infoBoard im Werkzeugbau in Thailand

InfoBoard in tool making in Thailand

In one of the many industrial areas around Bangkok there is a group of employees responsible for the toolmaking of a japanese company, who is in need of a……yes, a planning tool just like infoBoard. Not even the japanese headquarter can help in this difficult situation. The group has to hope that infoBoard International Co. Ltd. is somewhere close.

The online presentation can be difficult to manage: a Teamviewer presentation means I hear questions coming from the computer but I have to answer in the phone receiver. The demo version always convinces everyone very fast and it often happens that employees come to me and confess to have already read through and to have studied the handbook two times.

Despite their personal preparation, the software is ordered short after and a training course in loco is immediately arranged.

InfoBoard International is conveniently located in the immediate proximity of the international airport and of the highways to north, south, east and west.

Everyone arrives fast and without risks to the office, wether you come from the city or from the countryside, because the airport is always well signposted. But the opposite situation can happen and I think it is so amusing to tell your friends and family, when you are back home, about how chaotic and messy the local traffic abroad was and how you had to fight against it .

To get to the clients it took around 100 km of travelling and from km “9” you just had to keep going straight ahead. On the first day I made a mistake. For starters the direction to take was Bangkok City instead of North. It took me 20 minutes to finally find a U-turn, turn around so that I could continue in direction north. I had to pay two road tolls. The first time I took the highway  “1” which was the wrong highway, and the second time, obviously, I went past the destination; there was no highway exit. At this point, like a satellite, I did a first U-turn, turned the car around, then did another U-turn in the other direction, completing a 360 degrees turn. This time I finally managed to leave the highway and get to an industrial area which unfourtanetely wasn’t the one I had to get to; I had been requested to go to the one after.

At the Seven Eleven I met in time with my employee and the interpreter. I updated them fast and told them that my navigation system interpreted numbers differently from what they really were. I didn’t have a precision landing!

Friendly welcome, people spoke Thai, Japanese and then English. We went through  the entire production facility and we were positively surprised: all neat and clean. Accurate labeling of the machinery and with notes (in English!).

Now to the tool making: it is known that production facilities in the USA are clean and tidy. Clients’ names like Panasonic give the idea that there money is earned and riinvested in a clear way.

After visiting the machinery room, we saw on the display panel a fully established infoBoard. Attention had been payed to all details to prepare everything meticulously .

The next 2 training days went by. The English-Thai translation came along smoothly until we tried to explain something in Thai to a japanese employee. I took the deal in my own hands and mimed things using fingers and the mouse and without speaking English, despite all diffculties I think we managed to understand eachother.

I also showed how InfoBoard could be used in the production of machinery for injection moulding. It was our “passport” to Japan. The training brought an end to the IT department of the SAP interface and also ended technical approaches to infoBoard.

We said good bye with the conviction that, that company would earn more money with infoBoard and we were eager to see how the SAP interface would be implemented.

The morning after I suffered from another detour to the “absolutely  close” airport because I looked at the navigation system and not at the signs. Luckily on Saturday mornings the roads are normally empty and it didn’t take a lot of time.

I hope our infoboard platform-designer will be accepted in the universities of Thailand as a teaching tool. In Germany the universities are still fundend by the governement with the so called third-party-funds to keep production plans secret . Michel wake up! Germany has already what people can understand and manage!

In any case, in a japanese company in Thailand employees now understand 55.000 times faster how to make better planning decisions. With Infoboard.

Immer wieder gut: ERP Daten ins infoBoard

Always the best option: ERP data in infoBoard

 

ERP data is so complicated and still employees flit from form to form, note down numbers and try to reach information fast.

Normally after the importation, stands out the fact that the data is neither of reliable quality and consistency, nor does it contain a unified knowledge of the multiple functions. A unified approach to handle exceptions does not exist  either. Often because the system is not programmed or designed to do so.

As a result infoBoard is firstly a powerful internal consultant that does not cost extra  money. Secondly,  weaknesses are eliminated by the employees and then follows a new voting session with the ERP producer.

In this situation it is better when infoBoard Enterprise Edition’s full functionality is available.

At this point only, have we got a large choice of functions that can level out the event and capacity planning’s weaknesses.

Putting effort is another step toward the company’s digitization, toward consistent unified trading. This will pay off: natural post-order calculation can occur, the employees can “see something”, can develope more skillls and soundly make decisions together.

