Executive Summary

  • This is the Brightwork Research & Analysis software rating series.
  • We rate both the software and estimate the risk of implementing each application.

MUFI Rating & Risk for PlanetTogether Galaxy APS Superplant

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: PlanetTogether Galaxy APS (Select For Vendor Profile)

Introduction

PlanetTogether has created a substantial portion of the overall applied innovation in production planning and scheduling over the past ten years. PlanetTogether is known as a production planning and scheduling software vendor. However, PlanetTogether’s Galaxy APS has a supply planning functionality that no other software vendor presently offers. This feature is of interest to buyers that manage multiple plants in a way that the plants feed one another as if the overall complex were part of a single “Superplant.”

Application Detail

Galaxy APS is not an easy application on which to write. This is because it contains so much functionality, and this functionality is so unique in its design. Even many of PlanetTogether’s current customers do not know what the application can do because its functionality is so deep that a buying company may only be deploying a small fraction of Galaxy APS’s functionality. The entry of PlanetTogether in our Software Selection Package for Production Planning covers the Galaxy APS functionality in more detail. However, some of the distinct Galaxy APS functionalities are the following:

  1. The only multi-plant planning applications (this means the ability to plan multiple plants as if they are one location) that naturally accounts for lead times between locations.
  2. Multi-User – any user can plan any plant or groups of plants that they have the authority to plan.
  3. A leading edge duration based optimizer – combined with the ability to prioritize almost any KPI (that is to adjust the duration optimizer by KPIs – including financial KPIs – meaning Galaxy APS is the only system allowing production to be optimized with throughput accounting principles. Galaxy has 30+ manufacturing based KPI, including cost & profit KPI that are tracked within and across any number of scenarios.
  4. Has functionality to use a “synchronous manufacturing” approach with strategic buffer management at key control points to protect against the inevitable variation of manufacturing’s reality.
  5. Galaxy APS not only has the best master data management and update capabilities in its software category, but it is also one of the best master data management and update capabilities that we have measured of any enterprise software application.
  6. Co-Pilot. Galaxy APS has developed an automated system for simulation that merely runs in the background when processing is available and comes up with improved solutions. This Co-Pilot functionality can run at any time – and may run intensively overnight testing many different combinations. This is we believe an entirely new concept – and is a vast improvement for the vast majority of companies that lack time to perform simulation through other approaches.

Galaxy APS is a compelling application for those buyers that wish to take a “production first” approach their supply planning. This tends to be disregarded when comparing supply-planning (and production planning) applications.

However, one of the most important distinctions between supply planning applications is how it treats production planning. Some applications, such as ToolsGroup SO99 and SAP SmartOps do not deal with production planning at all. Other applications, like SAP SNP, actually allow production planning to be incorporated into the supply plan through the introduction of production resources into SAP SNP. SAP salespeople present this as “accounting for production,” but in fact, this design places supply planning in front of production planning. The first step is to run the supply plan, which is then passed to the production planning application, where more detailed production planning takes place. I quote from the SCM Focus Press book Superplant: Creating a Nimble Manufacturing Enterprise with Adaptive Planning Software.

“Supply Planning First” Two-pass Approach

In the sequential “supply planning first design,” cross-plant interactions are only observed and planned in the supply planning system—in this case, SNP. The supply plan is passed to PP/DS. PP/DS then creates planned orders from the first time bucket in the planning horizon out until the end of the production-planning horizon. While this production-planning horizon can be set to any value, in practice, it tends to be a matter of weeks. As such, in this design the supply planning system is in control of most of the combined supply and production-planning horizon, and essentially gets the first crack at processing the demand. Remember that most companies will have SNP use production resources, so SNP is creating the initial production plan. However, PP/DS will adjust the initial production plan provided by SNP for what are two to four weeks of the PP/DS production horizon, and detailed scheduling is performed down to the level of detail of the hour.

