MUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether

MUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: PlanetTogether (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

PlanetTogether has created a substantial portion of the overall applied innovation in production planning and scheduling over the past ten years. (We are aware of many of the innovative features in AspenTech, but the statement still holds as much of AspenTech’s innovation was developed over ten years ago.) PlanetTogether is a perfect example of something we repeatedly observe about enterprise software – the most innovation comes from the smallest, not the largest company.

Application Detail

If most buying companies understood how to evaluate enterprise software, PlanetTogether’s would be the most widely deployed production planning and scheduling application. Even many of PlanetTogether’s current customers do not know what the application can do because its functionality is so deep that a buying company may only be deploying a small fraction of PT’s functionality. To provide a good accounting of this application, we have listed the following bullet points:

  1. The only multi-plant planning application (this means the ability to plan multiple plants as if they are one location) that naturally accounts for lead times between locations.
  2. Multi-User – any user can plan any plant or groups of plants that they have the authority to plan.
  3. A leading edge duration based optimizer – combined with the ability to prioritize almost any KPI (that is to adjust the duration optimizer by KPIs – including financial KPIs – meaning PT is the only system allowing production to be optimized with throughput accounting principles). PT has 30+ manufacturing based KPI, including cost & profit KPI that are tracked within and across any number of scenarios.
  4. Shop floor data collection capabilities.
  5. Has functionality to use a “synchronous manufacturing” approach with strategic buffer management at key control points to protect against the inevitable variation of manufacturing’s reality.
  6. PT not only has the best master data management and update capabilities in its software category, but it is also one of the best master data management and update capabilities that we have measured of any enterprise software application.
  7. PT has our best-rated user interface in its category. It is both easy to use, and scales in that the user learns a great deal as they use it.
  8. Co-Pilot. PT has developed an automated system for simulation that merely runs in the background when processing is available and comes up with improved solutions. This Co-Pilot functionality can run at any time – and may run intensively overnight testing many different combinations. This is we believe an entirely new concept – and is a huge improvement for the vast majority of companies that lack time to perform simulation through other approaches.
  9. Subcontracting – while most subcontracting functionality in both ERP and other planning systems is complex and trouble-prone, subcontracting in PT works very smoothly. This in part comes down to a design feature that also makes the application appropriate for multi-plant planning.
  10. Capable of promising (CTP) – PT is indeed a Swiss Army Knife. In most advanced planning application like APO, Capable to Promise rarely works. However, secondly, it is a separate module – with separate licensing and consulting and maintenance costs. In APO this module is called GATP is and separate from their production planning and scheduling application called PP/DS. However, with PT, CTP is included. In PT, CTP requires minimal configuration or implementation work; it is mostly a natural consequence of simply implementing the application.

PT is an application that can handle many manufacturing environments. It can easily manage discrete and repetitive manufacturing, and can perform “light” process batch and continuous manufacturing planning and scheduling – which we classify as environments like food and beverage, but gives way to AspenTech for “heavy” process batch and continuous industry manufacturing which we classify as anything from petroleum to petrochemical manufacturing.

Optimization Rule 2

Optimization rules — or augmentations to the optimization objective function of minimizing duration — can be added. An optimization rule is created by moving sliders in any of the optimization rule categories (Delivery Date, Priority, Efficiency, Operation Attributes, Material Groupings, and Ranges). A combination of all of the sliders makes up an optimization rule, which is then saved. Multiple optimization rules can be created and then assigned to the optimization planning run.

Optimization Rule Weights

Here you can see the weights that have been applied to each Optimization Rule. You can add any number of Optimization Rules. Beyond that, not only can Optimization Rules be assigned to the overall model, but also to individual Resources as the screenshot below shows. 

Resource Optimization Rule

For this Resource, the Optimization Rule 1 is applied. Also, notice that there is an Experimental Rule. Experimental Rules tend to be used during simulation.

