Live Tracking

An accurate and responsive planning and tracking system is an invaluable tool for complex organisations. It is the key link between production, sales and management – a critical point, often stressed with the communication demands.

Prestige Scheduler
is more than a scheduler – it is a communication tool. It shares data bi-directionally with disparate software and displays up to the minute schedules on PCs or web browsers. The planning person can import jobs or create them in seconds with templates. Production employees know what's expected and can view and update activities from any PC. Purchasers actually know what stock is needed and when. Sales people and optionally customers can view the status of their jobs anytime, anywhere. Management can see important statistics like on-time performance and how much revenue is scheduled on each press. 

Planners have complete control over the schedule and its conditions – and changes are reflected instantly. See right away what happens when a 4-colour press goes down for two days waiting on a part; or you add overtime; or increase your capacity with the introduction of a new folder. Play with splitting jobs up; change machines or adjust quantities. Test potential jobs and reserve space based on proposals or estimates. The ripple effects occur before your eyes. If you don't like them – just undo or restore a saved schedule. When you're satisfied, publish the changes for the shop and web. 

Finite capacity planning means you can't over-schedule your resources – each work centre does one operation at a time. You determine the sequence. Prestige Scheduler enforces the dependencies and moves them for you. Jobs scheduled past their due date are clearly visible. Potential problems are identified immediately and can be addressed in a timely manner. Amazingly easy to use, with common sense logic and comprehensive control. 

Prestige Scheduler
has the features you need without the complexities you don't. Many of our customers start scheduling the day after we install it.

Key Features


What-if Planning

Prestige Scheduler has an off-line what-if planning board and a multi-user on-line scheduling board.

When the planning person needs to review the schedule, add more jobs or resolve an issue, he or she can take a snapshot of the active schedule into the off-line planning board. There new jobs can be added, processes moved, downtime changed, priorities reviewed or recalculated (based on date required or slack time) and so on. The plan being reviewed can be saved at any time for later recall. The Undo button can be pressed at any time to reverse prior moves made.

Nothing done on the Planning Board can be seen by others until the planning person "publishes" the current design. That is when the rest of the community gets to see and work with the new Schedule.
   
Click here to view a snapshot of Prestige Scheduler's
electronic planning board (EPB).


The EPB gives you excellent visual feedback on the health of your current planning and capacity. Bars (representing process steps) are color-coded according to their status. Unavailable time is grayed out (which we call downtime). You can set the scale (the time that is represented between the vertical grid lines) to any reasonable value. You can scroll as far into the future as you like. Just click on a bar on the board to bring up the details in the Details Panel. Other processes associated with the same job are also highlighted and optionally connected with connecting splines.

If you would prefer to view a resource queue tabularly, you just press the button bar for the resource row to bring up the resource's
scheduled list.


True Finite Scheduling

Jobs ready for scheduling are typically imported from a disparate MIS or ERP system; either from an Estimate or exploded Bill. But Prestige Scheduler also has a very convenient "cloning" feature, which allows you to create a real job or a reservation from any other job that is already in Prestige Scheduler's database. If there is no external data source, you can create a job entirely from scratch.

When you import, clone or manually create new jobs, they start out in the "Bin" of the
Job Browser.

Each job has one or more parts. Each part has one or more processing steps. Each process has a routing order that establishes the order that each step is encountered in the manufacturing process. Processes within a part with the same routing order are said to be "concurrent" and can run at the same time (given that they are scheduled on different resources of course). Any process can be constrained by one or more external processes - an external process being a process attached to a different part within the same job or attached to a completely different job (provided the separate job has a better priority)


Once data arrives into the job browser's bin, the planning person can review and optionally edit the data before placing the new job onto the planning board. This is an important step in ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the overall schedule. Additionally, attributes may need to be set which are not known to the disparate data source. A lead-time may need to be set to allow for drying time. The whole job may need to be backward-scheduled. Or perhaps some additional milestones need to be added. Perhaps a process needs to be locked at a particular time position - a customer check being a good example. All this is best done BEFORE the job is added to the planning board.

To get the job onto the board, the planner can either drag and drop or select the "Raise Job" option from the context menu.

As soon as a job is "raised" to the planning board, the processes attached to that job are placed in their respective resource queues.

If the job is forward-scheduled, processes will be positioned as close to the left as possible, taking into account any processes already in the queue and any dependencies that may exist with predecessor processes for the same part. A "predecessor" is any process attached to the same job and part which has been given a lower routing order. A process must wait for its predecessors to produce their minimum quantities before it can start. Minimum quantities can be set by the planner or by business rules which come into play when the job is imported.

Any job can be flagged to be backward-scheduled. Backward-scheduled jobs take precedence over forward-scheduled jobs, but are positioned on the board so as to finish as close as possible to their nominated "required-by" date and time. If there is contention for space on the board whereby two or more processes need to occupy the same position, the process whose job has better priority will prevail. Displaced processes will be moved closer in (to the left) if possible so they can be produced earlier than required. If this is not possible, the process will be forced to run late.

Late processes are easily identified on the EPB because their "bar" is filled with a hatch pattern. The extent to which a process is running ahead of or behind its latest time (before it will cause the job to run late) is referred to as "lee-way" or "slack time". A late-running process has a negative lee-way. Negative lee-ways are shown in the scheduled lists in red.

The Active Board

Prestige Scheduler's active board - the on-line interactive board that the community sees - can react to transactions from the shop-floor. Transactions can eminate from a third-party system, from Prestige Scheduler's own dedicated shop-floor module or simply from another instance of Prestige Scheduler.