Almost all companies that are using or implementing S&OP solutions have run into a wall because of the system’s lack of capability to produce executable plans. The answer, has been and continues to be, get an execution system such as factory planning and execution and “integrate” the two. This approach leads to inconsistency of plans, and data and decision latency. Plans are too much or too little for execution and issues in execution are not communicated to the planning process in real-time. A lot of manual intervention is needed to correct the plans and produce workable plans, which are far from optimal plans.
Two different models and two different logic making own decisions can lead to inaccurate commit dates, under-utilization of resources, creation of unnecessary bottlenecks and production of improper product mix. Unless the plans are in touch with execution in real-time, it would be impossible to respond to customers’ requests in real-time. Sharing the same data, however, allows immediate response whether it is ATP or CTP with accuracy and what is realistically possible. This formation also allows response to events and continuous planning. Unless there is a unified environment of planning and execution, continuous planning is not possible. The advantages of share memory technology are many, some of which are described below.
- Real-time Adaptability: Shared memory systems allow for real-time sharing of data between planning and execution modules. This means that the system can quickly adapt to changing conditions or unexpected events, making it highly responsive to dynamic environments.
- Synchronization: Shared memory provides a way for planning and execution modules to synchronize their activities. Planning function can update shared data structures with new plans, and execution function can access these plans directly from shared memory, ensuring that they are always working with the most current information.
- Efficiency: Integrating planning and execution in shared memory systems can lead to more efficient use of system resources. Since both functions can access shared data without the need for complex inter-process communication mechanisms, system overheads are reduced, leading to faster decision-making and execution. In other words, no need for tedious integration and maintenance thereof.
- Simplified Communication: Shared memory eliminates the need for explicit message passing between planning and execution functions. This simplifies the overall system architecture and reduces the complexity of software development. Modules can communicate by reading from and writing to shared memory locations, streamlining the flow of information. Thus, no data and decision latency.
- Consistency: Shared memory ensures consistency of data between planning and execution functions. Changes made by one module are immediately visible to others, preventing conflicts and ensuring that the system operates based on a unified and consistent understanding of the environment.
- Resource Sharing: Planning and execution functions can share resources efficiently through shared memory. For example, both planning function and execution function share the same database, same memory and same set of servers.
- Fault Tolerance: Shared memory systems can be designed with fault tolerance mechanisms. If one function fails, other modules can still access the shared data and continue the operation, ensuring that the system remains functional even in the presence of failures. Thus, making the system holistic.
In summary, having both planning and execution in shared memory systems offers real-time adaptability, efficient communication, and streamlined resource sharing and the ability to perform a continuum of planning and execution rather than a piecemeal approach. These benefits make shared memory an attractive choice for supply chains that need to be resilient and agile. For more information on shared memory technology and continuum of planning and execution click Here.