Strangely enough changes are never possible without expenses. But hard work is always rewarded with positive results.

4 days after the 2 days training course I was on the airplane back to Hamburg; not only clients must put in hard work.

At the same time, we are currently supervising the interface developments of clients for clients in Nashville, Indianapolis, Wisconsin, Bangkok, St.Gallen, Franconia and Bavaria. We have posted two videos on this matter: everyone has to see how easy it is!

InfoBoard has an expertise knowledge in softwares for ERP systems.

infoBoard in Indianapolis

infoBoard in Indianapolis

I flew with Delta Airlines from Boston to Indianapolis, the only direct flight between the two cities. I read a little bit about the city and …..it was all planned on a drawing board, it’s a copy of Washington.

My clients and one of their business partner from New Jersey were very close to the airport, within three miles distance. The biggest percentage of  infoBoard’s american clients in the New World!

In relatively new and spacious airports there is a small but particular U-Boat. People are proud that Indiana is the U-boat’s location with USA’s longest tradition. I’m confused, although, because on the map I have never seen a big lake in Indiana except for a connection with the sea.

I turned down the idea of renting a car because everything is nearby. I thought I would have been be able to move well around the short roads with a taxi and a shuttle. I later understood that it didn’t work like that.

I waited for the shuttle to the hotel. I always call Uber and other private drivers per mobile phone. I waited for other hotel shuttle buses but after a while I decided to call the hotel once more. I knew that in the USA you have to dial +1 at the beginning and so I did but I still heard “The number you are calling…..”.  Almost an hour later I called another hotel shuttle bus but this time without dialing the area code and I was able to book the hotel bus which was also supposed to arrive in 15 minutes. My phone, I don’t know how, connected to a telephone company and I could get in the american phone network.

While sitting on the bus I looked out at the road to see if I could have walked on the streets but the footpath ended with a small cars bridge, no chance.

After a short stop at the hotel, the hotel shuttle bus brought me wherever I wanted. Commercial enterprises were located, like it is common in America, in offices in big, plain buildings. And it’s not unusual to not have any signboards with the company’s name outside of these buildings. I only knew that the company had a sign close to Rolls Royce and was infront of Rolls Royce. But then I saw my american co-worker waving at me from a distance.

The conversation gets a pleasant twist when the owner of the company comes into the room and in that moment his young IT employee starts talking about how good german economy works and how beautiful the german landscape is. I can only agree with him. He continued to fancy me with the german restaurants’ road in the city center which is although very far away and later comes to his mind that most likely I know well enough german restaurants. The boss gives me a lift back to my hotel,  it takes only three minutes and are there taxis here?

The next morning I all a taxi to go to a company’s training course. This works but I have to bolster the young taxi driver because he has never heared of the street. (but it is a very long street with an odd name: Girls School Street).

Very friendly welcome in the company: a programmer gave me an office where I could stretch and prepare. A walk through the halls of production made it clear why the production needs to be visualized: long rows of machinery are galvanized by metal ribbons with different high quality metals. Manufacturing orders can sometimes take up to one day to be processed, but there, where the copper coils can be split in different sizes to produce different orders at the same time, short processing and set-up times accrue and visualization is necessary to make better decisions on the order of the production.

Coffee, notebook and conference room, the company owner and 8 participants with different tasks ask questions and discuss about what the interface should achieve and on how the planners want to use infoBoard.They were also interested to see the IP camera function of the infoBoard rows.

The programmer ist happy that the interface requirements are becoming easier and easier and at the end everybody said a sincere thank you for the instructive day. She also showed me her own production development calender in MS Access, which simply didn’t have acceptable reaction times.

I was kindly brought to the airport by my contact person because when I called for a taxi they told me they weren’t sure a taxi could get to me within 20 minutes.

I went back to Boston with Delta Airlines. I liked very much Boston’s city center and the Habor Walk Way where you can get anywhere by foot, like in Germany.

infoBoard an der Westküste USA

infoBoard on the west coast of the USA

It’s hot, it’s cold. For a german man from the north like me the weather here is very different from what I am used to; here, outdoor it’s too hot while indoor too cold.

During the days of the fair we stayed in an accomodation in Koreatown (L.A). It was near the Convention Center and not far from West Hollywood with the famous stops that we had already visisted several times throughout the years.