Galaxy APS creates both the supply planning recommendations and the manufacturing recommendations in a “single pass” or a single optimized planning run. Galaxy APS can either run MRP after the optimization—which would be two-step or multi-pass planning. But it can also run MRP during the optimization. The setting for controlling this is shown in the following screen shot.

Optimize wih MRP

Galaxy APS uses MRP to actually create the purchase requisitions and stock transfers—but this is based upon the optimizer output and can be set as part of a single planning run.

This approach can be superior to the sequential approach (where supply planning releases its results to production planning) in several ways. First, a combined run can allow an application to do things like multi-plant planning (such as compare all the alternate paths, including those that span a plant). Secondly, the supply plan is accurate right off the bat, and does not have to be passed to a production-planning tool for adjustment. This eliminates disconnects between the supply planning system and the production planning system, which are described in this article.

There are, however, trade-offs between two-pass and single-pass planning. Which approach is a better fit depends upon the objectives of the specific client. Most supply and production applications do not provide the option of either a single-pass or sequential processing, so in most cases the issue cannot even be brought up.

Single Pass Versus Sequential Processing

Single-pass Planning with PlanetTogether

Galaxy APS can combine supply and production planning into a single run. The steps are described below:

  1. The user clicks “Optimize.”
  2. The plan and schedule are created from independent demands all the way down through production scheduling and purchasing in one shot.

Hopefully, this has explained that PlanetTogether Galaxy APS is necessarily an easy decision when the orientation of the buyer is to place production planning as a primary focus of the supply planning process. It takes much more than merely including production resources into the supply planning system to adequately account for production. For those buyers that want to manage their production plants as part of an integrated whole, there is no other application that can do this, and account for all of the interactions between the locations outside of Galaxy APS.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

MUFI Scores

Search for the vendor in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table. Shortening Key: 
  • Ma. = Maintainability
  • Us. = Usability
  • Fu. = Functionality
  • Im. = Implementability
AppMa.Us.Ft.Im.Cat.
Average Score for Big ERP5.14.85.25.4Big ERP
Average Score for CRM6.26.25.15.9CRM
Average Score for Small and Medium ERP8.386.78.5Small and Medium ERP
Average Score for Finance8.88.888.8Finance
Average Score for Demand Planning7.67.277.1Demand Planning
Average Score for Supply Planning6.76.976.8Supply Planning
Average Score for Production Planning6.86.976.9Production Planning
Average Score for BI Heavy5.55.36.95.3BI Heavy
Average Score for PLM77.26.87.3PLM
Average Score for BI Light7.78.798.3BI Light
Arena Solutions Arena PLM10101010PLM
AspenTech AspenOne48107Production Planning
Birst88.5108BI Light
ERPNext10107.510Small and Medium ERP
Delfoi Planner866.57Production Planning
Demand Works Smoothie SP910710Supply Planning
Hamilton Grant RM1098.59PLM
IBM Cognos2.731.53BI Heavy
Infor Epiphany7865CRM
Infor Lawson8767Big ERP
Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions9959Finance
JDA DM97.588Demand Planning
Microsoft Dynamics CRM2322CRM
NetSuite CRM6433CRM
Netsuite OneWorld7788Big ERP
OpenERP788.587
Oracle BI4436BI Heavy
Oracle CRM On Demand4535CRM
Oracle Demantra533.54.5Demand Planning
Oracle JD Edwards World4136Big ERP
Oracle RightNow6745CRM
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS10101010Production Planning
Preactor8737Production Planning
QlikTech QlikView99109BI Light
Rootstock9899Small and Medium ERP
Sage X38878Big ERP
Salesforce Enterprise88.597.5CRM
SAP APO DP3432Demand Planning
SAP APO PP/DS2243Production Planning
SAP APO SNP3484Supply Planning
SAP BI/BW1.5242BI Heavy
SAP Business Objects32.573BI Heavy
SAP CRM4364CRM
SAP ECC336.53Big ERP
SAP PLM12.523PLM
SAP SmartOps4475.5Supply Planning
SAS BI6.5796BI Heavy
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting7897Demand Planning
Tableau (BI)9101010BI Light
Tableau (Forecasting)10859Demand Planning
Teradata86.39.76BI Heavy
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)7897Demand Planning
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)56107Supply Planning

