Monday, June 26, 2017

Scenario Planning and Optimization in Integrated Business Planning Webinar

By utilizing a well-executed Integrated Business Planning process (IBP), companies can achieve cross-functional alignment, optimize costs and improve customer satisfaction. The need for both strategic and tactical agility is manifested in the ability to anticipate changes in demand and supply conditions, investigate ad-hoc scenarios and generate executable plans.

Integrated Business Planning process has extended the Sales & Operations Planning process and has now been the best practice in the industry. The process is led by senior management and aims to align company plans every month to allocate the critical resources - people, equipment, inventory, materials, time and money - to most effectively satisfy your customers, in a profitable way.

IBP is a complex process and unfortunately, many companies are trying to run it manually using spreadsheets with the help of their ERP or SCM software. To make this manual process practical, the companies does a lot of aggregation and abstraction and try to focus more on bottleneck resolution rather than optimization. The process also does not allow significant what-if-analysis (scenario planning).

There is actually a way to significantly automate and improve the IBP process with focus on speed, optimization and multiple scenario analysis : Mathematical optimization. This method is available since early 1940s but it was mostly a luxury for significantly large companies until recently. Now with the advances in computer technology and advanced planning and scheduling technologies, mathematical optimization can be applied to IBP process.

In the Scenario Planning and Optimization in Integrated Business Planning (IBP) webinar to discover how companies like ASMLVestel and Trakya Cam are utilizing ICRON Advanced Planning and Scheduling to evaluate multiple scenarios, rapidly generate optimized plans and compare financial and operational KPIs to make informed decisions in their S&OP/IBP processes.

Click here or image below to access the webinar recording : IBP Webinar video.

Scenario Planning and Optimization in Integrated Business Planning Webinar

Webinar is conducted by the Chief Technology Officer of ICRON Technologies, Zeki Caner Taşkın. Mr. Taşkın joined ICRON in 2001 and specializes on large-scale optimization methods and software. He was named the recipient of the 2010 Pritsker Doctoral Dissertation Award given by the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) and his research has appeared in many leading Operations Research journals. Caner received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida and as an academic he teaches in the Industrial Engineering department of Bogazici University.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Next Generation Advanced Planning and Scheduling for Manufacturing Webinar

Production Planning and Scheduling in modern manufacturing environment has become quite complex. But unfortunately many ERP solutions, even in their production planning and scheduling modules, do not provide a satisfactory mechanism to handle the complexity of the problem. These ERP, MRP or MPS mechanisms are transactional and designed for mass production facilities of past with low product mix, generous inventory sizes and relatively simple supply chain networks.

Since the complexity is not addressed by the systems in hand, most planners rely on a cumbersome, time-consuming, error-prone and manual process run on many Excel files. But this does not need to be the case and there is a superior and highly successful process out there : Advanced Planning and Scheduling.

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) is a software platform which deploys advanced mathematical algorithms or logic to perform optimization and/or and/or simulation on finite capacity scheduling, sourcing, capital planning, resource planning, forecasting, demand planning and others.

In this webinar, you will have a chance to see a modern Advanced Planning and Scheduling Platform, ICRON, in action. The webinar first introduces APS and why it is needed. Then, it lists some of the characteristics (or musts) of a next generation Advanced Planning and Scheduling platform for manufacturing. Later you will see a demo of the application (the specific domain selected in this demo is paper production planning and scheduling but the concept can also be applied to broader process manufacturing).

The demo displays the capabilities of ICRON APS in 3 levels of planning : Tactical Planning, Operational Planning and Dispatching. The corresponding modules of the application in the demo are ICRON S&OP, ICRON Capacity Planner and ICRON Detailed Scheduler.

The next webinar is on July 17th 2017 on below time :

Singapore / Malaysia / Hong Kong / Taiwan / Philippines                : 09:00 – 10:00 AM
Thailand / Indonesia / Vietnam                                                          : 08:00 – 09:00 AM

You can use this link to register : Next Generation Advanced Planning and Scheduling for Manufacturing Webinar Registration

You can watch an old webinar below.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Advanced Planning and Scheduling for Electronics Manufacturing : Vestel Case

Manufacturing in 21st century is a complex task. It is mostly Make-to-order and the production is highly capital-intensive. The high product mix combined with large number of components or manufacturing tasks makes it already a big challenge to plan but because there is little to no stock to shield manufacturing from changes in demand, frequent schedule changes creates extra complexity.

Most manufacturing companies have ERP and Supply Chain Management systems but these do not help a lot. The logic in these systems are developed and matured in 1980s and they are transactional systems, developed for make-to-stock, low product-mix, high order volume manufacturing.