Our hotel didin’t provide breakfast and in Koreatown there were only privately  owned shops, for this reason we drove to Downtown to have breakfast there.  Finding a parking spot was a big challenge since the price to leave tha car just  for 12 minutes was 3,50$ . At the end we found a small Austrian restaurant called FoodLab and on the terrasse on the back of its building we could enjoy a lovely cozy breakfast with real bread!

Really important and dinamic economic sectors have developped in Calfornia. The secret is: a big amount of capital that is in search for profits. Therefore were established industries that we in Germany had established time before through capital, for example the development of the diesel engine and the creation of airships.

As I imagined I was also contacted from an investment company. They were searching scalable business models. Millions have to be put at stake, otherwise it’s not interesting. I was asked how infoBoard’s exhibitor in the fair was different from the other exhibitors that also offered a planning software. After I looked up our US rival, of which I still didn’t know much: form-based data capturing system and analysing system with charts for projects. Just another project plannning tool with the number 987. Well, America needs infoBoard because we offer a planning interface that is source-oriented and can intuitively be used thanks to its graphic.

At the fair there were a lot of machine producers. The first impression that I had, is that in comparison with German fairs the technology used here is not very modern.The fairs in Hannover, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf look more glamorous.

Here come the potential clients: remain still, look, ask. Some explain infoBoard to their colleagues. We listen to them and we are surprised; how can someone think to know everything from just some images on a monitor?

Many visitors were job hoppers and they always had in mind a company that needed infoBoard, but where they didn’t not work anymore. Surprisingly a continuous change of employer brings the job hoppers to have a lot of experience with ERP implementations and software development and many said that they then knew that software developers didn’have professional experience and that for years they had to tell the developers what the program should do and that what they said was never done. Ok, I also think it is like that but the situation is going to change when infoBoard is installed. InfoBoard has benne completed and it’s the result of 20.000 developers’ team work.

Two men arrive and unfourtanetely from all it had been said I understood only the words “State, California, Cluster”. Later I took a look at their visitng card and it said “Baja California”, meaning they came from the mexican part. It’s a pity because I was looking forward to introducing them to our spanish co-workers that were standing just 1 m. away.

Other two men arrive and one of them talks in German. We probably already met at the same fair two years ago. After we talked a little about if we could present infoBoard like this  to the owner of the company on Thursday, we came to the conclusion that we should and we decided to exchange other information or oganise other appointments using my german telephone. It’s strange how we could call without problems but when we wanted to send text messages using an iPhone with the adress of the company, the texts would arrive two days after when I was at the airport. Technology is so strange at times!

On Wednesday we went out to have dinner with the company owner and the general manager. We talked about the very interesting story of the last 50 years of the compan, about  how good german education is and the chance to enter successfully the US market. The day after was the presentation of the managers and project managers out of the 400 people in the company. After an hour and a half of infoBoard’s demonstration everbody understood how useful infoBoard was since we assured short-time procedures in the machine shop of the producer.

I now understand better what Germany’s economy needs in order to improve. Banks can no more provide through Basel III the economy with enough money and there aren’t enough investors anymore. Fortunately the first small improvements are occuring in Germany and in the EU. It’s difficult for a normal person who has so many expenses to pay, to be able to save during just one life a personal capital to reinvest.

 

(Deutsch) Der Wunsch, alles ganz einfach zu haben

The desire of having it all and easily

The visualization of complex planning schemes is already an academic field and expert discipline.

In this post I would like to talk about the reaction that people who manage a type of production characterised by complex procedures have towards infoBoard’s visualization. The situation will be clearer with an example: let’s take a car. Buyers are usually not very interested in the technology used inside but rather in the services that the car offers and in its comfort; it must be comfortable and simple. Also potential infoBoard buyers want to see services and comfort but not in a general description, they prefer to see its complex, often customized resources and examples. The infoBoard newcomer has to render during this dialogue hipothetical big transfer payments to adapt to the forming image to the production fast and to also match it with their personal goals.

Small interruption to tell about the exact opposite experience: a swiss company has all its orders in a tangled MS project. All tasks of all orders had been  catalogued under 45 precise and familiar names until year 2021 on our new infoBoard Project Konverter. The newcomer after just 30 seconds can see the result all at once, correctly finished and correctly represented. More than 600 working processes use arrows to show how they are connected to eachother. Do you think that now it is more comprehensible? It is diffcult to represent this because of the great amount of information. Is this the “overview?” (I wondered how far the tasks were from their optimal status. I already considered (had caught) the ERP systems as bad sequence handlers and so now also bad project data handlers.

