Project Planning Package – PlanetTogether Superplant

How it Works

Fill out the form below for a 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, goto this link to see other analytical products for PlanetTogether.

Enterprise Software TCO Calculator – PlanetTogether Superplant

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.

MUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS Superplant

MUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS Superplant

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: PlanetTogether Galaxy APS (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. PlanetTogether is known as a production planning and scheduling software vendor. However, PlanetTogether’s Galaxy APS has a supply planning functionality that no other software vendor presently offers. This feature is of interest to buyers that manage multiple plants in a way that the plants feed one another as if the overall complex were part of a single “Superplant.”

Application Detail

Galaxy APS is not an easy application on which to write. This is because it contains so much functionality, and this functionality is so unique in its design. 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 Galaxy APS’s functionality. The entry of PlanetTogether in our Software Selection Package for Production Planning covers the Galaxy APS functionality in more detail. However, some of the distinct Galaxy APS functionalities are the following:

  1. The only multi-plant planning applications (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 Galaxy APS is the only system allowing production to be optimized with throughput accounting principles. Galaxy has 30+ manufacturing based KPI, including cost & profit KPI that are tracked within and across any number of scenarios.
  4. 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.
  5. Galaxy APS 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.
  6. Co-Pilot. Galaxy APS 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 vast improvement for the vast majority of companies that lack time to perform simulation through other approaches.

Galaxy APS is a compelling application for those buyers that wish to take a “production first” approach their supply planning. This tends to be disregarded when comparing supply-planning (and production planning) applications.

However, one of the most important distinctions between supply planning applications is how it treats production planning. Some applications, such as ToolsGroup SO99 and SAP SmartOps do not deal with production planning at all. Other applications, like SAP SNP, actually allow production planning to be incorporated into the supply plan through the introduction of production resources into SAP SNP. SAP salespeople present this as “accounting for production,” but in fact, this design places supply planning in front of production planning. The first step is to run the supply plan, which is then passed to the production planning application, where more detailed production planning takes place. I quote from the SCM Focus Press book Superplant: Creating a Nimble Manufacturing Enterprise with Adaptive Planning Software.

“Supply Planning First” Two-pass Approach

In the sequential “supply planning first design,” cross-plant interactions are only observed and planned in the supply planning system—in this case, SNP. The supply plan is passed to PP/DS. PP/DS then creates planned orders from the first time bucket in the planning horizon out until the end of the production-planning horizon. While this production-planning horizon can be set to any value, in practice, it tends to be a matter of weeks. As such, in this design the supply planning system is in control of most of the combined supply and production-planning horizon, and essentially gets the first crack at processing the demand. Remember that most companies will have SNP use production resources, so SNP is creating the initial production plan. However, PP/DS will adjust the initial production plan provided by SNP for what are two to four weeks of the PP/DS production horizon, and detailed scheduling is performed down to the level of detail of the hour.

Galaxy APS creates both the supply planning recommendations and the manufacturing recommendations in a “single pass” or a single optimized planning run. Galaxy APS can either run MRP after the optimization—which would be two-step or multi-pass planning. But it can also run MRP during the optimization. The setting for controlling this is shown in the following screen shot.

Optimize wih MRP

Galaxy APS uses MRP to actually create the purchase requisitions and stock transfers—but this is based upon the optimizer output and can be set as part of a single planning run.

This approach can be superior to the sequential approach (where supply planning releases its results to production planning) in several ways. First, a combined run can allow an application to do things like multi-plant planning (such as compare all the alternate paths, including those that span a plant). Secondly, the supply plan is accurate right off the bat, and does not have to be passed to a production-planning tool for adjustment. This eliminates disconnects between the supply planning system and the production planning system, which are described in this article.

There are, however, trade-offs between two-pass and single-pass planning. Which approach is a better fit depends upon the objectives of the specific client. Most supply and production applications do not provide the option of either a single-pass or sequential processing, so in most cases the issue cannot even be brought up.

Single Pass Versus Sequential Processing

Single-pass Planning with PlanetTogether

Galaxy APS can combine supply and production planning into a single run. The steps are described below:

  1. The user clicks “Optimize.”
  2. The plan and schedule are created from independent demands all the way down through production scheduling and purchasing in one shot.

Hopefully, this has explained that PlanetTogether Galaxy APS is necessarily an easy decision when the orientation of the buyer is to place production planning as a primary focus of the supply planning process. It takes much more that merely including production resources into the supply planning system to adequately account for production. For those buyers that want to manage their production plants as part of an integrated whole, there is no other application that can do this, and account for the all of the interactions between the locations outside of Galaxy APS.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

Buyers of Galaxy APS have every possible advantage working their direction. Galaxy APS 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 Galaxy APS can expect the 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 primary 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 Galaxy APS 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 Supply Planning software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for PlanetTogether Galaxy APS.

References

Brightwork MRP & S&OP Explorer for Tuning

Tuning ERP and External Planning Systems with Brightwork Explorer

MRP and supply planning systems require tuning in order to get the most out of them. Brightwork MRP & S&OP Explorer provides this tuning, which is free to use in the beginning until is sees “serious usage,” and is free for students and academics. See by clicking the image below:

Software Selection Book

SELECTION

Enterprise Software Selection: How to Pinpoint the Perfect Software Solution Using Multiple Sources of Information

What the Book Covers

Essential reading for success in your next software selection and implementation.

Software selection is the most important task in a software implementation project, as it is your best (if not only) opportunity to make sure that the right software—the software that matches the business requirements—is being implemented. Choosing the software that is the best fit clears the way for a successful implementation, yet software selection is often fraught with issues and many companies do not end up with the best software for their needs. However, the process can be greatly simplified by addressing the information sources that influence software selection. This book can be used for any enterprise software selection, including ERP software selection.