Since ERP systems are not helping a lot, most planners use spreadsheets to create a more executable and feasible plan. But this manual process is cumbersome, time consuming, slow, inflexible and error prone. It does not also allow to deploy optimization (a supply chain which is not optimized is usually 15% - 20% more costly to operate). Excel is free, readily available but Excel based planning is costly.

But there is a solution which is much superior when it comes to planning : Advanced Planning and Scheduling. Advanced Planning and Scheduling is a software platform which deploys advanced mathematical algorithms or logic to perform optimization, and/or simulation on finite capacity scheduling, sourcing, capital planning, resource planning, forecasting, demand planning and others. This platform can :

  • reduce planning / scheduling cycle by 70 – 90% 
  • shift the organization from reactive to proactive planning
  • create a centralized planning / scheduling for all (SVOT)
  • reduce overtime, inventory costs, WIP times, setup times
  • increase customer service level and revenue
Electronics manufacturers can benefit from an APS platform tremendously. There are some manufacturers deploying this technology for years. One such company is Vestel Group.

Advanced Planning and Scheduling plarform
Advanced Planning and Scheduling plarform
Vestel Group is comprised of 24 companies operating in manufacturing, software and  technology development, mareting, and distribution fields in the consumer electronics,  household appliances, mobile technologies, LED lighting, and defense industries.  Vestel exports its products to 149 countries under the leading Japanese and European  brands. 

Vestel uses a highly flexible, integrated, and automated S&OP process developed on ICRON Advanced Planning and Scheduling solution. ICRON’s solution – which was developed, tested, integrated with Vestel’s existing ERP system – was implemented over the course of six months and became immediately fully operational.

You can read how Vestel uses Advanced Planning and Scheduling for different levels of planning such as Sales & Operations Planning, Capacity Planning and detailed scheduling here : Vestel Advanced Planning and Scheduling Case Study.

Advanced Aero MRO Planning and Scheduling

The global aviation fleet is set to grow steadily over the coming decade, with global CAGR at 3.4%, and areas such as Asia-Pacific, seeing CAGR of 4.2%. This will significantly increase the demand for aircraft Maintenance Repair and Overhaul in the following years.

Increased demand will introduce new competitive forces and an increasingly demanding customer base. MRO companies will respond by capacity increase, overtime or hardware technology updates to accommodate the increase but this wont be enough or even if it would be enough the constraints on resources and the sheer cost of increasing capacity will be prohibitive.

A more intelligent way to handle the growth will be using game changer IT Technologies. Using advanced data analytics, predictive maintenance, data visualization and algorithmic supply chain planning and scheduling will enable companies to significantly increase the productivity and predictability of their MRO operations.

You may have heard the first 3 IT Technologies a lot recently but the last one, algorithmic supply chain planning and scheduling, is used in classical manufacturing for decades. This technology is based on Advanced Planning and Scheduling and automates and optimizes the generation of plans and schedules for supply chain and repair operations.

In MRO business, planning and scheduling is very complex. It requires planning and scheduling of thousands or tens of thousands of repair operations w.r.t tight physical resources, regulations, certifications, spare parts, etc. The environment is also very unpredictable since there are frequent rescheduling due to post strip/inspection repair needs, unplanned Aircraft On Ground (AOG) repairs and part cannibalization, machine breakdowns, spare part unavailability's, certified personnel absence, etc. Moreover, MRO plan, shop floor execution data and ERP data are not blended and visualized so the shop floor is a black box.

Singapore Aero Engine Services Limited (SAESL) uses Advanced MRO Planning and Scheduling
for its repair operations since 2007.
Algorithmic MRO planning and scheduling applications, such as ICRON Advanced MRO Planning solution, introduces 3 key concepts : Finite Capacity Planning and Optimization, High Performance, Automated Planning and Web Based Data Distribution and Visualization. Algorithmic optimization modeling introduced by ICRON can overcome significant MRO planning problems.

ICRON Aero MRO Planning and Scheduling is implemented in some large MRO facilities like Singapore Aero Engine Services Limited (SAESL) and Singapore Airlines Engineering Company. You can find the case study for SAESL here : ICRON SAESL Case Study.

Finite Capacity Planning allows better planning and sequencing w.r.t all your constraints will produce better and more realistic results. With finite capacity planning, you know any bottle neck and lateness due to these bottlenecks so you can take action.

MRO ERP systems (like SAP) assumes infinite capacity when detailed scheduling. This will mask a lot of lateness until it is too late. This is costly in MRO. Finite capacity planning allows you to see the results of capacity problems immediately. This allows you to take actions. It also helps you to answer repair history, current status and future schedule of the component in repair shops.