But let’s go back to the complex production sequences. These are firstly the many constraints that in the USA are known as dynamic scheduling. We set up infoBoard for example fast with sample orders so that it also looks like a “dynamic schedule”. Everything through shift operations? Yes, it looks like it. Now the newcomer is nervous: is there a way to show it in an easier way? Yes, the best way is using the Webapp infoBoard Workbench.

Here we design optimized simple two-dimensional bars side by side and one beneath the other. It took us one year to achieve what we really wanted to acomplish. The implementation  developped in 6 weeks.

What does this point of view determine ? It determines how many orders are being processed simultaneously and how big are the time gaps between them (number of rows, number of bars behind and between them). An evaluation of the planning does not folllow (a comparison between net working time and processing time like in the BusinessController value stream mapping and order overview) or a traffic lights- evaluation as a reply to the CCPM question (close to the delivery date or enough puffer for the delivery date? BusinessController application CCPM-Dashboard) is still missing. Nobody can think of something more modern than infoBoard. The opinion of the most newcomers is still that you have to see to understand and to then formulate an opinion  (always also formulate the matter of that opinion), to control the result. People are used to use excel to look through a file and check everything is in order and make sure one more time that everything is correct. We live in a “Post Excel” and “Post PowerPoint” era. We are actively forming the present and future of  modern, digitalised production managers (Operational Officer).

infoBoard analysiert ERP Daten schonungslos

infoBoard analyzes ERP data relentlessly

“Have you already realized an interface with MyOneOutOf 100,000 ERP WorldWide systems?”

The decision of a company with often only 10 customers, for any ERP system with should now be supported by us. ERP systems can sometimes visualize your data. That’s the biggest control station for machine allocation, without dependencies on upstream and downstream operations. The visual surface can never serve as a graphical planning surface. Therefore, the responsible production manager can not make planning changes in an easy and intuitive way: the extensive ERP data must remain consistent, since then new delivery notes and other papers might fall out, and you really do not want that.

The other way around: if you “release” the operations via the infoBoard-Sync interface to an infoBoard, the planner can graphically “push together” optimal sequences within the framework of the specifications. When these planned orders are sent forward to the shopfloor, then a functioning system has emerged.

But what if the ERP data, in particular work step times were not entered correctly or the calculation factors were not stored correctly? What if the capacity rate is displayed incorrectly? Then the capacity will visibly / apparently be insufficient to get everything ready in time.

infoBoard can help to make inadequate ERP databases or imbalances visible. If one notices the imbalances, one examines the underlying data in the ERP system and can correct the wrong time specifications. How much is this worth to you? Are you going to keep your eyes open and go through with it?

Changes in business organization are often made under pressure and not in time. There is no guarantee for success when management changes are made. Wouldn’t it be better if the managing director worked on a strategy to improve his/her company’s market position and provide it in time with personnel and money resources? In some companies, the planning board shows relentlessly inadequate and on that data decisions are made. Isn’t it good to be able to see the truth?

Businesses have two options to improve the database in an ERP system:

1. A structured approach through 30,000 records without seeing anything

2. An efficient approach by changing the most important data with the support of the visualization tool on an infoBoard planning board

Changes in the company organization require a considerable effort. You see the success first on the planning board, second in the business evaluation and third in the balance sheet.

infoBoard und Kennzahlen (KPI’S)

infoBoard and Material Management

 

InfoBoard BusinessController evaluates infoBoard planning boards and shows KPIs clearly.

Key figures are often goals expressed in numbers. Goals in this context are complex matters that can be explained via a presentation with a system of key indicators that is clearly measurable and understandable.

Initially, the evaluations move in the magic square of production but then more and more personal evaluations based on customer requirements add up to this.

The magic square of production is composed of: utilization, on-time delivery, visualizations. These are tools based on a system of indicators that aim to clarify and control corporate behaviour. Information, data, numbers and facts are pictured in form of key figures for a quick and clear statement of facts. The fact that human are visual beings and that they capture 83% of things primarly with their eyes provides the main reason for using visualizations. Simple and effective communication in companies is created through simple visual language. It is therefore visualizations’ goal to achieve an improvement in the quality of managerial decisions.

Other aspects of visualization in companies include for example: increase of transparency in the company’s services and processes, recognition/ identification of causes of error, actions needed, strengthening of quality awareness, as well as continuous improvement of all areas of the company.

