Optimization-based planning and scheduling applications have special characteristics. The most significant are:
- The models must be carefully built and fine-tuned to accurately capture a company's costs, yields, operating constraints, preferences, goals and metrics.
- Decision-makers' usage requirements must be evaluated so that scenario creation parameters, solution comparison metrics and data display can be perfected for an organization.
IBM's Professional Services (IBM PS) organization has the expertise and the experience to help our customers take maximum advantage of the power of optimization.
Available services include:
- Project Assessments—Led by an optimization solution architect, this process helps our customers verify whether a new optimization-based planning or scheduling application can significantly improve profitability and customer service. It is recommended for both application implementation projects and custom development projects.
- Identifying opportunities for improved operational performance, cost reductions and revenue increases with realistic target goals.
- Verifying the completeness of the pre-built optimization models for application projects, or developing and validating first pass models for custom optimization projects. This includes the definition of key financial and operational metrics.
- Identifying project tasks and estimating total implementation costs, with options for project phasing or sharing the work between IBM PS and your IT department.
- Identifying open issues and project risks.
- Model Development and Refinement—Led by an optimization expert, this process ensures that the optimization models developed for a custom project accurately capture all of the inputs, goals and outputs required.
- Custom Application Development—Provided by optimization experts and programmers, custom planning and scheduling applications can be built on a turn-key basis or with various divisions of labor with your IT personnel.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Application Integration—Led by an integration specialist, IBM PS plans and supervises the work associated with mapping systems of record data sources to the optimization model inputs in the planning or scheduling application. Solutions can be easily exported.
- Application Maintenance—Provided by named support personnel, IBM PS provides complete support for a deployed planning and scheduling application over time. IBM PS writes custom application maintenance contracts that ensure a single point of contact for tech support, bug fixing and enhancements.