Optimization ensures the generated plan is the best possible one towards achieving your goals such as :

  • Reduced Turn Around Times
  • Reduced Overtime costs
  • Reduced Total Setup times
  • Reduced # of late jobs
  • Increased customer satisfaction / revenue
  • Increased facility productivity
  • Increased workload balance on technicians

Monday, June 19, 2017

What is Exasol?

Data analytics on very large sets of data can be frustrating in terms of performance. Many Business Intelligence applications like Tableau can annoyingly get slow when you are trying to perform real time analysis on large data sets. Solution is usually consolidating and thus reducing the size of the data but this requires extra development and scripts to maintain plus, you lose the granularity of the data.

A good solution to this problem is EXASOL, worlds fastest in-memory, high-performance (Massive Parallel Processing or MPP), analytic database which is designed for big data analytics. EXASOL makes large volumes of data analysis in rel-time possible, which helps you to accelerate your Business Intelligence and Analytics applications. EXASOL is ideally suited for real-time big data reporting, analysis, and advanced analytics.

EXASOL deploys two techniques together : Massive Parallel Processing (MPP) which enables clusters of hardware running EXASOL to achieve the task and in-memory analytics. The database also deploys columnar data compression and storage.

Like a standard RDBMS, EXASOL uses a standard SQL interfaces avoiding the trap of NoSQL skill shortages and easy compatibility with pre-existing applications and data structures.

In below video, you can see how EXASOL can speed up Tableau. The example shows how data residing in two large tables (2.5 billion and 24 billion rows) can be analyzed in Tableau. Tableau has a connector to EXASOL.

EXASOLs in-memory technology enables large amounts of data to be processed in RAM which is significantly faster than processing data residing on hard disk. EXASOL also deploys column-based storage and compression to reduce the number of I/O operations and amount of data needed for processing in main memory and accelerates analytical performance. And Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) enables queries to be distributed across all nodes in a cluster using optimized, parallel algorithms that process data locally in each node’s main memory. The EXASOL intelligent database is self-optimizing and tuning-free. It gives you more time to focus on analytics and insights, not administration.

EXASOL also enables in database analytics. It supports R, Python, Java, Lua or your preferred programming language to build analytic applications to unearth key insights.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Dramatically speed up your Tableau visualizations with EXASOL

Tableau is one of the best Business Intelligence and Data Visualization software in the market today. Its game changing drag-and-drop, self-service experience is unparalleled and it is popularly used worldwide.

Tableau is highly optimized and works quite fast in many applications but in applications where you need to read large volumes of data, like hundreds of millions or billions of rows, it can get dramatically slow (yes there are some illustrations of Tableau with large datasets but they are very isolated, single report demos and in a real life dashboard things can get pretty slow if you need to reaf more than 100 million rows).

Tableau is aware of this problem so back in March 2016, they have purchased HyPer, a high performance database system initially developed as a research project at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Unfortunately, they did not release any plan for the availability of HyPer yet.

Luckily, there is already a solution out there, more established and powerful than HyPer. The solution is Exasol.

EXASOL analytic database management software is currently the fastest, in-memory analytic database in the world. Since 2008 EXASOL led the Transaction Processing Performance Council's TPC-H benchmark for analytical scenarios, in all data volume-based categories 100 GB, 300 GB, 1 TB, 3 TB, 10 TB, 30 TB and 100 TB.

If you are using Tableau’s great BI, reporting and visualization software to see and understand your data, but are struggling with performance, then you need EXASOL. Using EXASOL as the analytic engine to power your Tableau front-end tool means that you will be able to accelerate your reporting and visualizations dramatically.

You can see Exasol in action below. Note that, Tableau already has a native connection to Exasol.

Exasol does one thing and one thing extremely well. Its high-performance, in-memory, MPP database is specifically designed for in-memory analytics. Exasol analytic database achieves lightning-fast performance with linear scalability by combining in-memory technology, columnar compression and storage, and massively parallel processing.

Since 2014, EXASOL has maintained its position as the undisputed leader in TPC-H benchmarks.  From data volumes that range from 100GB right up to 100TB, EXASOL holds the number one position - by a significant margin - over other solutions, for both raw performance and price-performance.
Exasol also offers out-of-the-box support for R, Python, Java and Lua. EXASOL also allows you to integrate the analytics programming language of your choice and use it for in-database analytics. It can easily connect to your existing SQL-based BI, reporting and data integration tools via ODBC, JDBC, .NET as well as a JSON-based web socket API.