Our company provides tailor made production management system. Tailor made refers to that the software is made based on customer's requirement and is unique to each customer. No other company use the saoftware you have.
But we believe that there is one area that we should not get into in tailor made production management system and that is so called production planning or production scheduling.
Production management system refers to many things such as inventory control, process control, order receive control and shipment control etc. Any field may be included in production management in a factory if you need to keep track of some number. ERP or MRP refers to just combination of those functions. In all of those number control system production planning is somethings special and different.
Let's take an example of inventory control. If you are to keep track of inventory of "product A" what do you do? You will probably take a piece of paper and pencil and write down how many pieces of "product A" you have now. And when you get "product A" from supplier you will write down on a note that how many pieces you received. In the same way when you sold "product A" to your client you will write down in tha same way.
When you come to office this morning let's say you had 100 pieces of "product A". You received 10 pieces from supplier afternoon and sold 20 pieces in the evening. When you leave your office your inventory note book may look like below.
Beginning = 100
IN(Received from supplier) = 10
OUT(Sold to client) = 20
So if you want to know how many pieces of "product A" you have then you just need to calculate
Current stock = Beginning + IN - OUT = 100+10-20 = 90
It is not so difficult. If your company is just selling a few products you may use a note book and pencil or MS excell to keep track of inventory. When you make computer system it is the same story. Concept or logic of inventory management is relatively easy to understand and easy to conver to program.
On the other hand production planning is different. If you are not familier with production planning think about Travel planning. You are flying from Bangkok to Boston US. You want to know what are the choices and what is the best choice for you?
If you want to go from Bangkok to Boston you may choose direct flight to NY from Bangkok and fly from NY to Boston. Or you may fly Tokyo and fly from Tokyo to Boston. If you fly to Tokyo you have 5 or 6? airlines to choose. Do you prefer lower airfare or shortest flight time? Or may be less flight change? There are just so many parameters that can be chyanged.
Web site like Travelocity.com provides answer to this question. When the site answers to your question the software is simulating available choices and providing the answer based on your preference. Yes, it is simulating. If a software house need to make an application that simulates something, it will need to ask so many questions to client because it does not know how to simulate and evaluate the result.
Production planning is the same story. It is just easire and quicker to use ready made package software when it comes to planning. Though there are several choices for production planning system that are available in Thailand we are selling a software called "Asprova".
I am writing more on the reason why we are chooing the software later but this time I wanted to tell the reason why we use package software for production planning NOT tailor made.