This way it is possible to get an idea very quickly of the processes and possible economic fields through an overview of the most important key figures in the company or in each department.

Warum können ERP-Hersteller nicht eine bessere Plantafel anbieten?

1.  In general

The best answer to the question “What can infoBoard do better than our ERP software” is: “why couldn’t the ERP manufacturer show you the better solution (not promise, not announce, but show)?”.

Answer:

Because ERP manufacturers can offer only a maximum of one visualization or a hard-to-manage interface to display the orders’ content since its structures have no flexibility.

Why it is so, is explained in point 3.

2 You have legitimate expectations of a planning interface!

2.1 What are your requirements?

In 2011, more than 3 million search terms were worldwide added to this field, 700,000 alone from the German-speaking world and approx. 20,000 employees are currently looking for a better solution for their company’s resource planning.

First message: you are not alone!

All clients have specific software needs that will help them plan better:

  1. Clarity
    2. Flexibility
    3. Good intelligibility
    4. Simultaneous planning by several employees

Of all 20,000 employees, about 10% use only the head (experience and verbal announcements), 20% handwritten notes or 60% MS Excel.

Practical example:

In an 8,000 employee company with 800 MS Project licenses, 100 licenses of special Excel software and an “unlimited” number of SAP “planning boards”, only 1 employee uses the SAP planning board. His needs for flexible planning are so small that he is the only one who is satisfied, in fact only 0.001% of planners use the SAP solution.

All other employees with planning tasks have “higher” expectations for a planning system.

We also learn that only  1% of a machine manufacturers’ employees has planning tasks with its own fitters. Planning, by nature, only affects a few work places, because it is mainly a service before a job. With infoBoard, planning can now be handled centrally by many decentralized employees. The production data collection can be comfortably visualized and since on time planning tasks add value to the operations the company’s profit will increase.

With the introduction of infoBoard in this environment internal central services such as construction and external services such as assembly and maintenance can be planned for the first time.

In addition to SAP and CRM systems, a simple, clear planning tool becomes a company’s third major standard enterprise application, which can keeps a total of 1,200 different softwares in use. SAP definitely cannot do that.

3 What are the structural differences between ERP and a planning board?

3.1 What “can” an ERP software do?

3.1.1 State of affairs

Often not all modules of the manufacturer are in use and this is linked to a lack of benefits or too high costs or too much change effort that have although not  justified it yet. After all, people want to work and concentrate in their business field and not  “suffocate” under software projects.

An ERP system contains orders. Very often it also contains the hourly billing, sometimes also the return flow from the through scanner production data acquisition, industrial terminals or machine data.

Often ONLY the data describing the order is available, sometimes also work plans are carried out, but mostly against “unlimited resources”.

If the ERP system has already the degree of maturity which takes into account the capacities of the company, machine pools are usually created so that the total capacity in a particular sector doesn’t exceed in the weekly amount.

At this point the system’s limit is reached: a statement about who what where it’s not enough, a visualization is necessary.

3.1.2 Visualization in an ERP software

At a first glance it can seem very nice. By I can tell you: it’s mostly not.

Why is that so?

Because the ERP manufacturer has invested little time for this mean. After all, there are only one or a few planning tasks in a company so far.

Quick shots and long-lasting efforts did not provide a satisfactory solution. Customers were not satisfied with these approaches. The business is unsatisfactory: the willingness to pay the high price is low, everyone wants it differently, but you have to also respect the computer limits.

By the way the companies do not want to increase planning costs!

Perhaps the need for planning has to be really understood first. This matter has been brought up at the last quality certification, but with the promise that something new would “come”.

What does this cost? Often the offers are in this price range: visualization 10,000 euro, control desk 30,000 euro, more extensive visualizations with also graphical user interfaces up to 100,000 euro, special solutions (SAP individual pieces) up to 500,000 euro.

Out of 10 SAGE software customers, 3 of them want to spend a maximum of 2,000 euro and would happily settle for a simple solution, 2 want a high-quality control center for 30,000 euro, 5 customers buy nothing because they weren’t offered the simple and flexible solution they were looking for. 

By the way in the long run hardly anybody will use the solution they bought: the simple version does not reflect reality and does not provide a good user interface.

The technical and organizational conditions of the control center are high and are well suited only for assembly line production, they arent’t suited at all for individual production.

3.2 Natural limits

At the beginning both ERP manufacturer and customer expect to find the perfect solution.

