Artificial intelligence: Syncrun passes Groupe OSI’s test

Artificial intelligence: Syncrun passes Groupe OSI’s test

How does a company choose and then implement Syncrun’s scheduling software? Groupe OSI shares its experience.

Comparative analysis of competing software solutions

Before choosing the right software to plan and schedule its production, Groupe OSI got to work reviewing its options on the market. “We conducted research at trade shows and on the Internet, paying special attention to what was available locally,” explained industrial engineer Hubert Breton.

The company discovered that Syncrun met “almost all of the criteria” and could be adapted to make up for the rest. “Its flexibility is a strong point in relation to suppliers, where it’s take it or leave it,” emphasized the general manager, Hugues Beaudry.

Beaudry pointed to the advantage of future possibilities for optimization: “This solution shows real intelligence that the others couldn’t show us.”

Proof of concept and a customer’s testimonial

Hubert Breton made a point of testing the software product before going further: “We exported a snapshot of our data to try out its features and initiate the gateway with our platform. That gave us confidence, in addition to speeding up the definitive implementation.”

After the proof of concept, the potential customer had an opportunity to discuss with a longstanding user and confirm the software supplier’s competence and maturity. “That reassured us to see his roadmap and how well the system works,” he added.

The last few steps

Now that this company from the Beauce region has made its decision official, it has only to complete the data transfer, train its staff, and validate the results of trying out and breaking in the new system. Everything will be ready to go in about three months.

Convinced he made the right choice, Hugues Beaudry has only one regret: that Syncrun isn’t better known! “It’s a superb solution, and people shouldn’t miss out. The staff are solid, agile, and sensitive to your needs. It’s win-win all the way.”

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Syncrun: an informed choice for DOCOM Technologies

Syncrun: an informed choice for DOCOM Technologies

Affordable and user-friendly: those qualities convinced DOCOM Technologies to support the rapid growth of its production by making Syncrun its operations scheduling system.

Optimizing at a competitive price

DOCOM Technologies has tripled its production in recent years, says Director of Operations Faouzi Talbi. New needs have appeared, and it must adapt to its market and modernize. This small factory in Boucherville was looking for a way to optimize resources and increase sales through better sequencing of production orders on the shop floor. “Without a tool to help us process more orders we run the risk of stagnation. We found Syncrun, which was very affordable,” remembers Faouzi. He looked at the cost of getting the same scheduling features with software modules available at ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). His verdict? Syncrun was more cost-effective, its price being adjusted to the size and complexity of the customer’s company.

Close, timely, convenient

He also looked at several scheduling software solutions from other countries. Besides their high prices and lack of after-sales support, language was a serious barrier. This is why he likes working with the team at Arima, the developer of Syncrun: “Access to their technical support is direct and fast!” DOCOM Technologies regularly uses Arima’s support service to ensure installation is as efficient as possible. “The staff at Arima are very helpful and attentive to our requests,” stressed Faouzi.

A chance to reorganize

His own staff tried out Syncrun for free to see how it could be adapted to their way of operating—and vice versa. “That showed us what it could bring us and how we should get organized for the most benefit,” he said. He estimates they’ll be done implementing the scheduling software around six months after the process begins: “It’s not complicated to set up, but we’re starting from scratch. … We’re taking our time to do things right.”

A winning formula

Although DOCOM Technologies is just starting out with Syncrun, Faouzi Talbi is already happy with his decision: “Arima is a supplier that’s easy to reach, and Syncrun is easy to use. On top of that, we’re helping out local people. … It’s win-win.”
DOCOM Technologies produces custom cable assemblies and electrical wiring harnesses.

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Operations Scheduling is Key to Success

Operations Scheduling is Key to Success

Operations scheduling is attracting more and more attention from managers of small and medium-sized manufacturers, who see a huge unexploited potential for efficiency gains. But what exactly is scheduling? What is its impact on a company and its profit margin?

Scheduling and Its Goals

All manufacturers have to schedule their production, whatever their size, products, production system, or management philosophy. The aim is to coordinate the resources of production and to synchronize the operations so as to meet the demand for company products at the lowest possible cost.

The scheduling process is far from trivial. It has to find the best compromise between two contradictory goals: maximizing customer satisfaction while minimizing production costs. For example, you could shorten delivery time by increasing inventory—but at what cost? Or you could reduce the size of the production batches and thus increase the frequency of deliveries—but what would be the impact on factory preparation times?

So scheduling has to consider all of the factors that affect production cost and customer satisfaction. But that’s not all! To be efficient, scheduling also has to factor in the manufacturing constraints, like availability of materials, product routings, machine efficiencies, resource flexibility, skills of operating personnel, and working hours.

A Key Role

Concretely, scheduling generates a detailed work plan for each resource involved in production. This schedule has:

  • the sequence of tasks;
  • the scheduled time for each task;
  • the estimated length of time;
  • the manufactured product;
  • the required resources, materials, and equipment.

The schedule also specifies the time for preparation and for disassembly due to transitions between batches or products. Finally, it identifies the periods when resources are inactive because the constraints are in effect.

The production schedule is reviewed (or re-optimized) in real time or at regular intervals to reflect any new unexpected situation. The review should quickly propose a new scenario when, for example, a piece of equipment breaks down, a customer changes an order at the last minute, or a raw material is late arriving.

Scheduling will bring together the company’s different departments and players around an operational game plan. The Purchasing Department will refer to it to ensure availability of supplies over the short term and to plan warehouse receiving over the long term. The Storekeeper will use it to prepare supplies for the work stations. Human Resources will consult it for personnel management. The Sales Department will use it to provide customers with realistic delivery times. The Finance Department will have a means to forecast performance and cash flow. Finally, operating and supervisory personnel will carry out the operations by following it closely.

Direct Impacts of Scheduling

A well-planned production schedule will work smoothly, predictably, logically, and efficiently. Without adequate scheduling, a company exposes itself to the dangers of lack of coordination: underutilized resources, accumulation of inventory, loss of material, and late deliveries.

In sum, scheduling is key to a manufacturer’s financial health. It shows how far the company can go in meeting customer requirements, in foreseeing and reducing manufacturing lead times, in using resources properly, in responding quickly to the unforeseen, in cutting production costs and, ultimately, in setting itself apart from the competition.

Would you like to try your hand at scheduling with an easy-to-start tool? Click here for a free trial of Syncrun, our web-based production scheduling solution