infoBoard an der Ostküste der USA

infoBoard on the East Coast of the USA

 

It was our first flight to Boston. Fortunately, the check- in was faster than the usual, because there were self-served terminals, where you could have your passport, fingerprints and photo controls done by yourself.

Once I arrived I wanted to – as suggested by the guide – get a water taxi from the airport to Boston City and I looked for a taxi sign but didn’t find any…..later I discovered that our hotel actually had a water taxi stop but I told myself it would be for the next time. The visit to the headquarters of our new customers’ company, which works in the aereospace sector, was a “very american” experience and we had so much fun. Everyone in the group could ask questions, it was a very colligial relationship, as you can read in the pertinent books. The easy-to-use database interface was especially appreciated.

There is no planning interface in the new ERP system, and new options are kept on being added: personnel planning, vacation planning, time recording. It will be easier to use also for the companies here in the USA since we have already solved the difficulties in the material supply processes in the German production plant. It took them almost two years to decide for infoBoard, they needed to first understand they wouldn’t find anything comparable to infoBoard in the Us.

On the highway, that led us past some famous universities on the East Coast, we learn how exit numbering with letters works and the difference between “58 a” and “58 b”; first one is a 7 mile drive, the second a 25 mile one.

We will travel from Massachusetts to the nearby state of Conneticut to meet a potential new software and hardware partner, whom we met at a fair in Chicago in September of the previous year. We are received by one of the three owners together with a consultant from the manufacturing industry. After we had made some conversation with them we realized why infoBoard was so different to them. Our hosts were astonished to be able to visualize the dependencies with connecting lines in the resource instead of the business processes -I, myself, could hardly believe it-. Infinte scheduling, linked to capacity was already available but now also the so called “dynamic scheduling”, the function that permits dependencies to be shown. It became clear that we not only could visualize the actual data from the production, but had also a powerful planning tool in our hands. When we later used the guest access to internet, we understood by the network’s name “Jesus Reigns” that we all had the same beliefs. At lunch we would all pray together for the food we were about to receive.

After two days of Conneticut we drove through New York, on the other side of Manhattan, to New Jersey. By the way, we are fans of “The Jersey Boys”, we saw the musical in London and on Broadway. We took the highway from Newark airport and pasted the Atlantic coast: we drove on the old 2-3 lane highway while an of another three lanes with a guardrail was being built built next to it three lane. It was a highway in a highway. There was in fact just enough space! Now…how do we turn right into an exit? On the left there was a service area accessible to us and the opposite direction. How could the service area be on the left side of the highway? My brain had difficulties adjusting to the american customs, I had to react quickly; driving on the right is always right! And finally we were able to exit the highway thanks to a bridge. It’s crazy how much space it consumed! We switched our navi – or better in English our GPS-  to English. The German pronunciation of the US street names was not funny anymore, like it had been in the beginning.

We payed a visit to a potential new customer. As always we are happy with Excel and a cardboard planning board. This will be a technological leap! The interface  was completely irrelevant to the ERP, but the automatic scheduling alone with sample orders and connecting arrows would make them save a lot of time, said the two invited production planners. Our contact person ha been complaining for 5 years that he wants to have the cardboard on the wall.

We drove on to get to our customer, 45 minute drive from where we were. A “pimped” warehouse management program generates production orders that are scheduled manually with warehouse orders for infoBoard planning objects. The production itself was brought from almost 0 to 100 within 4 years. The stock list has been now set up in the infoBoard panel and scheduled as needed. “Keep it simple” is the motto, for God’s sake no interface!

We almost took the same path to travel back to Boston. From experience, I knew that Google Maps calculated reliable travel times, but that didn’t work so well in Google’s homeland. The two-lane freeways and highways of New England are full of rush hour traffic until 9pm but we had planned ahead of schedule at the hotel that was 2hrs drive outside of Boston.

Once back in Hamburg we began to post new online presentations for New Jersey companies. We drove past tose places. And the only direct connection between Hamburg and the USA is: Newark Airport in New Jersey. That creates a certain feeling of closeness!

P.S. Three months later my family and I learned that one of my three daughters was moving to Boston with her family. Good thing we had been in Boston …

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.

Wenn man mehr zusammenarbeiten möchte

If more team work is what you are looking for

 

Or in German: more planning boards synchronized with different departments. The aim is to accept the natural need for information on completions or expected completions.

In our YouTube video “Synchronize infoBoard Projects” it is shown and explained which options the clients have to do this.

Now, let’s analize the core of this need. Without doubts the transfer of tasks to another sector influences the planning of the following units. So, how would the ideal situation be? Everything proceeds according to a plan that however contains many possibe errors. I read not long ago that an office worker manages to keep concentrated for an average of only 4 minutes until the next disturbance / distraction. Data from real life prove the plan can be effective in the morning but not so much in the afternoon.

The German-speaking group of users now believes that with a plan that everyone can follow, it will be possible to achieve goals faster despite expected disruptions. The French-speaking group of people, on the other hand, believes that a plan can only have a basic structure and that delays are normal. For this reason the plan seems to not be able to work. C’est la vie?