However, the task description of the planner is not to keep the system in order, but to have the orders processed by the resources of the company and to assure on- time deliveries. Here is a discrepancy between ERP manufacturer and management on one hand and the practical part on the other.

But now all information is stored centrally in complex contexts in the ERP system’s database. The preservation of the intergrity of this stock justifies the cost of the ERP system. There is also real, quality programming work in it.

Now we want to “simply” move over to a graphical interface and be able to share our work.

Because until now, all conditions had to be checked every time one more time in order to mantain data consistent. All settings had to be reinstalled, nonetheless the user requirements go further in the planning compared to the previous structures of the ERP system map. In addition, some functions such as printing all relevant forms are triggered and customers will be in that case notified.

The machines and employees’ downtime should be taken into consideration, if possible. These are boundary conditions that are not included in the ERP system!

3.3 What problems does an ERP software with flexible planning have?

The structures of the complex developed ERP system and the necessary consistency of the data do not allow a simple, fast and flexible change.

Proof: see practical example from N° 1.1

Proof N° 2: every year, SAP purchases 300 pieces of magnetic plaiting boards for the market’s wall. A planning board manufacturer personally told me in 2007.

3.3.1 Risk during the launch of an ERP planning board

It happens often that after the launch of an ERP system, you have to spend, of course, a lot of time on recording matters and suddenly you end up spending up to 1 hour a day on this system only. It’s frustrating.

The operator filters are input-oriented. In the widespread small solution called Lexware, it takes 20 minutes to visually examine the impact of a modification such as an appointment’s transfer.

The risk is that you will end up having to plan it all with your head, paper and pencil.

If the expectations of the user are not met or the planning time becomes too high, planning software will not be used. I can assure you that!

On the planning front is “tuned with the feet”.

4 This is the reason why the electronic planning boards exist

infoBoard is an operational system that aims to solve a worldwide issue :
30% represented by non value-adding activities in the company

The graphical user interface makes operations during the planning phase easy and comfortable.

The storage of the planning information in a central database offers, in contrast to wall charts and Excel, an up-to-the-second visualization for any decentralized location.

4.1 What can a planning board software do?

To explain it, the term must be defined in relation to its operational use.

There is a lot of information that have to be put together in order to present and communicate a planning result.

Some of the most importanto ones are mentioned below:

–  infoBoard should provide an overview.
– Therefore shapes, colors, symbols and abbreviations are used
– which are work as abbreviated information on infoBoard and transform give the reader an idea of what  is urgent + important, important or not important

4.1.1 Planning definition in relation to operational planning

– “Planning is the mental anticipation of future actions, you weigh up different alternatives and choose the most favorable way. Planning therefore means making decisions that effect the future and that define the operational process in all its parts, as a whole.”

– “Planning in a purpose-oriented, rational and systematic way to process  acquired information. Luck and intuition should be almost totally eliminated while realizing the programs under consideration”.

Four-step process of planning:

  • Level: collecting information
  • Stage: Drawing up alternative plans
  • Stage: Choosing an alternative
  • Level: Revision

4.1.1 Planning means: decide!

Planning also means, at the end, deciding:

If you find it difficult to make a decision, it is usually because there are too many tasks or too complicated interrelations between them.
“Complicated interrelations” mean that you have a large number of alternatives to choose from or alternatives with a variety of properties that need to be weighed.

This way as human resources, we make better decisions in the company, without having to write a program for it:

– Collecting information: everything is on infoBoard
– Determine alternatives: which are available between A, B and C?
– Write down conditions: each decision has conditions that must be always fulfilled. An alternative that does not fulfill them will be eliminated.
– Write down criteria points: what is desirable / necessary
– Evaluate alternatives: with the previous criteria you could name the framework  that was important for your decision. Evaluate how well each alternative meets the criteria given.
– Determine the winner: based on the previous evaluations you can calculate the winner.

An example

– Conditions are for example: promised delivery dates, an achieved status like “material delivered”
– Criteria are: “which order can be finished now”
– “Which important customers (orders) should be give special attention to”
– “Which orders can be billed”

4.1.3 Desperately looking for

A measuring system for time control of the daily operations of those responsible for production and delivery

Worldwide Fact is:

30% of added value per employee is missing, because executives do not plan and steer properly. This costs about 10,000 euro per employee per year.

The lack

So far, there is a lack of meaningful figures for the daily planning and control of resources.

An operative management system for daily planning, control and reports with target is missing.

