IFS launches Advanced Planning Board

Published December 29th, 2009 - 01:47 GMT
IFS recently announced the launch 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, now available to Middle East manufacturing companies, 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.
Ian Fleming, Managing Director, IFS, Middle East, Africa & South Asia commented: “IFS has experienced growing demand from manufacturing companies across the Middle East who are looking for flexible, easy to control solutions to streamline their business processes. Given that manufacturing processes vary greatly between different industries, the IFS APB tool enables organizations to take control in the ever changing customer environment. The Advanced Planning Board as a strong integrated tool featuring solutions to support companies planning, execution, control, and analysis  will ensure that IFS continues to deliver ground breaking solutions to customers in the Middle East market.”
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, “IFS works in collaboration with customers throughout the research, development and testing stages, a measure that is invaluable in helping us develop tools 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  .
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.
IFS Advanced Planning Board is now available for general release with Service Pack 4 of IFS Application 7.5.

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