Munich, July 10, 2023: The Hamburg-based chemical company Lehmann & Voss has optimized its sales and capacity planning in cooperation with the digital solutions, consulting, and software company valantic. The integrated planning solution APOLLO works on the basis of the IBM Planning Analytics with Watson (PA) planning software, which has won several awards from Gartner and the Business Application Research Center (BARC). The immediate benefits include greatly reduced costs and much less manual work. With APOLLO, Lehmann & Voss can respond to change in an agile, fast, and flexible manner.
Production and capacity planning is a dynamic business that is often driven by unpredictable events. “We simulate production, the utilization of specialist personnel and production machines. But what happens if, for example, our sales drop by 20 percent?” asks Daniel Copius, Head of Product Supply Management at Lehmann & Voss. It may also happen that pre-components or raw materials are not delivered in the planned quantity required for production.
And it’s also not possible to tackle such common production and capacity planning tasks promptly and efficiently with a manual planning solution. So, here’s the question people ask: Are the available resources sufficient for on-time order processing or should external partners be used for external production? Integrated planning solutions such as APOLLO help those responsible for planning to confront these and other challenges in a timely and partially automated manner.
Using APOLLO for coordination of pre-planning requirements
Abbreviated a bit, the company’s workflow looks like this: The sales planning data such as customer requirements and orders – which can be selected, among other things, according to divisions, business divisions, down to individual customers – comes from SAP ERP and is uploaded to APOLLO. Specialist colleagues make adjustments to the sales volumes and customers’ requirements. The S&OP managers then discuss the adjusted sales planning with managers from sales, production, and purchasing in order to agree on coordinated pre-planning requirements.
“APOLLO has made our planning really good. We have achieved a great deal and we want to further optimize our processes,” summarizes Christian Rohwer, Head of Materials Management at Lehmann & Voss. Michael Sowade, Senior Consultant at valantic Business Analytics, also confirms: “valantic’s consultants and implementation partners were able to contribute all of their experience and planning know-how to Lehmann & Voss. The cooperation with colleagues at Lehmann & Voss was very productive and pleasant.”
The integrated planning solution APOLLO is based on IBM Planning Analytics with Watson (PA), equipped with IBM TM1, the powerful, multidimensional database system for demanding OLAP applications. With the APOLLO planning solution from valantic’s technology partner virtuity, companies integrate actual and planning data, top-down specifications, and bottom-up planning; operational and strategic planning; not to mention simulation and optimization into a single plan. APOLLO paves the way for Lehmann & Voss to integrated, strategic, and operative S&OP planning, more accurate reporting, forecasts, and analyses into sales and capacity planning.
The monthly production requirements are determined using the result of the sales planning. These are automatically assigned to the corresponding lines of the production plants, resulting in a machine, inventory, & personnel capacity forecast. Users can simulate scenarios using various parameters, such as the degree of utilization of a machine or the transfer of production quantities to other lines, in order to be able to act safely in the medium term.
Source: Christian Rohwer, Head of Materials Management at Lehmann & Voss
"The APOLLO planning solution has taken us a giant step forward. We have been able to drastically reduce manual work and costs, and we are now able to adapt our sales and capacity planning in a very agile and transparent manner."
Source: Daniel Copius, Head of Product Supply Management at Lehmann & Voss
"With APOLLO, we are able to simulate and respond to changes quickly, and to accurately fulfill our commitment to our customers. The strength of APOLLO with TM1 is its simulation capabilities. By integrating modules for different experts along the S&OP process, APOLLO enables optimal integration of knowledge combined with standardized calculation rules."
Source: Michael Sowade, Senior Consultant at valantic
“Our colleagues at Lehmann & Voss knew exactly what they wanted. The excellent cooperation of all project participants contributed significantly to successfully completing this demanding project."