The strategy

To achieve the goal savings, daily operations must be improved by installing end-to-end management systems, efficient processes, fixed responsibilities, and appropriate training programs.

The actual situation

The follow up management process has to be reorganized. An evolution from passive to pro-active follow-up management is possible by implementing a system that actively tracks and updates ongoing supplements.

Afterwards it is necessary to increase the efficiency and utilization of the employees. The best way to that is to install a planning and measuring system for time control of daily operations. Three key functions are designed for this purpose: planning, performance and utilization

 

4.2 The brain processes images faster

It has been proved that with infoBoard are used parts of the brain that scientific studies define as key skills such as:

The effect of mental processing

Conscious data processing far more limited than the unconscious one

In numbers:

– 11 million bits per second can be recorde

-Only 40 bits per second can be processed consciously while the rest is processed unconsciously

Consequence: In terms of information recording, speech is far less efficient than taking pictures

Another important difference:

– Images can be processed holistically

– Language can be processed only sequentially, in small units of meaning

Consequence:

– Images are processed much faster than speech

– “Screenshots in the brain”

Other characteristic of image processing:

– Image processing as an analog and spatial logic

– Spatial arrangement of the figurative elements crucial for the associations

this will cause

Memory effect:

Images are far better to be memorized than language

– Studies show: test people were shown 2500 pictures and even after three days they could still remember over 90% of the pictures

4.2.1 The effect of imagery (Picture Superiority Effect)

The fact that images can be better memorized, stored and retrieved than text can therefore stimulate employees. The superiority of images over texts is based on two factors:

(1) Images are easier to record and recipients remember them more easily.

(2) Their recording happens mostly in an unconscious way.

This is the reason why there are rules for an effective image layout that aims to achieve an optimal communication effect. According to Werner Kroeber-Riel: “Pictures are screenshots into the brain. To take a picture of moderate complexity, it takes only one to or two seconds. This is due to the fact that pictures are taken and processed mostly in an automatic way with little mental effort. Because of their effortless recording, images are therefore especially suitable for reaching little-involved, passive recipients and for leading them to acquire information. “

The processing of images by the human brain works in a holistic and analogous way.                                                                                                                                     The processing of linguistic devices, on the other hand, and especially written information is usually sequential and digital, so it must be processed in a linear sequence of symbolic information, according to logical-analytical rules and translated into contexts of meaning. With holistic, analogous processing of images I mean that images can be quickly captured by a fleeting impression and recognized in their basic features.

Even without a close look, a first impression of the picture emerges, which can be considered as an emotional entry during the process of perception. This peripheral stimulus allows the brain to compare what it sees with stored internal schema images, allowing a rapid mental processing of the images.

The analogue image process is a processing pattern where an image of an item can be so accurate that while looking at it you get the feeling you are looking at the item itself. This also results in better storage of the pictorial information.

The Picture-Superiority-Effect can also be transferred to complex contents. Illustrations are perceived faster and people remember them better than linguistic abstract representations. Above all, images’ power of influencing is based on the fact that images are perceived as reality. Images are capable of creating a second, fictitious reality.

4.2.2 Opportunities

With infoBoard all visualization needs are fulfilled; more than what you can achieve with MS Excel.

Effects of planning changes are automatically enforced with all dependencies in one step and no information is lost. This is not possible with MS Excel.

Comprehensibility: the actions described above can also be done with MS Project. The viewer can although see only one project at the time and cannot estimate the impact it will have on resources, since more planners have access to the same resources.

Planning has not an end in itself, but must be communicated to the other “planners”. Planning must therefore be updated (real-time) and must be comprehensible to all individuals which are mostly commercial employees. MS Project fails to do this.

4.3 Effects of the introduction of a planning software in a company

-Centralized filing and centralized information
-Less information deficits
-More reliability towards employees and customers
-Less hectic decisions
-More structural flexibility instead of adhoc flexibility in a chaotic system
-Less trouble for employees and customers
-Constant updates about “how my company is going”
-After climbing this “mountain”: new horizons for new solutions
-Application of process analysis becomes possible
-Application in more business sectors

5 The process of decision making

5.1. Project: introduction of a planning software in my company

It is very important that the requirements are written down if the planning tasks are specific.

But you do not have to formulate any requirements if you want to provide a wastebasket (where not only paper ends up!). See point 5.1.1.

5.1.1 Situation 1: Do I have standard needs?

If you have, then choose infoBoard as your company’s electronic planning board software. Performance is excellent, has great potential and has a reasonable price.

