Production Planning and Control (PPC)

Exploit the latest methods and technologies for greater efficiency, flexibility, profitability and customer satisfaction

Optimizing your production planning and control (PPC) process boosts the performance and therefore the competitiveness of your business. However, a more individualized, variant-rich manufacturing scheme also makes process control a good deal more complex. Processes can also be disrupted by supply chain risks and unpredictable market developments.

A high degree of process maturity lets your business address such challenges more easily. Read on to discover how to maximize the gains from your investments in the PPC process.

Business potentials of modern production planning and control

How can you ensure that manufacturing makes the greatest possible contribution to your value-adding process? By installing a production planning and control process that gives you maximum efficiency, productivity and cost control. In addition to profitable resource utilization, this includes optimized cycle times and manufacturing throughput. All workflows focus on delivering high-quality products on time, boosting customer satisfaction and ensuring long-term loyalty.

The production planning and control process also has business relevance because it is a strong resilience tool in a polycrisis environment. In this context, the key benefit is that you can flexibly adapt the process to changing conditions at any time, e.g. to address supply chain problems.

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Why is the Production Planning & Control process so important?

Because it makes your business more responsive and agile when internal or external events impede your manufacturing processes – e.g. when you face resource shortages and have to fall back on substitute materials. The goal of PPC is to safeguard your business continuity at all times.

PPC gives you that continuity by letting you rapidly adapt your production plans and resource allocation. You always have a reliable 360° view of your production process, and that lets you improve the way your business units collaborate. Working together, they can find solutions and take effective countermeasures more easily.

Collaboration and transparent information-sharing even lets you manage overarching issues like supply chain adjustments with ease. That level of security can be yours – even in insecure times.

A well-functioning production planning and control system contributes strongly to improved performance data and cost structures in product creation.

How does the process help you?

  • It helps identify the most efficient methods for providing the products and services your customers want.
  • It ensures smooth, cost-effective production workflows.
  • It reduces product reject rates and reworking effort.
  • Your PPC allocates resources so as to ensure optimal use of machinery, materials and staff resources. This means less downtime, fewer production logjams and lower production costs. Production targets can be achieved without overtime or additional resource input.
  • Thanks to precise, just-in-time production resource planning and scheduling, your inventories remain cost-efficient.
  • PPC enables the use and predictive analysis of workflow and performance data, letting you identify and counteract structural risks.
Increasing PPC efficiency
  • Reconciling production capacity with demand
  • Considering all constraints during the planning process
  • Building mutually supportive process steps

The production planning and control process has already been used e.g. for lean management purposes for many years. But we are only now beginning to understand just how important the maturity level of this process actually is.

A 2020 study concluded that in the production technology industry, progress in digital transformation remains slow. However, business awareness of the challenges associated with complexity management, agility and process security has grown sharply since then.

What the process offers you

Responsiveness at all times

React quickly and flexibly to changing conditions e.g. regarding resources or supply chains, even in times of polycrisis.

Cost-efficient production

Lean inventories, optimal resource use and low reject rates all save costs.

Added value

Boosting the efficiency of your production lets you fulfill your value proposition and deliver on time, even in challenging conditions.

How does production planning and control add value?

Process goal: Maximum efficiency

Production planning and control aims to maximize value creation by making manufacturing processes as efficient and effective as possible. The central goal is to reconcile production capacity with customer demand, because that is the only way to guarantee that the right number of products with the requisite quality can be delivered on time.

To realize this goal, your production planning team develops production order plans that take all relevant constraints into account, e.g. capacity limits in terms of machinery, materials, staff resources and factory space.

PPC thus synchronizes a wide range of production aspects, including scheduling, resource allocation, inventory management and quality assurance.

How the process works

Production planning addresses and resolves aspects such as:

  • Primary requirements planning: Production quantities and delivery dates for intermediate and end products
  • Capacity planning: Required production capacities (machinery, personnel, etc.) for the planned production volumes
  • Scheduling: Detailed planning of production orders and cycle times to ensure on-time delivery
  • Materials planning: Calculation of material requirements and purchasing of raw materials, precursor products and operating resources
  • Staff planning: Personnel requirements, including the required number of staff, deployment times and skills
  • Machine and facility planning: Allocation of machinery and plant facilities, including maintenance times and management of machine replacement
  • Quality planning: Quality standards and procedures as well as quality assurance and validation measures during the production process

Production planning determines the overall content of manufacturing and defines the relevant sub-processes. Production control, on the other hand, determines the actual sequence of order processing in terms of target attainment.