Vendor and Application Risk

Buyers of Galaxy APS have every possible advantage working their direction. Galaxy APS is one of the highest rated applications we have ever rated. It is a rare situation where a buyer has the opportunity to purchase software that is both the functionality leader in its category, along with being highly implementable and user-friendly.

Likelihood of Implementation Success

This accounts for both the application and vendor-specific risk. In our formula, the total implementation risk is application + vendor + buyer risk. The buyer specific risk could increase or decrease this overall likelihood and adjust the values that you see below.

Likelihood of Application Implementation Success and Failure

Estimates are for a typical project. A specific implementation requires details from the project to make a project-specific estimate.

Search for the application in this table using the search bar in the upper right of the table.
ApplicationProb of Implementation SuccessProb of Implementation Failure
Actuate0.770.23
SAP Smartops0.390.61
NetSuite CRM0.460.54
Sugar CRM0.620.48
Base CRM0.910.09
SAP CRM0.350.65
Salesforce Enterprise0.720.28
QlikTech QlikView0.820.18
Tableau (BI)0.980.02
SAP Crystal Reports0.460.54
Brist0.830.17
MicroStrategy0.70.3
SAS BI0.760.24
Oracle BI0.350.65
IBM Cognos0.230.77
Infor Epiphany0.580.42
Microsoft Dynamics CRM0.260.74
Oracle RightNow CRM0.410.59
Oracle CRM On Demand0.360.64
Teradata0.760.24
SAP Business Objects0.320.68
SAP BI/BW0.250.75
SAP PLM0.290.71
Hamilton Grant RM0.890.11
Arena Solutions0.960.04
Delfoi Planner0.70.3
Preactor0.640.36
PlanetTogether Galaxy APS0.960.04
AspenTech AspenOne0.550.45
SAP APO PP/DS0.270.73
Demand Works Smoothie SP0.930.07
ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply)0.820.18
Demand Works Smoothie0.960.04
Tableau (Forecasting)0.90.1
SAS Demand Driven Forecasting0.820.18
ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)0.860.14
JDA DM0.570.43
Oracle Demantra0.330.67
SAP APO DP0.280.72
FinancialForce0.920.08
Intacct0.980.02
Intuit QB Enterprise0.80.2
ERPNext0.90.1
OpenERP0.780.22
Rootstock0.910.09
ProcessPro0.930.07
Microsoft Dynamics AX0.40.6
SAP Business One0.490.51
Sage X30.620.38
Infor Lawson0.580.42
Epicor ERP0.40.6
Oracle JD Edwards World0.310.69
Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne0.360.64
SAP ERP ECC/R/30.320.68
NetSuite OneWorld0.650.35

Risk Definition

See this link for more on our categorizations of risk. We also offer a Buyer Specific Risk Estimation as a service for those that want a comprehensive analysis.

Risk Management Approach

The only implementation issues that a buyer of Galaxy APS can expect the fact are the traditional issues that face production planning and scheduling projects. PlanetTogether has tended to be implemented by smaller companies – the only reason being they do not have the brand recognition of being associated with a primary software vendor. As such they have become acclimated to having their software implemented in clients with quite limited resources. However, they have recently completed a 28 plant implementation, and this has demonstrated PlanetTogether’s ability to handle larger clients.

We predict PlanetTogether will eventually be recognized for its excellent software and will become a significantly bigger company and will be implemented by larger buyers, buyers with much more resources. A Galaxy APS implementation is one that any project manager should look forward to, as it has a high likelihood of adding significant value to the buyer.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Supply Planning software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for PlanetTogether Galaxy APS.

References