MUFI Rating & Risk – Preactor
MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability
Vendor: Preactor (Select For Vendor Profile)
Preactor is a UK based company that has developed a fast to implement and relatively easy to use production planning and scheduling application. Preactor is the most widely sold production planning and scheduling application in the world.
Preactor is a simple to production planning and scheduling application. It works off of heuristics, which are rules of thumb for making adjustments to the schedule.
What is referred to as APS rules are Preactor’s name for heuristics. Examples of heuristics are to address selective bottlenecks in the schedule or to schedule forward or backward. Preactor ships with some standard heuristics, but also allows for the use of custom scheduling rules or what is known as a custom heuristic which is developed for a specific client. These custom heuristics are written in C sharp for the future custom heuristic. Clients can make their custom heuristics one they learn how.
Preactor can simulate, but it is extremely limited. For instance, as heuristics are run the application shows the scores as per the following KPIs.
- One Time
- Late Cost
- Setup Cost
- Inventory Cost
The values at the bottom of the screen change with adjustments to the schedule.
Preactor does not have an ability to take snapshots of these factors, but any analyst could of course type the numbers into a spreadsheet – and by placing the weights for the different KPIs, could develop a suitable output. However, this is a time-consuming way to find a solution and leaves a lot of better possible solutions on the table. Heuristic planning places a lot of the planning effort back onto the planner or scheduler.
Preactor has a poor user interface. It is easier to use than PP/DS but is only rated by us to be slightly better than PP/DS. When jobs are clicked and dragged during manual adjustment there is a somewhat limited ability to make system adjustments after this manual adjustment. It’s difficult to see factory planners and schedulers rapidly taking to this application.
Preactor is a lightweight application, but it is also not designed for large data volumes. This means that multiple instances of Preactor can be created to keep the data levels down, which is effective if as in many instances the customer is not trying to manage its many plants as part of a Superplant.
Preactor is a basic and relatively inexpensive application. It may be the right choice for companies that are just looking for a small improvement and at a low cost over whatever they are currently using. Of all the applications that we cover in this software category, Preactor can go live the most quickly. However, its long-term planning output quality will never be high because of the limited functionality within the application.
Vendor and Application Risk
Software Decisions Risk Defined: (See This Link for Our Categorization of Risk)
Preactor is a relatively simple implementation. Most companies that are implementing Preactor are coming from ERP systems combined with Excel, not exactly a tough challenge to beat. Preactor does not have a very usable user interface, but it is usable enough to “get the job done,” and it is an improvement over whatever the combined system is that the vast majority of production planners/schedulers are presently using.
Likelihood of Implementation Success
Risk Management Approach
Preactor can provide a relatively quick boost in production planning and scheduling efficiency over ERP/Excel. There are no special requirements to implement Preactor efficiently.