Maximum value creation throughout the entire production cycle

As a process, production planning and control enables optimally coordinated planning of all production capacities. It addresses scheduling, resource allocation, inventory management and quality assurance, along with all their sub-processes and workflows, to guarantee target attainment.

Process steps in production planning & control

Sales and operations planning (S&OP)

The plan for production and sale of products reconciles sales forecasts, production capacities and financial targets.

Master production schedule (MPS)

Based on the S&OP, the planning team develops a schedule of production activities for a timeline of 6 – 18 months.

Short-term production scheduling

Based on the MPS, short-term production plans are developed for a timeline of 1 – 4 weeks.

Production activity control (PAC)

Feedback gained during ongoing production enables continual monitoring of production progress and adjustment e.g. to manage bottlenecks, machine failure, staff shortages, etc.

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Transformation tasks for production planning & control

In many businesses, the situation on the ground shows that insufficient investment in digital maturity hampers process success. For instance, the planning software is often not sufficiently supported. In addition, self-developed Excel lists may still be in use.

Weaknesses also arise from poor data quality due to a lack of integration with the ERP and MES systems, coupled perhaps with patchy, analog collaboration between planning and manufacturing/assembly. Status updates may fail to arrive, feedback may be incomplete or come too late.

In such companies, the PPC process only works on the basis of staff knowledge and experience – and if this silo expertise is not fully documented, it may be lost when a given employee leaves the company. All these aspects lead to a high level of manual work and make planning inflexible.

Paving the way to process success

Digitalization and a state-of-the-art APS system offer you flexibility in production planning and control.

How can you improve your PPC system?

The key to an efficient, high-performing process lies in raising the digitalization level of your business. Supported by modern software, digitalization enables optimal processing of planning and control tasks; seamless integration with the ERP and MES systems delivers complete, up-to-date information and permits automated writeback of planning results.

Such a modernization effort also benefits collaboration, because workflows can be coordinated across business units more easily. Workflow-based processes let you react more quickly and help to prevent planning errors. In sum, a higher degree of digital process maturity is a milestone on the road to dynamic end-to-end planning – the end goal that any business management should be striving for.

The required changes in performance and efficiency can be achieved by introducing software applications like Advanced Planning Systems (APS). These applications feature AI-based support tools that far outperform traditional PPC systems. APS systems enable detailed, more efficient production planning and control.

They produce highly realistic planning outputs and rely on optimization algorithms to automatically take any capacity constraints into account.

An APS solution lets your planners simulate scenarios, analyze plan feasibility and fine-tune plan variants to reach the ideal production plan. The software drastically increases the agility of your production planning because it also permits short-term (re-)scheduling. All impacts on machine and staff capacity are automatically taken into account.

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DELMIA Ortems What do you need for state-of-the-art production planning in manufacturing? A software that boosts flexibility, optimizes production, provides wide-ranging simulation capabilities and increases resource efficiency – a software like DELMIA Ortems. Read more about

Achieving your management targets

Digitally transforming your production planning and control system decisively boosts your flexibility. The process can now act as an important resilience factor, giving you options for dynamically adapting your planning to confront changing conditions or expectations. Since you can take all interdependencies into consideration, this benefits all segments of your product creation.

Optimizing PPC yields better performance levels across your entire product creation process. It ensures that you can add multi-variant manufacturing and smart products to your portfolio.

Modern technologies and digital functions also boost your employees’ job quality. Automated workflows make task handling easier, improve collaboration across business units and thus help eliminate any silo mentality.

Consistent digitalization in production planning and control significantly improves your manufacturing KPIs and the quality of upstream and downstream processes: Reference values reliably rise by more than 10 percent, and in the field of excellence potentially by more than 20 percent.

Resilience in times of polycrisis

Production planning and control lets you respond flexibly to changing conditions while taking all interdependencies into account.

Boosting efficiency and adding value

The digitalized process ensures optimal performance and cost structuring throughout the product creation process.

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