PlanetTogether’s PT is our recommended choice for all but the heavy process industries. Buyers can expect PT to come up quickly, and for the system to have a higher user adoption. Long-term support from PlanetTogether is excellent, and the application is continually growing, meaning buyers will benefit even more in the future from implementing PT.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

Buyers of PT have every possible advantage working their direction. PT is one of the highest rated applications we have ever rated. It is a rare situation where a buyer has the opportunity to purchase software that is both the functionality leader in its category, along with being highly implementable and user-friendly.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

The only implementation issues that a buyer of PT can expect to fact are the traditional issues that face production planning and scheduling projects. PlanetTogether has tended to be implemented by smaller companies – the only reason being they do not have the brand recognition of being associated with a major software vendor. As such they have become acclimated to having their software implemented in clients with quite limited resources. However, they have recently completed a 28 plant implementation and this has demonstrated PlanetTogether’s ability to handle larger clients.

We predict PlanetTogether will eventually be recognized for its excellent software and will become a significantly bigger company and will be implemented by larger buyers, buyers with much more resources. A PT implementation is one that any project manager should look forward to, as it has a high likelihood of adding significant value to the buyer.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Production Planning software category. Or goto this link to see other analytical products for PlanetTogether.

Enterprise Software TCO Calculator – PlanetTogether

How it Works

Fill out the form below for a your customized TCO calculation, as well as each of the supporting cost components that make up the TCO. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.

Details

  • Vendor Name: PlanetTogether (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: Production Planning and Scheduling
  • Company Headquarters: 4202 Sorrento Valley Blvd, San Diego, CA 92121-1413
  • Site: http://www.planettogether.com
  • Contact number 888.317.8807
  • Delivery Mechanism: On Premises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, goto this link to see other analytical products for PlanetTogether.

Project Planning Package – PlanetTogether

How it Works

Fill out the form below for your project planning estimate. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.

Details

  • Vendor Name: PlanetTogether (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: Production Planning and Scheduling
  • Company Headquarters: 4202 Sorrento Valley Blvd, San Diego, CA 92121-1413
  • Site: http://www.planettogether.com
  • Contact number 888 317 8807
  • Delivery Mechanism: On Premises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, go to this link to see other analytical products for PlanetTogether.

References

Risk Book

Software RiskRethinking Enterprise Software Risk: Controlling the Main Risk Factors on IT Projects

Better Managing Software Risk

The software implementation is risky business and success is not a certainty. But you can reduce risk with the strategies in this book. Undertaking software selection and implementation without approximating the project’s risk is a poor way to make decisions about either projects or software. But that’s the way many companies do business, even though 50 percent of IT implementations are deemed failures.

Finding What Works and What Doesn’t

In this book, you will review the strategies commonly used by most companies for mitigating software project risk–and learn why these plans don’t work–and then acquire practical and realistic strategies that will help you to maximize success on your software implementation.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 3: The Basics of Enterprise Software Risk Management
Chapter 4: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
Chapter 5: Software Sell-ability versus Implementability
Chapter 6: Selecting the Right IT Consultant
Chapter 7: How to Use the Reports of Analysts Like Gartner
Chapter 8: How to Interpret Vendor-Provided Information to Reduce Project Risk
Chapter 9: Evaluating Implementation Preparedness
Chapter 10: Using TCO for Decision Making
Chapter 11: The Software Decisions’ Risk Component Model

Software Category Analysis – Production Planning and Scheduling

Introduction

Production planning and scheduling software has many more software vendors listed for it in some sources that we think actually qualify for the title. This is because many ERP vendors say that they can perform production scheduling, when in truth most ERP systems provide functionality which is just good enough to impress executives during the sales process, but not actually good enough to use. In fact, of all of the ERP systems that we cover, only Process Pro and Rootstock meet our standard in terms of having basic functionality in this area.

Most of the ERP applications work off of simple MRP for production planning and scheduling combined with a simplified scheduling screen. However, MRP is really only designed to create the initial production plan, and at the very least production planning and scheduling software should have heuristics. (for instance, Rootstock has a scheduling algorithm) Many ERP software are attempt to try to cover as broad of an area as possible, but this ends up with dissatisfaction once the system is live. This has been a constant feature in the production planning and scheduling space, which is why so many companies still rely upon Excel to perform production planning.

In practice the cost savings from effective production planning and scheduling are such that it typically makes sense to purchase a specialized application to do the job, therefore a well-managed software selection and implementation will often result in a good return on investment.

