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The importance of capable information systems in production planning: the Bondalti case

04 February 2021
Article by Carolina Pinto , trainee consultant in Industrial Engineering and Management at INEGI.


Agility and flexibility are the keywords that characterise the most successful companies in today's global economy. Why? Because when the market fluctuates, as it is inevitable and more and more frequent, the ones who win is those able to make agile decisions and who have processes with a high level of flexibility to be able to respond to the new demands of the market.

The adoption of the right information system is a crucial step to lead to good decision making, as this is only possible with accurate, readily available and easily accessible information. An Advanced Production Planning System is defined as any program that uses advanced mathematical algorithms to define the most optimised production plan according to the defined criteria (eg margin, stock level, etc. .).

To this end, these systems take into account a set of restrictions - minimum production, production and storage capacities, among others - based on the specifics of the company.

All information systems aim to assist in the decision-making process, and to that end, they collect, process and distribute information related to production control. This "smart" analysis makes it possible to increase OEE (Global Equipment Efficiency), reduce planning effort, and decrease costs.

There are currently four types of information systems that facilitate the production and supply chain planning process1 supporting the flow of materials through an information flow:

- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

- Manufacturing Execution System (MES)

- Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS)

- Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Bondalti: improving the planning processes of this industrial producer with the right information system

Aware of the importance of having useful and timely information for an organization's success, Bondalti, which, according to Teresa Marques, Deputy Director of Integrated Production and Energy Planning, "always seeks to apply the best available technologies and practices", teamed up with the Engineering and Industrial Management consulting team at INEGI. The objective was to improve and train the information system to support the company's planning processes.

Bondalti has 122 years of history and is the largest Portuguese producer in the industrial chemistry sector. Positioned upstream in the value chain of its products, the vast majority of these have applicability in the most varied industries and purposes. With the support of INEGI's team of specialists, they aimed to select an integrated solution to support production planning, whether market-based or tailor-made, ensuring, in any case and when necessary, integration with current information systems.

For the reasons already mentioned, the choice of an information system is not a mere detail, but a process that involves considering the particularities of the operation, and the risks and benefits of each solution, since the final choice has a great impact on company efficiency and business profitability.

In this sense, we have been working with the Bondalti team in the characterization of the current planning methodology of the company and definition of the respective rules and critical drivers. Following this project, we will specify the requirements of the information system and build a shortlist of possible solutions.

It is essential, during the selection process, to consider factors such as compatibility, scalability, integration and security, in addition to compliance with company requirements. Still regarding the choice of the system supplier, it must be guaranteed that it understands the specific needs of the sector and that it provides future support for the continuous growth of the company's business.

Information systems play an active role in creating value, and this choice should never be left to chance. When it comes to managing a complex manufacturing environment, as is the case with Bondalti, selecting or developing and putting an information system into practice is even more crucial.



Referências

1. Mauergauz, Y. (2016). Advanced planning and scheduling in manufacturing and supply chains. In Advanced Planning and Scheduling in Manufacturing and Supply Chains. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27523-9