Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software

Get the best advanced planning and scheduling (APS) software for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.

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EnterpriseIQ Screenshot
EnterpriseIQ
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EnterpriseIQ by IQMS provides a wealth of business management functionality from a single source, on a single database. Only EnterpriseIQ totally integrates manufacturing and accounting with a complete suite of modules…
Client OS
Windows
PlanetTogether Screenshot
PlanetTogether is an advanced planning and schedule platform (APS) for manufacturers to integrate in with their existing ERP software. The software aims to better your supply chain planning through faster delivery, higher…
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Starting Price
$250/month/user
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Preactor APS Screenshot
Preactor APS
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Preactor APS is an advanced planning and scheduling (APS) software that can help manufacturers respond to shorter lead times and satisfy customer demands. Preactor APS provide long-term strategic planning over months and…
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
FACTIVITY APS Screenshot
FACTIVITY APS
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(3)
FACTIVITY APS is an advanced planning and scheduling software that is apart of the FACTIVITY suite of manufacturing solutions. FACTIVITY APS helps improve yoyur production process, lower costs, and improve on time delivery…
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Starting Price
$50,000 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Epicor E10 ERP Screenshot
Epicor E10 ERP
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Guided by the need of today’s users, Epicor ERP is a global enterprise resource planning solution that delivers the choice, flexibility and agility to drive growth and opportunity throughout your business. Track, measure, and…
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Starting Price
$175/month/user
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
FELIOS Screenshot
FELIOS is an advanced planning system (APS) that enables cross-departmental synchronization of production processes with cutsomer requirements and delievery dates. This is provided through: Optimized planning with limited…
Global Shop Solutions ERP Software Screenshot
Global Shop Solutions ERP Software
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Global Shop Solutions simplifies your manufacturing.” Global Shop Solutions ERP software provides the applications needed to deliver a quality part on time, every time from quote to cash and everything in between including…
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Windows, iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Plex Cloud ERP Screenshot
Plex Cloud ERP is a cloud manufacturing ERP software that helps lower costs while scaling seamlessly with your business. In a time when manufacturers are beset by an uncertain economy rising steel prices, and global…
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Starting Price
$3,000/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Acumatica ERP Screenshot
Acumatica ERP
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Acumatica is a cloud ERP system designed for the SMB market. Acumatica includes functionality for financial management, customer management, project accounting, distribution management, manufacturing management, field service…
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Starting Price
$12,800/year
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
TACTIC Screenshot
Waterloo Manufacturing Software’s TACTIC system is designed to be used as both production scheduling software, and advanced planning and scheduling software (APS software). Production scheduling software, (also called…
Client OS
Windows
Deployment
On-Premises
Optessa Screenshot
Optessa is a manufacturing planning, scheduling, and sequencing software. Optessa comes in three main forms: Optessa MLP; Optessa MLS; and Optessa RTS. Less frequent rescheduling or replanning necessitated merely by uneven…
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Starting Price
$5,000/month
Client OS
Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Dynamics 365 Business Central Screenshot
Dynamics 365 Business Central
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Get a complete business and financial management solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central makes ordering, selling, invoicing, and reporting easier—starting on day one. Video…
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$40/month/user
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
E2 Shop System Screenshot
E2 Shop System
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The E2 Shop System enables shop owners to effectively control all aspects of shop activity, while simultaneously and effectively managing profitability. Whether it’s your front office or shop floor that you’re concerned…
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Starting Price
$4,995 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Mac, Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
WorkClout Screenshot
WorkClout
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WorkClout is a manufacturing software for planning and scheduling people, machines, and processes for production. WorkClout has a goal of getting your production ahead of schedule and make you better at producing or…
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Starting Price
$99/month/user
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web, Windows
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Delfoi Planner Screenshot
Delfoi Planner is a web-based APS for advanced multi-site planning and production scheduling. Deloi Planner is a user-friendly software providing a visual advanced planning and scheduling solution with shop floor execution…
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
OptiProERP Screenshot
OptiProERP is a cloud and on-premise manufacturing ERP solution for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in discrete manufacturing and distribution. OptiProERP’s manufacturing-specific solution is built into SAP Business One…
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Android, Mac, Web, Windows, Linux, iOS
Deployment
Cloud or On-Premises
Made2Manage ERP Screenshot
Made2Manage ERP
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Made2Manage provides full ERP capabilities for custom manufacturers centered on a “casual” bill-of-material for making complex products, while continuing with design and engineering activity. Active product support and…
OPS: Optimal Path System Screenshot
JITbase is a smart manufacturing system that uses machine data and information from CNC programs to calculate the optimal sequence of machinist activities on the shop floor. The Optimal Path System (OPS) is based on…
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Starting Price
$100/month/terminal
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted

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Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software Buyer’s Guide

What Is Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software?

