Managing the Shop Floor – Planning, Scheduling, Demand, Supply

In the complex area of Manufacturing, when you grow over aLogo_DemandSolutions_Asia
certain size, and particularly spread over 2 or more sites, the manual techniques which have worked for you so far – physical planning boards and manually completed spreadsheets – may start to break down. It may take a while to realise that there needs to be wider communication, plans need to be shared around a bigger, more demanding team and the values handled by procurement increase substantially, the value at risk of wastage is larger.

To keep your sites running smoothly you may find some specialist softwares of great assistance –

  1. Production Scheduling, Advanced Scheduling and Planning (APS)
  2. Demand Management/Inventory Management/Requirements Planning (RP)
  3. Forecast Management (FM)
  4. Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP)

These tools are well-known and well-used in advanced economies, while here in Asia there is still a tendency to through people at the problem and to disregard wastage as a mere inconvenience. This is no doubt how it was everywhere, before wages started to rise and the wastage figure could no longer be ignored. For those Asian companies (and companies in Asia) determined to be ahead of the pack, these tools will streamline your business and relieve the headaches from the shop floor up to the leadership, and enable you to manage your suppliers and your customers with more certainly and satisfaction.

Demand Management Pte Ltd is a Singapore company which represents providers renowned and experience suppliers in this space:

  • PlanetTogether for APS
  • Demand Solutions for RP, FM and S&OP

Demand Management has representatives across Asia who can assist to deliver, fully knowledgeable of the local culture, conditions and practices. Staff with native language proficiency can be provided as necessary.

Theory of Constraints, or Drum-Buffer-Rope

Allied to the software is the thinking methodology that lies behind it – Demand Solutions’ tools enable you to create make the vision real. Beyond Six Sigma and Lean comes the Theory of Constraints. Like everything amazing it’s deceptively simple – you are looking for the bottleneck, the one or two things that slows everything down and throws everything out if something goes even slightly wrong. Of course, the trick is in it’s application – seeing the problem and understanding your options. These insights will provide the

Thory-of-Constraints_the-Drum-Buffer-RopeThe other name for Theory of Constraints (ToC) is Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR) which is describing the ‘Drum-Beat’ of the constraint, the fact that everything else should be planned in accordance with that rhythm – see here for the full explanation.

Also, look below in the Articles section for an extended Case Study on how ToC was used to both reduce cost AND accelerate the clean-up after the oil-spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

These methodologies will bring amazing benefits to your business – the software will allow you to execute an run the outcome.

1. Who is Demand Management Asia?
Qlik is the name of the company with a unique Intellectual Property / software that can ‘suck out’ exactly the data items you need for your management reporting from across all of your internal

2. There are several softwares, do I need them all?
No, it all depends on your business, the type of products you are making and any problems you are currently experiencing. Usually there are issues which are prioritised as urgent, so that is phase 1 – let things settle in, then evaluate for any further benefits available from other solutions.

3. The softwares are based on Drum-Buffer-Rope (DBR) & the Theory of Constraints – what does this mean?
ToC is the latest methodology for approaching issues and advising on the best solution – it’s the next evolution of Six Sigma and Lean. All of these softwares can be configured in the light of DBR/ToC assessments to optimise production and workflow.

4. Does the application of DBR give a productivity uplift even before any other work is undertaken?

Applying DBR thinking to the configuration is already going to improve your efficiency. The approach would work even when run manually however once you understand Theory of Constraints then you will start to become more complex in your thinking and the softwares simply help to ensure that the strategies are effective in practice.

Case Studies – lots of customer stories including Ceres, Everlast, Hansen Natural (Monster Energy), Parmalat, Interface Flooring, Lonely Planet, Black & Decker, Kimberley-Clark…


  • 2015 magazine (pdf) – Demand Solutions, Case Studies for 2015
  • 2014 magazine (pdf) – Demand Solutions, Case Studies for 2014
  • 2013 magazine (pdf) – Demand Solutions, Case Studies for 2013
  • 2012 magazine (pdf) – Demand Solutions, Case Studies for 2012 – features GoldCity Shoes Kicks the Spreadsheet Habit (Thailand, pg 10)
  • 2011 – Demand Solutions magazine, Case Studies for 2011


  • Demand Solutions, software vendor in the US – website
  • Demand Solutions – Blog