16 November, 2009
IFS launches Advanced Planning Board, giving customers unprecedented control over manufacturing resources
IFS today announces the first live customer, Völkl—a German ski manufacturer, and the general availability of its Advanced Planning Board (APB)—a powerful new dashboard tool to give customers unprecedented visibility and control over resource allocation in their manufacturing operations. The APB offers planners a unique graphical representation of shop floor operations, helping them schedule multiple shop orders in parallel, predict the knock-on effect of disturbance in the supply chain and accurately plan to ensure the business meets critical delivery dates.
As the manufacturing industries tackle fierce competition, it has never been so important to allocate finite resources and materials effectively in order to streamline the supply chain, optimize output and control costs. The planning process in manufacturing is notoriously complex with materials and resources assigned to multiple orders in different work centers often without a clear view of how changes in order scheduling impact the viability of other orders and overall business performance.
Using APB with IFS Applications, customers will be able to accurately forecast materials, staff and machinery required across multiple orders thereby streamlining processes and handling of critical bottle necks. The new planning dashboard uses icons to represent various parts and creates a graphical representation of operations and resource availability. Using a unique drag-and-drop feature it empowers planners to schedule and shift resources as necessary—optimizing the use of machinery and ensuring disturbances in the supply chain do not impact their ability to deliver on time.
The APB tool recognizes that resource availability is variable and will often change at short notice. As such, APB allows users to simulate the impact of multiple situations and disturbances ranging from the breakdown of core machinery to reduced staff capacity and component availability. This allows responsible planners to create contingency plans for ‘what if’ scenarios and adapt quickly to changing market and customer needs.
Having identified a need for further software that helped optimize the use of expensive tools and machinery, German ski manufacturer, Völkl, has been working closely with IFS during the research, development and testing stages of APB. Völkl had onsite support from IFS during the implementation of APB, and now it has been fully installed, the company can plan its production line for the entire year ahead. All incoming orders are now coordinated with the sales and purchasing departments to enable simultaneous planning and rescheduling to make sure the end product is always delivered on time.
Mr. Gerold Fath, IT Manager, and Franz Ederer, production planning manager at Völkl said, “Every business is under pressure to improve productivity and make the best possible use of the resources available. In order to make accurate decisions on our capacity to deliver on existing orders as well as to take on new business contracts, we needed a single view of our planning processes to effectively manage resource allocation. The APB solution has given our project managers greater visibility into project status and helps them plan for disruptions—meaning they can realign and adapt their strategy quickly and maximize productivity.”
IFS AB President and CEO Alastair Sorbie said, “The saying goes, ‘If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail’, but accurately planning in the current market is extremely difficult. Manufacturers are under immense pressure to optimize productivity and meet delivery deadlines regardless of changes in project specification or customer requirement. IFS is pleased to introduce the Advanced Planning Board, an application interface designed in collaboration with our customers to help them achieve the cost and operational efficiency gains necessary to thrive in the recession and beyond.”
Sorbie added, “Völkl’s involvement throughout the research, development and testing stages has been invaluable in helping us develop a tool that will drastically improve productivity and cost efficiency for all our manufacturing and process industry customers.”
IFS developed the APB tool directly in response to its customers’ need for more accurate material and resource control. Available in the Service Pack 4 release of IFS Applications 7.5, APB requires limited training and users will benefit from ongoing support from IFS consultants and the openIFS portal.
IFS Advanced Planning Board is now available for general release with Service Pack 4 of IFS Application 7.5.
 Launched in 2008, openIFS is a collaborative community for everyone with an interest in IFS and IFS Applications. Customers, partners and IFS employees are invited to participate in the virtual community to share best practice and tips.
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a fully-integrated, component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. The company has more than 2,000 customers in more than 50 countries and focuses on seven main industries: aerospace & defense, utilities & telecom, manufacturing, process industries, automotive, retail & wholesale distribution, and construction contracting & service management. IFS has 2,700 employees and net revenue in 2008 was SKr 2.5 billion.