The Opportunity of Multi-plant Planning

Multi-plant planning, sometimes called multi-site planning, is the ability to model and make decisions to schedule production between alternate internal production locations that can produce the same product. By definition, companies that have components and subcomponents of final finished goods that are moved between factories have a multi-plant planning requirement. And this requirement applies to all manufacturing environments (discrete, repetitive, process batch, process continuous. A company that does not have multi-plant planning requirements when they start out, will have these requirements as soon as they choose to consolidate one stage of manufacturing to a single location in order to benefit from economies of scale and economies of specialization in that manufacturing process.

Multi plant planning is a more realistic representation of the real modeling requirements within many companies. This is because factories do not merely accept raw materials and ship finished goods. Instead, many factories receive raw materials and ship out subcomponents. Other factories receive subcomponents and ship out components or subassemblies. Many possible combinations of factories are possible and always have been at least to some degree.

There is little doubt of the many companies with multi-plant planning requirements. We have experienced the requirements first-hand and in depth at one company, but have found these requirements at other companies as well – its simply that most are unaware what these requirements are actually called, that there is academic work which describes them and they are unaware that they are losing efficiency by not being able to account for these requirements. Multi plant planning is an important stage in the evolution of planning software, which is related to subcontract and contract manufacturing planning all of these planning requirements mean the planning system is indifferent to whether the manufacturing location is owned or not owned by the implementing enterprise. Companies have little in the way of information on multi-plant planning, which should not be surprising in the least. In fact, we know from our consulting experience that many companies have multi-plant requirements but are simply not leveraging the software currently available to manage these requirements. In fact, at most companies the internal discussion about doing so has not even begun. Common reasons as to why this is the case are listed below:

  1. Many decision makers in companies with multi-plant planning requirements do not know that the functionality to specifically address these requirements exists.
  2. Many companies do not include vendors with multi-plant planning functionality in their software selection initiatives.
  3. No ERP vendor makes external planning software that performs multi-plant planning. Buyers would have to be willing to choose a smaller vendor rather than simply purchasing the ERP vendor’s external planning system. This is of course a limiting factor, because buyers tend to purchase as much software as they can from one vendor, which incidentally is why the enterprise software sector is so monopolistic in nature and why so many buyers have such a poor fit between their business requirements and the applications they have purchased.

Intercompany Transfer, Subcontracting and Contract Manufacturing

As software buyers/companies have moved to more specialization in their factories (co-locating specific manufacturing in global locations), intercompany transfers have become increasingly common. Concentrating similar types of production in factories globally has been occurring for some time. Things like subcontracting, which at first glance would seem to reduce the necessity for multi-location planning, in fact increase the necessity for multi-location planning. Even in instances where third parties are involved – such as with subcontracting — the primary company or OEM often wants to plan the activities, even if they do not perform the actual execution. In fact, we now have the common scenario where planning factories — or at least partially planning factories that are not owned by the company performing the planning — are a common requirement.

As most enterprise software is not designed to accommodate these requirements, a great deal of effort is needed on the part of companies to both implement and maintain the software. The retort from many vendors might be, “but we offer supplier collaboration and subcontracting” — which is true. However, it is also true that these tend to be tricky implementations, and in some cases, such as with supplier collaboration, there are in fact few success stories.

Subcontracting

Along with multi-plant planning, subcontracting has greatly increased as a planning need within companies. Subcontracting is another form of production where there is ambiguity between the external plant and the internal locations. Another related concept is contract manufacturing, where the product is produced completely by the contract manufacturer but planning responsibility is shared. Some supply chain planning applications can plan subcontracting; however, the functionality multi plant production planning functionality can make comparisons between alternative production that is either internal or external to the company. In some circumstances, production may be outsourced; in other cases it may be planned to be produced internally. Oftentimes inflexible planning systems mean that companies are forced to make these types of decisions “strategically.” However in the software described in this book, the alternatives can be set up in the model, and the application can switch between internal and outsourced manufacturing as the situation changes.

Understanding the Segmentation Between Supply and Production Planning

SNP_Production_Horizon-2

The main area of focus of most supply chain planning vendors that develop software in this area has been not to integrate the supply planning application and production planning application. Most software vendors simply assume them to be two different things.

