Industry experience a need to shift in focus from internal production planning towards planning in the supply network. In this respect customer oriented thinking becomes almost a common good amongst companies in the supply network. An increase in the use of information technology is needed to enable companies to better tune their production planning with customers and suppliers. Information technology opportunities and supply chain planning systems facilitate companies to monitor and control their supplier network. In spite if these developments, most links in today's supply chains make individual plans, because the real demand information is not available throughout the chain. The current systems and processes of the supply chains are not designed to meet the requirements now placed upon them. For long term relationships with suppliers and customers, an integrated decision-making process is needed in order to obtain a satisfactory result for all parties. Especially when customized production and short lead-time is in focus. An effective value chain makes inventory available and visible among the value chain members, minimizes response time and optimizes total inventory value held throughout the chain. In this paper a supply chain planning classification grid is presented based current manufacturing classifications and supply chain planning initiatives.
The paper discusses the basic functionality of planning and scheduling in Advanced Planning and Scheduling systems (APS). Three basic planning options - unconstrained planning, constrained planning and optimization are analyzed by use of theory and examples based on test of an APS system. Even though the planning functionality are radically improved compared to MRP and MRP II, the balance between the objectives are found to be too rigid. This conclusion is based on a number of examples, comparing the outcome of different objectives such as constraints based planning versus optimized planning.