Details Equipment

Infor M3 Planning Workbench (Infor M3 PWB) is available in three industry variants:

  • Fashion
  • Food and Beverage
  • Equipment

The Planning Workbench has three key elements:

  • Macro Orders. Aggregation of orders for planning purposes.
  • Planning Workbench. A desktop decision support application for planners.
  • Action Log. A closed loop system for managing and implementing decisions.

Macro Orders – Working at an Aggregated Level

Macro Orders are a new concept that aggregates maintenance orders and proposals on the M3 BE for planning purposes. The aggregation is based on user-defined criteria.

Macro Orders dramatically reduce the number of orders for planning and significantly improve simulation performance during planning, and the time for loading data into a memory-resident simulation environment.

  • Flexibility

    The Macro Order setup supports different timeliness and bucket lengths to control the size/number of Macro Orders.

    Only materials and operations defined as critical are included in Macro Orders and they can optionally be limited to a customer or customer order.

    Macro Orders can be created at different grouping levels for preliminary and firm planned orders.

  • Simplicity

    Viewing of data and plans at an aggregated level makes it easier to get an overview of the plan at an appropriate level for planning purposes.

    Macro Orders combined with the Planning Workbench make it easy to quickly move groups of orders between facilities and work centers.

  • Automation

    Macro orders are generated automatically, which means the planner does not must spend additional time and work creating them.

Planning Workbench - Decision-Making

M3 PWB is designed for Equipment companies that must balance load inside or across one or more sites. It is a decision support tool to help planners improve the way their organization utilizes its capacity to meet customer delivery dates.

Planning Workbench enables medium term capacity and subcontracting. Unlike in spreadsheets, the real world constraints, rules and latest decisions are considered. Planning Workbench is tightly integrated with the rest of M3, which means the impact of decisions are reflected in other applications such as Execution and Finance.

The simulation capabilities of Planning Workbench provide early visibility of potential delivery issues for more proactive decision-making and better prioritization. This can lead to improvements in on-time delivery performance, enhanced customer service and greater responsiveness to changing customer demands. Effective decision making in Planning Workbench means more effective use of resources which in turn results in inventory reductions, lower labour costs and lower planning resource requirements.

  • Flexibility

    Planning Workbench can allow, for example, planning at many levels. Further flexibility in terms of user controlled data aggregation and sorting is provided for re-porting purposes so you can view by, for example, work center or bay. The capacity unit for planning can be based on pieces or time.

    Planning Workbench supports a multiple planner environment. Roles determine the time periods and facilities across which a planner can make decisions – "the decision window".

  • Simplicity

    Planning Workbench is a central workbench for decision making during the planning process. Its intuitive graphical user interface, flexible grouping, industry "look and feel" and built in simulation capabilities make decision making much easier. Planning can become fun, instead of a tedious chore.

  • Automation

    Planning Workbench can enable planners to easily and quickly move macro orders (aggregated order groups) between facilities or resources and determine the consequences in terms of material availability, capacity utilization and delivery capability. It also supports decisions such as subcontracting, moving macro orders in time or splitting macro orders.

Action Log – Implementing Decisions

The Action Log is for managing and implementing the decisions made in Planning Workbench. Unlike spreadsheets and many other planning applications, the planning decisions are logged and a status is maintained against them. This enables two key things:

  • Supervisors can see any decisions on which they must take action such as increasing the capacity for a two week period; and
  • It closes the loop between planning and execution so that the status of implementing decisions is taken into consideration in the next planning cycle.

There are some planning decisions that it is not easy to implement automatically. For example, you may know that you must add capacity, but how should you implement the decision? The supervisor may decide that operators should work overtime, or decide to use subcontractor or to hire new personnel etc.

  • Flexibility

    The Action Log is a concept that makes it easier for both planners and supervisors to work together to make and implement decisions. The Action Log provides a traceable history of decisions. Each decision/action has a number, a person responsible and a status against it.

  • Simplicity

    The decision life cycle ensures information and integrity in decision making between planning cycles.

  • Automation

    The decisions that can be implemented in an automated way, such as reschedule, are automatically executed when decisions are transferred from Planning Workbench. Those that cannot be implemented automatically are handled by supervisors.