The weakness of this design is the natural inconsistency between the supply planning application and the production planning application. For example, SNP and PP/DS — and most other supply and production planning applications — work off of a different set of assumptions. Just setting the timings and planning horizons between these various systems is a lot of work, as is displayed by the following screen shot.

APO Planning Horizons

We have spent quite a lot of time walking implementing companies through how to integrate planning horizons and timings in SAP APO. In fact, the topic is so involved we published a book specifically on this topic titled, SCM Focus Press book Planning Horizons, Calendars and Timings in SAP APO.

In environments where there are dependencies between production, such as when a finished good in one factory is fed by semi-finished goods or components (or the components are in a third factory feeding the semi-finished goods plant – which we have seen at several companies), then the production planning and scheduling across the various plants ends up missing out on a number of planning opportunities that a multi-plant planning system could leverage.

Software Category Summary

Production planning and detailed scheduling is still an area with a great deal of potential. The software category does not have that many quality applications – and most the applications are 1st generation applications that are masquerading as leading edge applications that should probably be retired. Once again, proper selection is critical, as the ability to receive value from 1st generation production planning applications has proven to be very difficult.

MUFI Rating & Risk

See the MUFI Ratings & Risk below for all of the applications we cover.

Vendor NameApplication
Big ERP
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP ECC
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
EpicorMUFI Rating & Risk – Epicor ERP
SageMUFI Rating & Risk – Sage X3
InforMUFI Rating & Risk – Infor Lawson
Small and Medium ERP
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP Business One
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – JD Edwards World
ProcessProMUFI Rating & Risk – ProcessPro
RootstockMUFI Rating & Risk – Rootstock
ERPNextMUFI Rating & Risk – ERPNext
OpenERPMUFI Rating & Risk – OpenERP
MicrosoftMUFI Rating & Risk – Microsoft Dynamics AX
Financial Applications
IntacctMUFI Rating & Risk – Intacct
IntuitMUFI Rating & Risk – Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise Solutions
FinancialForceMUFI Rating & Risk – FinancialForce
NetSuiteMUFI Rating & Risk – NetSuite OneWorld
PLM
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP PLM
Arena SolutionsMUFI Rating & Risk – Arena Solutions Arena PLM
Hamilton GrantMUFI Rating & Risk – Hamilton Grant Recipe Management
Demand Planning
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP APO DP
TableauMUFI Rating & Risk – Tableau (Forecasting)
Business Forecast SystemsMUFI Rating & Risk – Forecast Pro TRAK
Demand WorksMUFI Rating & Risk – Demand Works Smoothie
JDAMUFI Rating & Risk – JDA Demand Management
ToolsGroupMUFI Rating & Risk – ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)
Supply Planning
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP SNP
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP SmartOps
ToolsGroupMUFI Rating & Risk – ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply Planning)
Demand WorksMUFI Rating & Risk – Demand Works Smoothie SP
PlanetTogetherMUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS Superplant
Production Planning
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP APO PP/DS
DelfoiMUFI Rating & Risk – Delfoi Planner
PreactorMUFI Rating & Risk – Preactor
AspenTechMUFI Rating & Risk – AspenTech AspenOne
PlanetTogetherMUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS
BI Heavy
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP BI/BW
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP Business Objects
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – Oracle BI
SASMUFI Rating & Risk – SAS BI
MicroStrategyMUFI Rating & Risk – MicroStrategy
IBMMUFI Rating & Risk – IBM Cognos
TeradataMUFI Rating & Risk – Teradata
ActuateMUFI Rating & Risk – Actuate ActuateOne
BI Light
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP Crystal Reports
QlikTechMUFI Rating & Risk – QlikTech QlikView
TableauMUFI Rating & Risk – Tableau (BI)
CRM
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP CRM
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – Oracle RightNow
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – Oracle CRM On Demand
InforMUFI Rating & Risk – Infor Epiphany
Base CRMMUFI Rating & Risk – Base CRM
SalesforceMUFI Rating & Risk – Salesforce Enterprise
SugarCRMMUFI Rating & Risk – SugarCRM
MicrosoftMUFI Rating & Risk – Microsoft Dynamics CRM
NetSuiteMUFI Rating & Risk – NetSuite CRM