Executive Summary

  • This article is part of our honest vendor series, which is one of the only ratings of vendors rather than applications.
  • The vendor quality is critical to the decision making process as software purchases have a high long term involvement by the software vendor.

Introduction

PlanetTogether is an unlikely company to have developed what we consider the most innovative and best production and planning scheduling application for anything but cumbersome process industries. (see our article on why process industries require specialized software.) PlanetTogether is an innovation machine.  

In just the past few years PlanetTogether has developed several important innovations that no other software vendor has – and these are innovations that go directly to some of the most vexing challenges that face production planning and scheduling projects. With PlanetTogether, we are always looking forward to what is coming next.

Quality of Information Provided

We rate the quality of the information provided PlanetTogether as better than average. One of the things that PlanetTogether could do a better job on is explaining “why PlanetTogether,” versus other applications. It is challenging because PlanetTogether has so much functionality and does not have the marketing budget of larger software vendors. Furthermore, the product is dealing in a complex space and is dealing with a large amount of marketing misinformation from software vendors and SAP and Oracle, which need to confuse their customers to sell them subpar solutions.

To understand what makes PlanetTogether’s application so unique, one would need to have sufficient exposure to several production planning and scheduling projects in different environments. For instance of the differentiator for PlanetTogether is how it performs optimization, which is fundamentally superior to just about every other optimizer in not only the production planning space but also within parts of the supply planning space as well. This is explained in the SCM Focus Press book Superplant: Creating a Nimble Manufacturing Enterprise with Adaptive Planning Software. PlantTogether already had leading simulation capabilities for years before they developed their CoPilot, which automates simulation, performing it in the background and bringing up new simulation versions to the user’s attention when they have been created.

However, how many buyers understand this in a way that will allow them to draw these distinctions? These details turn out to make a big difference in implementations and have lead to many buyers struggling with dated technologies that are posing as leading edge. When buyers are exposed to PlanetTogether’s sales process, many buyers seem to think that PlanetTogether is simply a more expensive Preactor, or a less expensive PP/DS. We estimate that even many buyers don’t realize entirely what they have until years after they have made their purchase. For this reason, we recommend spending more time with PlanetTogether than most software vendors, because it takes a while to appreciate their application fully.

Consulting and Support

The major consulting companies do not yet implement PlanetTogether, and this means excellent value for buyers. Many of PlanetTogether’s implementations do not have the consultant on the project 100% of the time, and therefore the consulting value is excellent. Most of the PlanetTogether consultants have been at the company for quite some time, and getting answers to questions is usually very fast. We would know, as we have run the application, and have frequently gone to them for questions. For most of PlanetTogether’s history, they tended to have smaller clients. However, that has begun to change in the past few years, with the company completing a 28 plant implementation.

Internal Efficiency

PlanetTogether has little hierarchy and is positioned to enter the supply planning space and to do it in a way that has not been done before, and which has a more integrated relationship between supply and production planning. Currently, PlanetTogether is the only software vendor that we see attempting to address this question. The only concern we have with PlanetTogether is some large software vendors may attempt to purchase them, killing the steady stream of innovation that PlanetTogether has created and replacing it with bureaucracy, price increases, management intrigue, and marketing hyperbole. PlanetTogether’s management has assured us that they intend to remain independent, and in fact, they provided us with this quotation.

We are focused on long-term growth rather than selling the company anytime soon, and that we’ve actually turned down several acquisition offers over recent years to back it up. We are debt free, have been in business 10 years and in the industry for 20 and are having way too much fun to change.

Innovation

Currently, only four software vendors rate a perfect 10 in innovation, and PlanetTogether is one of the four.

Vendor Scores

Honest Vendor Ratings

Search for the vendor in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table. Shortening Key: 
  • VC = Vendor Consulting
  • VS = Vendor Support
  • QIP = Quality of Information Provided
  • IE = Internal Efficiency
  • I = Innovation
  • C = Category
  • ACS = Average Category Score
VendorVCVSQIPIEICACG
Average Score for the BI Heavy Software Category6.45.35.14.54.4BI HeavyCategory Average
Average Score for the BI Light Software Category7.76.756.36.8BI LightCategory Average
Average Score for the CRM Software Category5.24.44.33.43.4CRMCategory Average
Average Score for the PLM Software Category7.37.56.36.26.3PLMCategory Average
Average Score for the Production Planning Software Category7.36.765.25.7Production PlanningCategory Average
Average Score for the Small and Medium ERP Software Category7.36.76.36.75.9Small and Medium ERPCategory Average
Average Score for the Supply Planning Software Category7.56.76.15.55.6Supply PlanningCategory Average
Average Score Score for the Demand Planning Software Category7.76.96.66.16.1Demand PlanningCategory Average
Average Score for the Big ERP Software Category4.73.82.72.22.6Big ERPCategory Average
Actuate77865BI HeavyApplication Specific
Arena Solutions91010810PLMApplication Specific
AspenTech43437Production PlanningApplication Specific
Base CRM88997CRMApplication Specific
Birst8888.59BI HeavyApplication Specific
Business Forecast Systems991098Demand PlanningApplication Specific
Delfoi888.548Production PlanningApplication Specific
Demand Works99101010Supply PlanningApplication Specific
ERPNext888.5109Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
FinancialForce10109109.5FinancialApplication Specific
Hamilton Grant89.589.58PLMApplication Specific
Intacct1010999.5FinancialApplication Specific
Intuit88966.5FinancialApplication Specific
JDA3.53422Demand PlanningApplication Specific
Microsoft45211Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
MicroStrategy87777BI HeavyApplication Specific
NetSuite65644CRMApplication Specific
OpenERP788.587Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
Oracle52111ManyApplication Specific
PlanetTogether91081010Supply PlanningApplication Specific
Preactor787.533Production PlanningApplication Specific
ProcessPro1089109Small and Medium ERPApplication Specific
QlikTech87589.5CRMApplication Specific
Salesforce73866CRMApplication Specific
SAS971077Demand PlanningApplication Specific
SugarCRM44553CRMApplication Specific
Tableau101091010BI LightApplication Specific
Teradata98.58.568BI HeavyApplication Specific
ToolsGroup1010999Demand PlanningApplication Specific
SAP53111ManyApplication Specific

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Software Selection Package for Supply Planning

Software Selection Package for Production Planning