So, again, where is the difference? Set goal – Create plan – Detect disruptions- Fix disruptions- Accept deviation – Achieve goal. Does the only difference lie in the handling of disruptions and acceptance of the time delay?

We have to involve the Japanese. Although in German it is possible to summarize many words together, what is not possible in French, we have a lack of inventive spirit, which the Japanese on the other hand manage very well in the organization sector with keywords. Also Americans have creativity in creating summary words. Example: Kaizen, TQM (Total Quality Management). These catchwords are called organizational systems and they of course include “everything”. The two languages ​​have therefore dealt with the disruptions more than the Europeans. Disruptions are perceived with the aim of preventing them, eliminating them.

So does holistic thinking have an advantage over linear thinking? Yes, the larger the companies are, the more often occur systemic errors / disruptions. That’s why I read that quality is faster to introduce in small businesses than in large companies.

But hope is everywhere! and so is infoBoard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 ?

infoBoard und Value Streams analyses

Huh, what does that have to do with an electronic planning board then?

Well… Poorly utilised time, idle times and waiting times are defined as ‘waste‘. You may, therefore, want to consider your business processes to identify and eliminate this wastage by redesigning your workflow into better processes. And that works best with infoBoard’s sample order system. A small business operations function is ‘create sample order from planning object group’.

Now, however, we would like to identify the entire business process chain through several independent units. Conflicts between departments resulting from moving appointments are pointed out and finally corrected.

In a BusinessController application, detailed tasks from several planning boards are combined ino individual blocks. When given buffer times are exceeded, the overlap time is visually depicted as a problem. They also prompt the sending of an automated email notification.

It is possible to quantify the effect of delays with the agreed value stream. For example, one day of short-term delays costs 15 000 EUR, whereas one day of long-term delays costs xxx EUR. The delays are no longer considered as ‘normal’ but rather as ‘subject to change’.

infoBoard and Material Planning

The infoBoard planning board improves the achievement of objectives in the magic square of production.

The Magic Square of Production includes: short cycle times, adherence to schedules, a high workload capacity and low stock levels.

The target of low stock levels seemed to play no role at all in infoBoard’s first ten years. Warehouse administration programs should take care of that.

But on another level, thanks to the “just in time” idea that has finally been fully implemented, material availability is suddenly a hot topic for infoBoard.

We have, for example, recently been able to help companies with a strong dependence on material availability. Because the material for a ship’s turbochargers has to be put in the oven in time for chemical immersion, the carbon wheels have to be just-in-time from the deep-freeze store 36 hours before the start of the production of carbon fibers for the aircraft industry within 72 hours. infoBoard plugins ensure that planning is monitored and colours are changed after a certain time.

 

In plant engineering, many parts are ordered externally. This means that assembly can only be carried out when all of the parts have arrived and been approved by the quality control department. But how does the information about the order and the arrival of parts get from the ERP System to the infoBoard? How can it be ensured that it is ordered on time? infoBoard has to specify the dates. Here, the reversal of the pattern orders is of new importance. The ordering process prior to production is calculated by infoBoard! Delivery changes are implemented automatically thanks to the infoBoard Converter and Synchronisation Server. The order numbers are still not known at the time when the order and deadlines are generated. Therefore, we offer a web application to transfer this information over.

Now, objects delayed beyond their latest delivery date will flash red on the planning board. With this new visualisation of delivery date / milestone overshoots, a perfect interaction between the system is possible.

Another challenge: on building sites, the decisive factor in relation to profit is adherence to the expected number of working hours and designated amounts of material. Is it possible to plan the delivery of construction site materials with infoBoard?

Yes! Instead of paperwork on the material row under the project (see “simple project planning” with infoBoard).Schedule deliveries with appointments, quantities etc. in the userdefined attributes page, and create a billing sheet for the construction site using an infoBoard BusinessController Web application. It doesn’t have to be an ERP system as well.

Production needs: Backwards planning

An infoBoard partner in Europe asked me to help a prospective customer with his planning needs. It regarded constructing complex aluminium components for the train industry.

Thanks to the Austrians (see blog entry), infoBoard has backwards scheduling in its sample order system. But how can ten different sub-project tasks with different dependencies be planned backwards? Can the complex sequences be entered into the sample order form in a timely manner and be at all understandable?

Procedure: The ten different sub-projects are imported from Excel and a new planning board with all of the necessary resources and ten projects is created. I then solve the grouping of the sub-projects step by step, and integrate them into the first project with “Edit Object Group”. I can also set additional dependencies with the “Edit Predecessors” tool.