Advanced planning and scheduling (APS) software helps manufacturers designate raw materials and production capacity to balance demand and plant capacity to their most optimal fulfillment level. APS software will plan and schedule production based on available materials, labor, and plant capacity. The solutions track the costs involved in the production process, measures overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), and improve material requirements planning (MRP).

APS software creates optimal production schedules while minimizing downtime and errors. Visual schedules and GANTT charts can give a view of your entire production planning process, which identifies the best start times, the best machines to use, and the availability of workers, tools, and sub-assemblies.

APS software coordinates a manufacturer’s sales, production, purchasing, and transportation. Companies can calculate demand, monitor raw material availability, create production schedules based on this demand and any constraints they have, optimize their production schedules within their resource availability constraints, and fluctuate production plans and schedules based on demand.

The planning part of APS software looks at the long-term while the scheduling part of APS software looks at the short-term.

  • Planning aggregates the forecast and the supply while putting them into time slots. The objective is to determine what to make or produce in each time slot, how to make it, and how much to make.
  • Scheduling sequences the jobs and creates a list that is released to the shop floor while honoring any and all constraints.
EnterpriseIQ Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software
IQMS provides manufacturing scheduling and production planning via their EnterpriseIQ solution.

Features of APS Software

  • Demand Planning: Collects historical data on order volumes and inventory turns while mixing it with continually updated forecasts from separate units of the business (primarily sales, marketing, and operations) to make more informed supply chain decisions.
  • Production Scheduling: Generate resource and material constrained schedules. Determines the need for materials and capacity in order to complete a manufacturing production order. Includes drag and drop capabilities for “what-if” analysis.
  • Constraint Management: Includes visual identification of activities that are delayed due to resource capacity and/or material availability limits (capacity and material bottlenecks).
  • Order Management: Captures, tracks, and fulfills orders across multiple sales channels by connecting inventory and sales orders, creating shipping schedules, tracking fulfillment, and creating reports. Includes alerts, pegging views, statuses, and watches.
  • KPIs: Includes impact analysis and analytics surrounding your order management, capacity, productivity, and financial commitments.
PlanetTogether Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software
Monitor production schedules in PlanetTogether.

Benefits of Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software

Advanced planning and scheduling software solves the issues of:

  • Late deliveries due to manufacturing delays
  • Missed sales due to demand exceeding capacity
  • Lost orders due to excessive work-in-process
  • High production costs due to machine ineffectiveness (such as downtime)
  • Excessive overhead due to managing scheduling changes and the impact on delivery schedule
  • Difficult to plan for future capacity requirements

The more resources you have to manage, the more overwhelming the planning and scheduling process becomes. Each business will have different ideas of what benefits they want out of an advanced planning and scheduling software. In reading some of the top benefits of APS software, businesses should find out how flexible the solution needs to be (does it need to be rigid with predefined features, or can you live without some benefits while you address key concerns?).

Improve Your Manufacturing Process with APS Software

Advanced planning and scheduling software will help you generate manufacturing orders or purchase orders in order to satisfy your demand. This goes hand in hand with creating production and purchase plans to ensure you can meet any current or anticipated demand.

APS software will also provide better visibility into your inventory. Visual charts and inventory grids can help identify shortages in your inventory which can alert staff to reorder or even trigger an automatic reorder point. Likewise, excess inventory can be recorded and given proper attention.

Inventory planning can let you search for adjustments with items, item quantity, total supply, final quantity, and whether or not those items are being used by any MRP system.

FACTIVITY APS Part Scheduler Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software
A part scheduler in FACTIVITY APS.

Support Important Managerial Decision Making

Advanced planning and scheduling solutions are used by managers to better improve their decision making when it comes to production demands, production sequences, and any predicted changes in production. APS software helps your business react to real-time production efficiency changes or the impact that changes in your scheduling may have on your business.

