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AMR Research Cites Benefits at Gorton's

On March 23, 2006, AMR Research released a case study entitled "Gorton's Borrows from Lean, Lands Benefits" authored by Mark Hillman, Lora Cecere and Colin Masson in which Planscape's technology is cited for enabling significant working capital reductions. Some select quotes:

"Gorton's decided it was time to replace their existing Advanced Planning System (APS) with an off-the-shelf product that included a detailed finite capacity scheduler. The anticipated benefits: Improved factory scheduling and better cross-company manufacturing visibility of demand. After an extensive search for software in 2002-2003, the company selected and implemented a system for manufacturing scheduling from Planscape Technologies for their internal operations. Planners now use Planscape to plan factory schedules 14-16 weeks into the future with visibility into the impact on inventory, labor and production scenarios against an entire year's worth of demand."

"At one facility, changeover cycle times were compressed through continuous improvement (kaizen) processes from 1-2 hours per changeover down to an average changeover time of 15-36 minutes to correspond to break and lunch times.

The Planscape scheduling system leverages this new flexibility and lower cost of changeovers, and has increased the number of changeovers from 50-100 per year to over 1000. Given the previous improvements from Lean and Gorton's long-term experience with APS systems, the results were dramatic.

The result: Since implementing these changes, customer service has remained at 99%+ and working capital decreased an additional 20%. The factories could respond to demand changes in an unprecedented way, at "crunch" times working with 40% less inventory without service disruptions."

"Balance is essential: While the Lean processes deliver immediate benefits, balancing inventory and customer services objectives in a high product mix, seasonal and highly volatile demand environment can not be achieved without the implementation of a system for demand-driven scheduling."

Source: Mark Hillman, Lora Cecere, Colin Masson, AMR Research, "Gorton's Borrows from Lean, Lands Benefits," March 23, 2006

To view the entire case study, visit AMR Research.