MUFI Rating & Risk – AspenTech AspenOne

MUFI Rating & Risk – AspenTech AspenOne

MUFI: Maintainability, Usability, Functionality, Implement ability

Vendor: AspenTech AspenOne (Select For Vendor Profile)


AspenTech is one of the most industry-focused enterprise software vendors that we cover (the other being ProcessPro, which is similarly focused on the process manufacturing industry). Here we are profiling AspenTech’s planning product, but they have quite a variety of manufacturing software that has been built up over decades.

Application Detail

AspenTech creates very detailed modeling software. The user interface of its software shows the actual resources of the production process, and it looks like traditional simulation software. The user builds a model, or takes existing template models and can change them. AspenTech has a template for just about any model in the process industry – and their many years of experience with so many clients are demonstrated by the specificity of these models. A few examples are shown below:

Aspen Models

AspenTech has some prebuilt model templates, which can be used as a starting point to model various process industry environments. The specificity of the models to be selected is impressive. If we take the first, it is producing methylchorate through a process of esterification of chloroacetic acid with methanol. Because the model is so specific to this process, the settings that are included means that there is minimal actual configuration required when compared to other applications. Most applications just provide software that can be configured and there are very few templates of this type used in any production planning and scheduling application – in fact; there are very few templates of this type used in supply chain planning applications overall. Instead, the predominant approach is to have the model developed from scratch during the implementation. As soon as a model is selected, the specifics of that model are brought up as shown below:

AspenTech Specific

This is a model for a three-phase reactive distillation application. This model is a particular configuration, which is designed for this manufacturing process. This is one of the real strengths of AspenTech – that for oil and gas industries it has such specific standards that can be applied and can control the model.

It is the detailed modeling with specific preset standards all customized for process industry manufacturing that is appealing to software buyers. AspenTech’s software encapsulates decades of implementations and knowledge of how various process manufacturing operations work. Not only are the processing rates for different process resources available within the application, but also the template models are based upon standardized process manufacturing operations, meaning even though the manufacturing process may be complicated, it can be modeled, and the system brought up quickly. There is not much like this on the discrete and repetitive manufacturing side where models tend to be setup from scratch.

AspenTech is an easy decision for heavy process industry manufacturing. AspenTech has the best software for a wide variety of process industry manufacturing environments that simply can’t be found anywhere else. AspenTech is one of the few vendors to achieve a perfect functionality score in our ratings. However, as our vendor profile indicates, we have some concerns about AspenTech’s management and their internal direction.

MUFI Scores

All scores out of a possible 10.

Vendor and Application Risk

An implementation of AspenOne combined the implementation of a highly specialized and functional application with a dysfunction software vendor. This means staffing the project heavy with buyer resources. AspenTech consulting resources tend to be of good quality, but organizational issues will prevent them from being as effective as they could be.

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.

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

AspenOne is a skillful application and can perform production planning and scheduling of some process industry-manufacturing environment that no other application can. However, a risk with AspenOne implementations is that the implementation can develop a configuration that is difficult to maintain post go live. Slicing the overall implementation into mini-go lives can moderate this risk so that the buyer can become acclimated to running AspenOne in production sooner rather than later.

Finished With Your Analysis?

To go back to the Software Selection Package page for the Production Planning software category. Or go to this link to see other analytical products for AspenTech AspenOne.

What We Do and Research Access

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.

Enterprise Software TCO Calculator – AspenTech AspenOne

How it Works

Fill out the form below for a your customized TCO calculation, as well as each of the supporting cost components that make up the TCO. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.


  • Vendor Name: Aspen Technology (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: Production Planning and Scheduling
  • Company Headquarters: 200 Wheeler Road, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803
  • Site:
  • Contact number 855.882.7736
  • Delivery Mechanism: On Premises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, goto this link to see other analytical products for AspenTech AspenOne.

What We Do and Research Access

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.

Project Planning Package – AspenTech AspenOne

How it Works

Fill out the form below for your project planning estimate. The form does not have a “beginning or end.” The form is constantly calculating, so feel free to make constant changes and the application will auto-adjust.


  • Vendor Name: Aspen Technology (See for Vendor Rating)
  • Software Category: Production Planning and Scheduling
  • Company Headquarters: 200 Wheeler Road, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803
  • Site:
  • Contact number 855.882.7736
  • Delivery Mechanism: On Premises

Finished With Your Analysis?

Once complete, go to this link to see other analytical products for AspenTech AspenOne.

What We Do and Research Access

Using the Diagram

Hover over each bullet or plus sign to see more explanation. To move to a different bullet point, just “hover off” and then hover over the new bullet.


