Many companies still use Excel spreadsheets to manage their production – rather than switching to MES software. Many production planners are creative and skilled at building a manufacturing schedule using Excel. However, this approach is inefficient, inaccurate and labour intensive and cannot provide the analysis of MES software.

Spreadsheets are slow and labour intensive.

Manufacturing scheduling using Excel sheets take lots of time to execute. Excel spreadsheets are low tech, labourious and impractical.

Spreadsheets are vulnerable to (human) mistakes.

These scheduling Excel spreadsheets are error prone and are often managed by one person which creates a high risk if they are away or even leave the company.

Spreadsheets are static – they do not update automatically.

Manufacturing scheduling using spreadsheets is static. If orders or delivery deadlines change or machinery breaks down the schedule is now out of date and needs to be recreated all over again – usually by the one person who understands how to do it.

Spreadsheets are not easily shared and changes are not easily communicated.

Production scheduling changes are not easily shared by production floor staff, customers services and management. Having a manual and static scheduling process does not allow visibility of the manufacturing floor.

Spreadsheets are not agile enough for real time planning and analysis.

Excel is not powerful enough for effective production management. Excel cannot analyse and optimize your manufacturing processes. Measures such as OEE, waste management, die changes are difficult to monitor using Excel spreadsheets.

Modern manufacturing companies use manufacturing scheduling software to manage their production. This software is called MES – or manufacturing execution system software. AspectPL is just that. Software that manages scheduling, execution and analysis of manufacturing.