GPS is a beautiful thing. With just a few taps on your phone or car screen and you can receive an optimal route to arrive at your destination and get dinner recommendations. Your GPS will flag hazards, alert you to changing conditions, suggest alternative routes, and even tell you when there is a friendly police officer watching the flow of traffic or a place to fill/charge up your vehicle. Along with streaming music and texting, GPS is one of the killer apps in our pocket-sized supercomputers.

Non-digital natives who grew up in a world of paper maps that were only accurate well before they were printed appreciate GPS even more, believe it or not. If you got lost or missed an exit, your trip was not automatically rerouted. You pulled over, unfolded a large map, argued with your passenger about how you could have missed the exit, and then struggled to get back on track.

The lack of GPS destroyed many friendships and marriages. I’ve been there, trust me.

Looking at the supply chain, scheduling software has a lot in common with GPS. Both align the movement of materials (or you) to a desired destination. They flag the steps in a process, ensure things are where you’d expect them to be and maximize the “trip” that is being taken.

Now, scheduling software and GPS are not sexy. You are more likely to talk about a killer playlist or 99% forecast accuracy over an accident you avoided at a cocktail party. Still, both are core features of living in today’s digital world. Here are a few facts about the value of scheduling software.

Scheduling Software Improves Operational Efficiency and Resource Utilization

A report by McKinsey states that companies leveraging advanced scheduling algorithms and real-time data achieve up to a 10% increase in overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Scheduling software optimizes resource allocation by balancing workloads, reducing idle time, and minimizing overtime expenses. It also helps organizations to make data-driven decisions on resource allocation, ensuring that they utilize resources efficiently and optimize costs.

Scheduling Software Provides Real-time Visibility and Improved Decision-making

Implementing real-time scheduling software can lead to a reduction in forecast errors, resulting in improved demand forecasting accuracy and inventory optimization. Companies using real-time scheduling software gain better visibility into their supply chain, leading to improved decision-making. And as we have all experienced in our day-to-day, real-time visibility (or any real-time data) allows for faster response to disruption/volatility. The closer we get to the actual “event” the better.

Scheduling Software Fosters Collaboration and Improves Customer Satisfaction

Effective collaboration with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders is vital for a successful supply chain. Scheduling software facilitates collaboration and enhances customer satisfaction. In fact, it’s been reported that companies implementing collaborative scheduling software can experience a significant increase in supply chain responsiveness and in customer satisfaction ratings. In addition, collaborative scheduling software can reduce order lead times resulting in improved customer delivery performance.

The impact of scheduling software on the supply chain is undeniable. By improving operational efficiency, enhancing resource utilization, providing real-time visibility, and fostering collaboration, these solutions – like your humble GPS- have become indispensable for businesses striving to achieve a competitive edge.

As technology continues to advance, scheduling software will continue to be a key component of end-to-end planning software. Whether it’s optimizing production schedules, minimizing disruptions, or delivering products faster, scheduling software empowers organizations. Plus, it’s more effective than a wrinkled map in a car pulled off to the side of the road.

To learn more about scheduling, watch our on-demand webinar “How to Achieve Better Operations Scheduling” presented by Sujit Sing.