Software Category Analysis – Production Planning and Scheduling


Production planning and scheduling software have many more software vendors listed for it in some sources that we think qualify for the title. This is because many ERP vendors say that they can perform production scheduling when in truth most ERP systems provide functionality which is just good enough to impress executives during the sales process, but not good enough to use. In fact, of all of the ERP systems that we cover, only Process Pro and Rootstock meet our standard in terms of having basic functionality in this area.

Most of the ERP applications work off of simple MRP for production planning and scheduling combined with a simplified scheduling screen. However, MRP is only designed to create the initial production plan, and at the very least, production planning and scheduling software should have heuristics. (for instance, Rootstock has a scheduling algorithm) Many ERP software is an attempt to try to cover as broad of an area as possible, but this ends up with dissatisfaction once the system is live. This has been a constant feature in the production planning and scheduling space, which is why so many companies still rely upon Excel to perform production planning.

In practice, the cost savings from effective production planning and scheduling are such that it typically makes sense to purchase a specialized application to do the job. Therefore a well-managed software selection and implementation will often result in a good return on investment.

The Opportunity of Multi-plant Planning

Multi-plant planning, sometimes called a multi-site plan, is the ability to model and make decisions to schedule production between alternate internal production locations that can produce the same product. By definition, companies that have components and subcomponents of final finished goods that are moved between factories have a multi-plant planning requirement. And this requirement applies to all manufacturing environments (discrete, repetitive, process batch, process continuous. A company that does not have multi-plant planning requirements when they start out will have these requirements as soon as they choose to consolidate one stage of manufacturing to a single location to benefit from economies of scale and economies of specialization in that manufacturing process.

Multi plant planning is a more realistic representation of the real modelling requirements within many companies. This is because factories do not merely accept raw materials and ship finished goods. Instead, many factories receive raw materials and ship out subcomponents. Other factories receive subcomponents and ship out components or subassemblies. Many possible combinations of factories are reasonable and always have been at least to some degree.

There is little doubt of the many companies with multi-plant planning requirements. We have experienced the requirements first-hand and in-depth at one company, but have found these requirements at other companies as well – its simply that most are unaware what these requirements are called, that there is academic work which describes them. They are unaware that they are losing efficiency by not being able to account for these requirements. Multi plant planning is a crucial stage in the evolution of planning software. Multi plant planning related to subcontract and contract manufacturing planning all of these planning requirements mean the planning system is indifferent to whether the manufacturing location is owned or not owned by the implementing enterprise. Companies have little in the way of information on multi-plant planning, which should not be surprising in the least. We know from our consulting experience that many companies have multi-plant requirements but are merely not leveraging the software currently available to manage these requirements. In fact, at most companies, the internal discussion about doing so has not even begun. Common reasons as to why this is the case are listed below:

  1. Many decision-makers in companies with multi-plant planning requirements do not know that the functionality to specifically address these requirements exists.
  2. Many companies do not include vendors with multi-plant planning functionality in their software selection initiatives.
  3. No ERP vendor makes external planning software that performs multi-plant planning. Buyers would have to be willing to choose a smaller vendor rather than merely purchasing the ERP vendor’s external planning system. This is, of course, a limiting factor, because buyers tend to buy as much software as they can from one vendor. Incidentally is why the enterprise software sector is so monopolistic and why so many buyers have such a poor fit between their business requirements and the applications they have purchased.

Intercompany Transfer, Subcontracting and Contract Manufacturing

As software buyers/companies have moved to more specialization in their factories (co-locating specific manufacturing in global locations), intercompany transfers have become increasingly common. Concentrating on similar types of production in factories globally has been occurring for some time. Things like subcontracting, which at first glance would seem to reduce the necessity for multi-location planning, increase the necessity for multi-location planning. Even in instances where third parties are involved – such as with subcontracting — the first company or OEM often wants to plan the activities, also if they do not perform the actual execution. We now have the common scenario where planning factories — or at least partially planning factories that are not owned by the company conducting the planning — are a common requirement.

As most enterprise software is not designed to accommodate these requirements, a great deal of effort is needed on the part of companies to both implement and maintain the software. The retort from many vendors might be, “but we offer supplier collaboration and subcontracting” — which is true. However, it is also true that these tend to be tricky implementations, and in some cases, such as with supplier collaboration, there are in fact, few success stories.


Along with multi-plant planning, subcontracting has dramatically increased as a planning need within companies. Subcontracting is another form of production where there is ambiguity between the external plant and the internal locations. Another related concept is contract manufacturing, where the product is produced entirely by the contract manufacturer, but planning responsibility is shared. Some supply chain planning applications can plan subcontracting; however, the functionality of multi plant production planning functionality can make comparisons between an alternative product that is either internal or external to the company. In some circumstances, production may be outsourced; in other cases, it may be planned to be produced internally. Often inflexible planning systems mean that companies are forced to make these types of decisions “strategically.” However, in the software described in this book, the alternatives can be set up in the model, and the application can switch between internal and outsourced manufacturing as the situation changes.

