Control in THE supply chain flow

Supply chain management (SCM) has been practiced to this day for more than 40 years. The system has become a core element of today’s management approach in industries. The supply chain in manufacturing, chemical production, warehousing and construction focuses on several different areas that are widely spread but closely interdependent.

This dependence is driven by the particular need for material management. Connecting a wide network to secure supply will require a series of activities between the diverse areas involved in the entire chain. SCM can include different modules but a specific one is dedicated for traceability of materials. To provide a traceability system an integrated software is required. This one is available from Advanced Planning Systems (APS).

Manufacturing management with APS

Implementation of APS in the network allow create forecast for supplies. An extensive interconnection plan is needed to create balanced flow between customer demand, materials and personnel availability. Comprehensive manufacturing plan required equipment assessment as machinery and tools on every production phase.

Broad planning production and distribution as well as purchasing on the customer side have been carried out sine years in supply chain. The main obstacles in the whole process are caused by insufficient technological and communication capabilities. The various stages of the processes are divided and isolated, what lead to obvious limitations in scope. Considering barriers for production planning and supply chain we can refer to activities performed on daily basis as below:

  • Planning materials for production – recognition for inventory types with material parameters and stock management models;
  • Production stages projection –production runs forecast with usage rates of resource;
  • Supply chain coordination – organizing transport and compunction between several locations;
  • Connect end customers – allow end customers plan their activities on basis of production and delivered outcome;

Typical ERP systems don’t provide a possibility to estimate the stages of production, or verify the length of production series along with the efficient rate of use of production resources. Full coordination of these activities can be accomplished by implementing advanced planning systems. APS increases the limited planning functionality of ERP systems. This feature is related mostly to material requirements planning (MRP).

Adapt APS in manufacturing and supply chain

If a company wants to win customers they need to be professional. Large construction projects require several different links between companies and organizations to provide the flow for the entire project. Information feed can be essential to help developers complete extended stages of the building projects. Construction companies decide on APS software implementation to control the supply chain, but also to be able to forecast project progress. That is a key measure to secure over two-digit million dollars investments.

Proper service orientation is not restricted to the end customer but includes any business unit that receives a product from the supplier.

The situation will be similar for an oil company that focuses its business on oil refining. Determining what oil to buy to meet demand while taking into account existing bottlenecks at owned refineries is a very difficult task. Companies that implement modules from APS software can create supply plans from refinery vendors to model production parameters. In oil production specifics are close to processing crude oil with different capacities and analyzing possible procedures in treatment, distillation, conversion and more. In this case considerable competitive advantage for the company is materials traceability and networked assessing to capacity of the own refineries.

APS implementation in manufacturing refer to the great example of large electronic manufacturer. Technology advanced manufacturers required high attention on several different areas:

  • Demand planning;
  • Matching supply and demand;
  • Master planning and production line orders;
  • Assembly operations;

World worldwide network of suppliers located in Asia countries with assembly processes in Europe or the US can make production much more unpredictable. The best example of that situation happened in March 2021 when the Suez Canal was blocked for six days after the grounding of Ever Given (a 20,000 TEU container ship). Many hi-tech companies got into problems with supplies. However, this impact was minimalized for those who were able to perform rapid production replenishment with earlier implemented APS software. As a result of such action companies were able to prevent about a week of expensive downtime.

In companies that use APS on a daily basis, delivery times are reduced by about 10%. Further, end to-end order lead time is minimalized from 22 to 10 days (nearly 50%).

Software solution for APS

It can be difficult to identify which elements are specifically matching for APS. It will very often depend on the type of supply chain practiced by the business. Implementing just a single APS software module can be an ERP extension that allows perform several important actions:

  • Precise shop floor data collection;
  • Materials traceability and detailed production scheduling;
  • Supply chain coordination and demand planning;
  • Customers feed and data exchange among organizations;

Accurate schedules secure order fulfillment in time. Frankly speaking, this is the task of APS. Taking control over the supply chain with APS increase operational strength in the hand of OPS managers. Novacura Flow equipped with Novacura Flow Portal can be used to implement APS solutions and integrate all planning processes with operational processes (plan performance). The main goal for system implementation is reducing multiple activities into a single one and integrating a wide operational network.

Here are examples of Novacura Flow software modules, that support manufacturing processes and have an essential impact on the planning accuracy performed in the APS systems. Modules of APS software can interfere simultaneously with Novacura Flow mobile applications connected to the machinery and ERP system. With this solution, manufacturing workers can control and plan entire production stages. Here is an example of the Novacura Flow application Material Requisition Issue.

Employees can control tasks assigned for daily planning. Enter or scan the manufacturing order and the operation to list all parts that are included in the bill of material for the manufacturing order. Scan the items from the list and confirm the quantity. Once its finished, the employee can update status and report time.

The second example of a Novacura Flow application is a Shop Floor Reporting app. The shop floor reporting app provides a variety of manufacturing-related reporting possibilities for shop floor users.

In case of problems that can disrupt production interval (delay or rework needed), employee will be able to report the problem immediately. The Novacura Flow application connected to the system will control the schedule and alert if the task isn’t finished.

Leading hand on production line can be frequently updated on the progress or delays with notifications send on his mobile device.

Application versatility allow runs on Web, Mobile & Portal modes.

Values and Benefits

APS implemented with Novacura can offer a wide range of benefits for industries from different areas. Several significant values for your organization can improve your entire supply chain management (SCM). Novacura software can contribute substantially improvement to a company’s operations:

  • Integration of the network – control over business partners in the supply chain (rating of the core partners’ competencies) and improving customer order as well as inter-organizational collaboration with information exchange;
  • Improving order cycle times  – minimalize lead time and decoupling point;
  • Reducing costs – improving financial flow with better models of operations management that can be evaluated with APS, therefore operating more economically;
  • Increasing flexibility in customer demands – better planning for production interval and ability to frequent feedback to customer orders;
  • Rapid adaptation of the new structure of a supply chain – quick reaction according to market changes;
  • Becoming an effective and successful network organization – acquire a unique and valuable position by performing different activities in logistics and manufacturing in a highly competitive environment;


Different modules of APS can integrate the entire network and create an efficient production environment. Novacura Flow software can fill the gaps of ERP systems with a closer integration of modules, that are relevant to wide manufacturing network requirements and supply chain demand. Novacura Flow has many solutions for manufacturing planning and control systems that were already implemented in environments of customers from different industries.

Your organization can implement APS with Novacura. Relying on our experience, the planning concept of your organization can be developed regarding your operational needs. With our offer, you can achieve certain economic goals without wasting the provided resources. Referring to possible profits and increasing production potential, your organization can improve efficiency. This aspect corresponds to benefits from a social and environmental perspective.

Contact us today to see how you can implement an APS system with Novacura solutions.