What is the best way to quickly describe our powerful and full-featured software?

The Ondema Workspace is scheduling software that allows manufacturers to manage schedules more efficiently, improve resource utilization, and replan quickly.

This is how we distill our “elevator pitch” into a single slide:

For example, one of our customers uses the software to cut their daily scheduling meetings in half, freeing up key managers and engineers to spend more time on the shop floor and with customers. The Workspace improved the previous labor-intensive process of pulling data from manufacturing software into spreadsheets and trying to reconcile scheduling across teams, machines, and cells.

Exporting information from manufacturing software to a spreadsheet in order to manage a dynamic schedule is a common scenario. Visualizing different dimensions of a schedule and quickly making updates is often impractical in legacy software tools. The Workspace changes this by providing clear visualizations and a schedule that can be changed intuitively, for example simply by clicking and dragging tasks in Schedule View.

Dynamic schedules

Schedules change. For example, one of the side effects of digitization is that designs can be updated more frequently, and often are. A last-minute design change from a customer can impact the entire manufacturing process from materials to machine time all the way through to quality assurance.

In addition to evolving designs, schedules can change due to material delays, machine downtime, operator availability, reprioritization of work, rework, etc. Schedules map the complexity that drives large parts of our twenty-first century lives.

Resource utilization

Resource utilization is often central to scheduling. For example, when key machines tend to run at high levels of utilization, the scheduling of those machines can be a proxy for the flow of the overall shop: when a key machine is idle, work will stack up. If the machine is busy, the shop is flowing.

Utilization data can also drive investment decisions, help understand when it makes sense to consider new equipment, and measure the effectiveness of past investment decisions.

Finally, utilization is sometimes simply a matter of knowing whether everyone on the floor has something to do and knows what they are scheduled to be working on.

Replan quickly

Simple schedule changes can be handled by dragging dates and re-assigning resources. As the schedule is updated, everyone on the shop floor has access to the same source, as does anyone in the field. If you need to share this information with partners and customers, you can opt to give them accounts to enable real time access to any schedules you want to share with them as well.

Workspace messages allow you to alert people to changes that need attention, and to have a record of the communication that is associated with past and planned work.

Beyond scheduling

Our hypothesis is that using scheduling as a lens to talk about a broad array of related problems helps to better define the impact our software delivers. The Workspace does a great deal more than scheduling, but we’re finding that as we get better at explaining how it works, less is more.

Keeping track of the status of work-in-progress, work assignments, specification changes, and dependencies are not inherently scheduling problems. But they are often most important when they have an impact on an expected due date.

Making sure that everyone is using the same workflow, managing communications, setting up a customer portal, and other visualization and collaboration features are also not intrinsically about scheduling. But it is when we have hard scheduling conversations that these features can be most critical.

Need a better schedule?

If you need to manage schedules more efficiently, improve resource utilization, manage growth, and replan quickly, we’d be grateful for the opportunity to explore whether the Workspace might help your team!

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