Examples include machine breakdown or parts being scrapped. Advanced scheduling supports what-if scenarios such as:

  • “What is the cost of accepting an urgent order?”
  • “Will prioritizing a new urgent order hurt our completion time for other pending orders?”
  • “Can we afford to pay our employees overtime to complete this job?”
  • “When can we move a machine into a maintenance stage without slowing down production?”

APS software will help you see the true effect of each scenario. Most solutions will be able to provide a dashboard or KPIs that can help visually show managers the effect their decisions will have.

Delfoi Planner APS Software
Get KPIs with APS software such as Delfoi Planner.

Integrate Your Operations With ERP, MES, and Supply Chain Systems

Advanced planning and scheduling systems are a great addition to existing manufacturing software environments. They help aid in managing your manufacturing processes that are usually performed by one or multiple:

Integration wizards are included in a few APS solutions. Other times, an APS software vendor may specialize in integrating their solution with a specific ERP or MES. The biggest benefit of having complete integration with other business management systems is to have a complete view of your operations.

Anytime you receive new sales orders, hire new workers, or purchase new machines, businesses will want to avoid duplicate entry or having to transfer data from one system to another. Businesses will want a system that can seamlessly transfer data from the planning and scheduling phase into their ERP solution.

Production Planning with APS Software

Proper production planning will utilize the resource allocation of employees, materials, and capacity to ensure the wants and needs of all customers can be met. A production planning module in APS software has the goal of determining the required product mix, matching the desired production level to existing resources, scheduling the work, and creating orders for your employees and facilities to follow.

Once orders have been planned, production starts. However, urgent requests or rushes may come through which can throw a wrench into your original production plan. How will you meet your existing deadlines? How can we avoid the costs involved with late deliveries? How do we schedule new urgent orders with confidence?

Proper production planning with APS software can avoid these headaches by ensuring a smooth production order processing, reliable planning and delivery dates, and optimized costs and resource utilization. APS software will let you plan orders based on current production stages while maximizes the throughput to ensure all orders are delivered on time.

Preactor APS Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software
Preactor APS lets you monitoring stock, demand, orders, and forecasts.

MRP Improvements with APS Software

Material requirements planning, or MRP software, helps streamline the manufacturing process through production planning, scheduling, and inventory control. Similar to APS software, MRP also aids in inventory and production schedules to produce products and complete manufacturing jobs. An MRP system determines which assemblies must be built, what materials must be purchased, and the order in which to build products to meet customer due dates.

APS software can be thought of as an enhancement to an MRP process. The information that goes into APS software includes your forecast, your stock levels, and your sales orders. You also need to include your resource capabilities and your target stock levels defined by stock-keeping units (SKUs). The output in APS software is an achievable production load for the desired product.

When your forecast for shipments exceeds your capacity, you must change the scheduled production, or move the production to another area or facility that can meet production within any time constraints. To determine the best movement for your production, you’ll need software that can handle “what if” scenarios, which will let you find the best fit with no capacity issues.

In comparison to MRP software, APS software can increase throughput while reducing work in process and your raw material inventory.

WorkClout APS Software
Production planning and scheduling are core parts of material requirements planning (MRP).

Production Scheduling Software vs. APS Software

The biggest difference between production scheduling software and advanced planning and scheduling software is in the name. Both options will be able to provide near-identical functionality but are likely being marketed under different terms.

Other synonyms for the software include production planning software and advanced production scheduling software. Some argue that production scheduling is just one of the many features included within APS software, which implies that APS software is (as the name implies) an advanced version of production scheduling software.

At their core, both production scheduling software and APS software will have the capability to upload a number of orders that need to be processed according to specific operations and specific product routings. Both systems will be able to create a schedule that can be viewed in various ways but typically viewed as a GANTT chart. These charts will detail how production of orders will take place across different processes.

In many cases, the end-user can modify the production schedule and use various “what-if” scenarios to play around with different situations on the production floor. In addition to calculating material consumption, APS systems can prevent the scheduling of production orders after any material has run out, as well as automatically generate supply orders once any material has partially run out.

FELIOS APS Software
FELIOS from INFORM Software could be considered both a production scheduling software and an APS software.