In Enterprise Edition, you can use the “Create sample order from object group” function. Right-click on the finished project group and choose this option, and a sample order with all dependencies of the ten projects will be created.

infoBoard Musterprojekt

infoBoard Sample Order

Now I have the complex project listed in the sample order panel and can reverse plan this from the desired end date.

infoBoard Musteraufträge rückwärts einplanen

infoBoard backwards planning of sample orders

That is something we can do again and again. In this image, we can see a combination of both critical path representations (red lines on the planning diagram) and critical chain paths (CCPM).

infoBoard Kritischer Pfad und Kritische Kette in einer Darstellung

infoBoard ‘Critical Path’ and ‘Critical Chain’ representation

Realistic deadlines with the resources available now appear.

infoBoard Fertigung mit mehreren Bauteilen

infoBoard Production with several components

The planning board should appear without arrows for employees.

infoBoard Fertigung mit mehreren Bauteilen ohne Verbindungspfeile

infoBoard Production with several components (without arrow connections)

These realistic deadlines are also needed, for example, in the food industry: numerous projects with project planning tools fail due to not taking into account holiday time. infoBoard can help here as well, because infoBoard records all projects.

But how can a project manager control a project, when they cannot see it alone? For example, with the ‘Print Gantt Diagram’ feature – now with the new object filter! With this, all other projects will be hidden from the planning board. Yet another advantage for realistic scheduling!

 

Striving for better decisions

What is the core of business planning?

You have to make the best decisions for an uncertain future. To be able to make realistic predictions. How we would wish for that! Would we all not make optimal decisions if we knew what was going to happen in the near future. Decisions would then no longer be a stab in the dark.

It all comes back to the question: What is to be done? How should it be done? When should it be done? Who should do it, and where?

All questions can be answered by the planning board.

Through pictoral, schematic images, the sensory abilities of human intelligence are stimulated, which are faster than the logical processing of terms (words). Processing then takes place holistically and not in logical chains.

Those who use infoBoard, use technology to make good decisions for production processes today, to see their effects immediately, and to communicate these effects in the face of an uncertain future.

In the decision-making process, the imagination is stimulated, allowing you to find new solutions to your problems. This allows us to explore new methods and find even better solutions.

Better solutions reduce opportunity costs as well as operating costs, avoiding or even improving peaks, and achieving an even and consistent utilisation of existing resources – possibly increasing output..

This is the main reason why infoBoard is mainly found in growing company, who cannot effectively manage their organic growth without infoBoard.That is why you are giving away market opportunities, and only work effectively enough, when you plan your production through Excel.

Why are decisions important?

How do you prepare decisions? Why do you prepare decisions? You are respondng to a new situation, and should go through a decision-making process such as this:

– A timely detection of problems

– Analysis of these problems

– Formulate solutions

What do customers say?

A customer reported the following after using infoBoard for four months (translated from German):

“We actually only wanted infoBoard temporarily to improve our growth phase. We’ve been implementing an ERP system fora year, but now we will definitely be keeping infoBoard!

“With sixty employees now, we have been able to extend our planning from one week to several weeks. This means that we avoid peaks in machine time and now work more evenly. The availability of information (what is in progress, when it will be finished etc.) is available immediately without any effort. For the first time, the sales department is able to see the progress of production and is ergo more effective and targeted in its efforts.

Through feedback reports on infoBoard WebViews, group leaders can finally assessand estimate: where are we?”

The customer took a heuristic approach with trial and error and, after a short time, has created three approaches to a solution and has more than achieved his target. (Note that this three month detour in setting up production can be avoided by not declining the infoBoard Training Workshops.

The connection to the new ERP system is now planned.

What do prospective customers with Excel planning say?

A prospective customer in plant manufacturing reported the following to me (translated from German):

“We have no ERP system, the project leaders calculate and describes the tasks with Excel, but have no resource responsibilities. Our warehouse should be shut down, we already buy 80% more than what the workshop (through the leader) planned. Orders from other areas are, however, always coming into the workshop and the effects (delays on our projects) is inestimable.

“Additionally, part of our team is on construction sites for assembly or service work. Production is therefore not plannable.”

The company began to look around on the market. Yes, infoBoard is not an ERP system! infoBoard simplifies the jobs to duration bars on a resource row, and allows for scheduling and capacity planning.

Admittedly, if you doesn’t know what you should do (task plans, sequencing of stages), then you also cannot make a schedule plan.

But believe me, every enterprise has established business operations, and the creation of products and services comes from good practice – from experience.

What do you have to decide in this situation? Market view, firstly, and then a complete solution? That’s unrealistic.. My suggestion is more like the Pareto principle: roughly 80% of the goals for planned production can be quickly implemented and tracked thanks to a 20% investment of time and money.

Experience gained in this way is inestimably important for the later implementation of an ERP system.

Increase the quality of your decisions!

The infoBoard planning board is THE tool for every responsible decision-maker in the company’s business operations.

Using infoBoard as a tool for production planning means using technology, using Excel to plan production doesn’t.

infoBoard also facilitates a heuristic approach, eg. trial and error. Work years of experience into your business model!

Never stop learning

If you want to learn more about better planning, as well as the business processes happening in your company, I would suggest that you search for the following terms in Wikipedia. The terms provide a theoretical background to your practical problems.

  • complexity
  • decision theory
  • scheduling
  • production planning
  • emergence
  • Holism (“the whole is more than the sum of its parts)
  • matrix

Which tools and methods to you use to make better decisions?