Capacity Planning System – Food Product Provider
PPP is a food processing company that supplies proteins such as pork, sausage, or beef as well as other food items to foodservice and retails brands. They work with their clients to produce custom products and design solutions for manufacturing and the supply chain to meet needs and challenges. Originally founded in 1909 and based out of Aurora, IL, PPP has since grown to have offices and over 40 manufacturing facilities worldwide.
When a customer places an order from PPP, our client must determine its ability to meet that demand. Their process previously involved manually entering order information into one capacity planning spreadsheet. One individual in the organization was in charge of the spreadsheet and manually planned which line in which manufacturing plant would fulfill the order. The PPP employee also made necessary adjustments and received approval from a coordinator before confirming that the order could be placed.
This process limited the company’s growth and provided opportunities for errors to occur. The complexity of the spreadsheet restricted the number of users who were able to correctly input information. When two or more people made requests for orders simultaneously, copies of the spreadsheet were made and worked on separately. The information would then be manually merged after approval and confirmation. This process became too time consuming, and PPP was in search of a new system. They wanted to provide their customers with quick and reliable answers regarding their capacity to produce orders without going through tedious, manual processes that were limited to one person.
We created a capacity planning system for our client to address current problematic processes. With the browser based system, we solved the problem of only one person having access to the Excel spreadsheet to complete capacity planning. Now, anyone who needs to can log in and enter “what if ” scenarios based on requested and current orders to determine the ability to meet demand. The capacity planning software will also provide deeper insights regarding operations.
The system will generate reports for analyzing data over multiple years, so PPP will have a year-over-year comparison of actual versus planned production. Users have the flexibility to change many variables regarding production to examine alternative project options and outcomes generated automatically by the application. Then, requests can be submitted through the new system for coordinator approval.
With this application, we were able to fill in the gaps of the large software systems used by the company, optimizing other areas of production.
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