources while reducing costs.

So, what is advanced planning and scheduling and why should you pay attention to every detail?

What is advanced planning and scheduling?

Also known as supply chain planning systems, advanced planning and scheduling are decision point applications that companies employ to enhance supply chain performance. This system tracks the resources of manufacturing units for a smooth and efficient production.

There are various challenges in creating a schedule that maximizes resources during complex production operations. It is crucial for facilities to analyze product quality over the short, medium and long term to achieve maximum results. Advanced planning and scheduling can enhance operational performance within the facilities.

Advanced planning and scheduling helps organizations figure out the product of choice, how much to make, the location of production and the necessary materials. Enterprise resource planning promotes effective decisions and considers resource constraints, including materials and tooling.

Consider advanced planning and advanced scheduling separately. Advanced planning emphasizes the need for multisite operations and merges orders to boost efficiency.

Advanced scheduling uses every business element to create company-fit schedules, considering limitations, including the availability of materials and tools, while using built-in rules.

With advanced constraint modelling, modelling various resources such as equipment, tools, labor, materials and machines becomes possible. The order-based multi-constraint schedule system allows the weighting and ranking within the system to prioritize orders based on the availability of resources and restrictions.



Benefits of advanced planning and scheduling

Advanced planning and scheduling promote the synchronization of manufacturing, increasing resource utilization, timely delivery, and lowering inventory levels and waste.

This process helps manufacturers to analyze and estimate achievable production schedules, considering multiple business rules and constraints for the best results. There are several key benefits of advanced planning and scheduling for your business especially when you use a reliable auto scheduling tool.


TimeTrack Auto Scheduler

Key benefits

  • Advanced planning and scheduling promote efficient report generation and help in the unit’s analysis production capacity and prospective action plans.
  • Improves your understanding of production and the required raw materials for smooth production of the system.
  • The system helps streamline the inventory system of the business, enhancing the efficiency of the system.
  • Enhances the time management system through the analysis and interpretation of time consumed in each of the cycle processes.

The advanced planning and scheduling system helps the identification of the correct quantity of materials required for production while promoting the creation of a real-time system that captures required time and resources, improving delivery time and customer delight.

Components of advanced planning and scheduling

Demand planning

This helps to create correct forecasts using insight from sales data and consumer forecasts. Demand planning provides manufacturers with the ability to manufacture the right quantity of products with minimal waste and inventory cost.

Production planning

This process provides a clear overview of general labor, raw materials and available tools to produce a specified quantity of products. This process allows for the smooth running of activities without interruption. Planning is one of the 6 secrets about projects.

Production scheduling

This process promotes smooth handling, arranging and optimizing the work of the production process while lowering inventory and the burden on the workforce.

Distribution planning

This process allows workers to set inventory parameters such as hands-on inventory and safety stock requirements to perfect fulfilment orders.

Transportation planning

This process helps identify future policies, goals and the need for investment for the movement of goods and people.


Advanced planning tips

Example of advanced planning and scheduling

You can use advanced planning and scheduling in many sectors. An example may come from a leading firm with transport solutions, speeding up the output of rail car body treatments involving 32 tasks. The firm experienced challenges with the supply and delays. Then came the Siemens mobile advanced scheduling capabilities, integrated into the firm’s ERP system to promote precise and detailed scheduling capabilities for the entire product line. The firm succeeded in positioning the production resources from the manufacturing site. Then, the faults and changes were recorded and analyzed for enhanced scheduling.

Advanced planning & scheduling for your company

The tools for advanced planning and scheduling for your company vary but must possess the same features, which could range from demand planning, production scheduling, order management, and features for key performance indicators. The tools collect historical data on order volumes and combine it with updated forecasts from different business units to ensure well-informed supply chain decisions.

In the same vein, the tools must be able to generate material and resource constraint schedules and determine capacity and material needs for full manufacturing production orders. Constraint management entails visually identifying activities that have been delayed due to material availability and resource capacity in order to limit bottlenecks.

Regarding order management, the tool must be able to track, capture and fulfill orders across many sales channels; link sales orders and inventory; generate shipping schedules; track fulfilment; and create reports.

The advanced planning and scheduling and scheduling tools must be able to assess key performance indicators, including an analysis of impacts, drawing from insights around order management, productivity, capacity and financial commitment.

Features of advanced planning & scheduling tools

User-friendly format

The advanced planning and scheduling tool must have a user-friendly format, enabling teams to complete projects more efficiently. The tool should be easy to understand and navigate with little training.

Communication and collaboration

The project team should be able to communicate seamlessly, even with external stakeholders. Advanced planning and scheduling tools should make it easy for teams to comment and chat within the tool. It is also good that such a tool keeps historic information to aid with audits and accountability, including employee absence management.


The best tool should enable project teams to keep vital documentation in an organized section. This is one of the 9 factors for workplace efficiency. Team members should be able to customize the tool without overriding the personal preferences of other team members.

Resource allocation and time management

The best advanced planning and scheduling tools should enable the project team to focus on the right work at the right time. Assign specific collaborators to tasks while controlling editing and enabling members with permission access to the important parts of the tool.

The tool should manage every team member’s schedule and register time on task. The tool needs to enable task monitoring by team leads, showing an overview of total time on task per team member. It should also provide valuable data that can assist with resource allocation, budgeting and workflow optimization.

TimeTrack software automates and digitizes key planning and time management tasks. Test TimeTrack for free to enhance your company’s processes.