5.1.2 Situation 2: Do I have special needs?

In that case, I should be able to quickly write down what these special needs are.    I have to find someone at the ERP manufacturer who understands me, I have to believe what he tells me, I will then I get a cost estimate and finally a project will be set up for me.

The risk is that after 1-2 years I realize that I did not know how complicated the implementation of my requirements would have been and that the ERP manufacturer did not foresee how complicated the user was.

5.1.3 Therefore the solution for special needs is:

In order to map my special requirements and to get to know my needs, I choose infoBoard as a project-accompanying tool.

On infoBoard I can display everything I need within 2 days. I am flexible in the planning. I can show this to my boss and, if necessary, also to the ERP manufacturer.

Each session is effective because we “have it in front of our eyes” during meetings. Each project member has access to the tool. People do not discuss things theoretically, but try them physically. We find similarities and agree on a workable planning.

Everyone understands me and my needs, we are all on the same level.

The description of my requirements is complete. I didn’t forget anything.

It is also important to write down which information I need from the ERP system.  The amount is usually smaller than what I expect. I can evaluate what is really necessary to exchange information successfully between different systems.

The risks I am taking with the following steps is small.

I get an offer from the ERP manufacturer, which contains all the requirements that I now know I need.

I decide on the basis of a functioning planning, whether I should purchase an interface or accept an expensive offer from the ERP manufacturer, which repays the costs with a resignation clause in case of non-fulfillment.

At the same time, I think about whether I can spend an year on this project.

5.2 Project “Implementation of a planning board software in my company”

60 days are needed for a systematic planning with graphical tools

The first step is to agree with the management board about the advantages of a graphic planning system in the company: decision yes / no

Second step: decide with the IT to install a test system through infoBoard

Third step: arrange a 2-day in-house workshop

This 2 days workshop help to develop a better functionality in the company

Then 40 days are necessary to implement what it has been learned so far

The project requires a small circle of participants (1 -3 employees)

Ask questions about infoBoard

Report to executives

Throughout the project give clarifications about the relationship ERP interface / infoBoard

Final report and presentation of the experience

Purchase decision: yes / no

 

6 Management Summary “What can infoBoard do better than SAP”?

6.1 A planning interface should be up to the responsabilities given to it

With infoBoard, the planning can be recorded and processed mostly automatically with little mental effort, in just two seconds thanks to the pictorial representation. Planning alternatives are visualized in real time. This helps to make quick decisions. Change options in the planning are flexible and change takes place easily and immediately thanks to the graphical functions. All planning boards in the company are automatically updated by push technology.

Fundamental actions such as understanding relationships fast, making decisions quickly to solve problems and immediate implementation in the planning system.

6.2 The right decision for a planning tool

With infoBoard, the planner can himself form an accurate scheme of order processing.

The tool is “off the shelf” to buy and can be ready to use within 1 hour. The price and the performance are given in advance.

An interface for data from the ERP system is already available to clients. The ERP manufacturer has to write out and transfer more or less 5 attributes per order.

The complex structures of an SAP Enterprise Resource Planning System and the required consistency of data do not allow flexible side-by-side planning, so that complex plausibility can be maintained.

The ERP manufacturer will not show what expected; an all-inclusive integrated solution, but a partner solution. It has to be customized, but this cannot fulfill even the smallest expectations of the planner.

The graphical representation may seem at first like a planning board, but flexible changes aren’t in anyway possible.

The ERP system must be kept consistent at every step, but it does not contain all the information pf the planning board. The planner must personally consider what effects changes could have, which often have not easy to manage forma such as text-based forms

Support? Wrong!

Normally in this case you get in contact with someone with no experience of a planning board, who doesn’t know about dates or fixed prices. The risk remains at a high final price for the client alone.

6.3 Successful introduction of infoBoard or failed ERP planning board project

The infoBoard implementation is sure to be successful, inexpensive and quick.

Only when infoBoard is introduced can the customer identify and articulate his actual needs and present 6 months later to the ERP manufacturer – if desired by the manager- a complete specification for the submission of an additive system from an SAP partner. The person responsible for planning would not be able nor would she/ he have the time to do so.

SAP planning board: if the planner cannot work quickly with the provided tool, he will not use it. It is measured by the final result and a correct planning. The project would have failed and the intended benefits in daytime operation would not have been achieved.

What do you think ?