Understanding the Segmentation Between Supply and Production Planning


The main area of focus of most supply chain planning vendors that develop software in this area has been not to integrate the supply planning application and production planning application. Most software vendors assume them to be two different things.

The weakness of this design is the natural inconsistency between the supply planning application and the production planning application. For example, SNP and PP/DS — and most other supply and production planning applications — work off of a different set of assumptions. Just setting the timings and planning horizons between these various systems is a lot of work, as is displayed by the following screenshot.

APO Planning Horizons

We have spent quite a lot of time walking implementing companies through how to integrate planning horizons and timings in SAP APO. The topic is so involved we published a book specifically on this topic titled, SCM Focus Press book Planning Horizons, Calendars and Timings in SAP APO.

In environments where there are dependencies between production, such as when semi-finished goods or components feed a finished good in one factory. Or the components are in a third factory supplying the semi-finished goods plant – which we have seen at several companies. Then the production planning and scheduling across the various plants end up missing out on several planning opportunities that a multi-plant planning system could leverage.

Software Category Summary

Production planning and detailed scheduling is still an area with a great deal of potential. The software category does not have that many quality applications – and most the applications are 1st generation applications that are masquerading as leading-edge applications that should probably be retired. Once again, proper selection is critical, as the ability to receive value from 1st generation production planning applications has proven to be very difficult.

MUFI Rating & Risk

See the MUFI Ratings & Risk below for all of the applications we cover.

Vendor NameApplication
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP ECC
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
EpicorMUFI Rating & Risk – Epicor ERP
SageMUFI Rating & Risk – Sage X3
InforMUFI Rating & Risk – Infor Lawson
Small and Medium ERP
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP Business One
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – JD Edwards World
ProcessProMUFI Rating & Risk – ProcessPro
RootstockMUFI Rating & Risk – Rootstock
ERPNextMUFI Rating & Risk – ERPNext
OpenERPMUFI Rating & Risk – OpenERP
MicrosoftMUFI Rating & Risk – Microsoft Dynamics AX
Financial Applications
IntacctMUFI Rating & Risk – Intacct
IntuitMUFI Rating & Risk – Intuit Quickbooks Enterprise Solutions
FinancialForceMUFI Rating & Risk – FinancialForce
NetSuiteMUFI Rating & Risk – NetSuite OneWorld
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP PLM
Arena SolutionsMUFI Rating & Risk – Arena Solutions Arena PLM
Hamilton GrantMUFI Rating & Risk – Hamilton Grant Recipe Management
Demand Planning
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP APO DP
TableauMUFI Rating & Risk – Tableau (Forecasting)
Business Forecast SystemsMUFI Rating & Risk – Forecast Pro TRAK
Demand WorksMUFI Rating & Risk – Demand Works Smoothie
JDAMUFI Rating & Risk – JDA Demand Management
ToolsGroupMUFI Rating & Risk – ToolsGroup SO99 (Forecasting)
Supply Planning
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP SNP
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP SmartOps
ToolsGroupMUFI Rating & Risk – ToolsGroup SO99 (Supply Planning)
Demand WorksMUFI Rating & Risk – Demand Works Smoothie SP
PlanetTogetherMUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS Superplant
Production Planning
DelfoiMUFI Rating & Risk – Delfoi Planner
PreactorMUFI Rating & Risk – Preactor
AspenTechMUFI Rating & Risk – AspenTech AspenOne
PlanetTogetherMUFI Rating & Risk – PlanetTogether Galaxy APS
BI Heavy
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP BI/BW
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP Business Objects
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – Oracle BI
SASMUFI Rating & Risk – SAS BI
MicroStrategyMUFI Rating & Risk – MicroStrategy
IBMMUFI Rating & Risk – IBM Cognos
TeradataMUFI Rating & Risk – Teradata
ActuateMUFI Rating & Risk – Actuate ActuateOne
BI Light
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP Crystal Reports
QlikTechMUFI Rating & Risk – QlikTech QlikView
TableauMUFI Rating & Risk – Tableau (BI)
SAPMUFI Rating & Risk – SAP CRM
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – Oracle RightNow
OracleMUFI Rating & Risk – Oracle CRM On Demand
InforMUFI Rating & Risk – Infor Epiphany
Base CRMMUFI Rating & Risk – Base CRM
SalesforceMUFI Rating & Risk – Salesforce Enterprise
SugarCRMMUFI Rating & Risk – SugarCRM
MicrosoftMUFI Rating & Risk – Microsoft Dynamics CRM
NetSuiteMUFI Rating & Risk – NetSuite CRM