This book is a how-to guide for improving the software selection process and is formulated around the idea that—much like purchasing decisions for consumer products—the end user and those with the domain expertise must be included. In addition to providing hints for refining the software selection process, this book delves into the often-overlooked topic of how consulting and IT analyst firms influence the purchasing decision, and gives the reader an insider’s understanding of the enterprise software market.

This book is connected to several other SCM Focus Press books including Enterprise Software TCO and The Real Story Behind ERP.

By reading this book you will:

  • Learn how to apply a scientific approach to the software selection process.
  • Interpret vendor-supplied information to your best advantage. This is generally left out of books on software selection. However, consulting companies and IT analysts like Gartner have very specific biases. Gartner is paid directly by software vendors — a fact they make every attempt not to disclose while consulting companies only recommend software for vendors that give them the consulting business. Consulting companies all have an enormous financial bias that prevents them from offering honest advice — and this is part of their business model.
  • Understand what motivates a software vendor.
  • Learn how the institutional structure and biases of consulting firms affect the advice they give you, and understand how to properly interpret information from consulting companies.
  • Make vendor demos work to your benefit.
  • Know the right questions to ask on topics such as integration with existing software, cloud versus on-premise vendors, and client references.
  • Differentiate what is important to know about software for improved “implement-ability” versus what the vendor thinks is important for improved “sell-ability.”
  • Better manage your software selection projects to ensure smoother implementations.

Buy Now

Chapters

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Software Selection
  • Chapter 2: Understanding the Enterprise Software Market
  • Chapter 3: Software Sell-ability versus Implement-ability
  • Chapter 4: How to Use Consulting Advice on Software Selection
  • Chapter 5: How to Use the Reports of Analyst Firms Like Gartner
  • Chapter 6: How to Use Information Provided by Vendors
  • Chapter 7: How to Manage the Software Selection Process

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

Honest Vendor Ratings – PlanetTogether

Introduction

PlanetTogether is an unlikely company to have developed what we consider the most innovative and best production and planning scheduling application for anything but heavy process industries. (see our article on why process industries require specialized software.) PlanetTogether is an innovation machine.  

In just the past few years PlanetTogether has developed several important innovations that no other software vendor has – and these are innovations which go directly to some of the most vexing challenges that face production planning and scheduling projects. With PlanetTogether we are always looking forward to what is coming next.

Quality of Information Provided

We rate the quality of information provided PlanetTogether as better than average. One of the things that PlanetTogether could do a better job on is explaining “why PlanetTogether,” versus other applications. It is challenging because PlanetTogether has so much functionality and does not have the marketing budget of larger software vendors. Furthermore, the product is dealing in a complex space and is dealing with a large amount of marketing misinformation from software vendors and SAP and Oracle which need to confuse their customers in order to sell them subpar solutions.

To understand what makes PlanetTogether’s application so unique, one would need to have sufficient exposure to a number of production planning and scheduling projects in different environments. For instance of the differentiators for PlanetTogether is how it performs optimization, which is fundamentally superior to just about every other optimizer in not only the production planning space but also within parts of the supply planning space as well. This is explained in the SCM Focus Press book Superplant: Creating a Nimble Manufacturing Enterprise with Adaptive Planning Software. PlantTogether already had leading simulation capabilities for years before they developed their CoPilot, which automates simulation, performing it in the background and bringing up new simulation versions to the user’s attention when they have been created.

However, how many buyers understand this in a way which will allow them to draw these distinctions? These details turn out to make a big difference on implementations and has lead to many buyers struggling with dated technologies that are posing as leading edge. When buyers are exposed to PlanetTogether’s sales process, many buyers seem to think that PlanetTogether is simply a more expensive Preactor, or a less expensive PP/DS. In fact, we estimate that even many buyers don’t realize entirely what they have until years after they have made their purchase. For this reason, we recommend spending more time with PlanetTogether than most software vendors, because it takes a while to fully appreciate their application.

Consulting and Support

The major consulting companies do not yet implement PlanetTogether, and this means an excellent value for buyers. Many of PlanetTogether’s implementations do not have the consultant on the project 100% of the time, and therefore the consulting value is excellent. Most of the PlanetTogether consultants have been at the company for quite some time, and getting answers to questions is usually very fast. We would know, as we have run the application, and have frequently gone to them for questions. For most of PlanetTogether’s history, they tended to have smaller clients, however, that has begun to change in the past few years, with the company completing a 28 plant implementation.

Internal Efficiency

PlanetTogether has little hierarchy and is positioned to enter the supply planning space and to do it in a way that has not been done before, and which has a more integrated relationship between supply and production planning. Currently, PlanetTogether is the only software vendor that we see attempting to address this question. The only concern we have with PlanetTogether is some large software vendor may attempt to purchase them, killing the steady stream of innovation that PlanetTogether has created and replacing it with bureaucracy, price increases, management intrigue and marketing hyperbole. PlanetTogether’s management has assured us that they intend to remain independent, and in fact, they provided us with this quotation.

We are focused on long-term growth rather than selling the company anytime soon, and that we’ve actually turned down several acquisition offers over recent years to back it up. We are debt free, have been in business 10 years and in the industry for 20 and are having way too much fun to change.

Innovation

Currently, only 4 software vendors rate a perfect 10 in innovation, and PlanetTogether is one of the four.

Vendor Scores

Part of the Following Software Categories

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Software Selection Package for Supply Planning

Software Selection Package for Production Planning