VJS: Visual Jobs Scheduler for Dynamics 365 Business Central

vjs

Resource Credit | NETRONIC

New release of Visual Jobs Scheduler for Dynamics 365 Business Central

Netronic has announced the enhancements of the Visual Jobs Scheduler (VJS), their interactive planning app for visualizing jobs, job tasks, job planning lines, and resources.

#1 Create links between job planning lines

The VJS now enables creating links between job planning lines by means of a new context menu. According to customers needs and planning situation, you can select between two possible relations:

  • Start-Start (the successor must not start before the processer)
  • Finish-Start

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The link structure that you build this way will be taken into account when a job planning line in this chain is moved so that all job planning lines of the chain are moved according to their position, or remain where they are.

 

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#2 Schedule successors

This feature, having also been implemented in the July release, is directly connected with the option of creating a link chain. It can be found as a new entry in the menu ribbon and in the context menu of the job planning lines. This ensures that the link structure is taken into account with no buffer time, i.e. linked operations are processed without temporal offset. This applies to the selected node and all its successors.

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#3 Indicate violated link orders in red

If the link order within a link structure gets violated, the according link(s) appear in red.

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#4 Calculate and distribute planning line quantity taking into account a resource’s capacity

As it is widely known, the quantity of job planning lines is calculated independently of the resource’s capacity in standard Dynamics 365 Business Central. If you have a look at the resource “David Butler” in the screenshot below, he is allocated 16 hours, but only has the capacity of 8 hours.

If you want to bypass this way of visualizing the quantity, you can make use of the new feature that came with the August release. Since this is a company-wide setting, Netronic implemented a new dialog “VJS Company Settings” where “Calculate Job Planning Line Duration” has to be ticked.

After having confirmed and reloaded, David Bulter’s task was lengthened accordingly.

#5 Regard non-working periods when rescheduling job planning lines

If you haven’t activated the “Calculate Job Planning Line Duration” option in the “VJS Company Settings”, the VJS takes into account the days with no capacity when job planning lines are moved.

#6 Information during long calculations

When a calculation takes a bit longer than expected, a status window pops up informing you.

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New releases in Visual Production Scheduler for D 365 Business Central

visual production scheduler

Blog Written By | NETRONIC

New release of Visual Production Scheduler for Dynamics 365 Business Central

As promised, Netronic is continuing to update us on new releases for the scheduling models for Dynamics 365 Business Central, Below are the latest releases for the Visual Production Scheduler (VPS).

#1  Show a progress bar

This is a major new feature that came with the July release of VPS. You can now decide whether to display a progress bar for production order routing lines of released production orders. For this, Netronic implemented a new option in the “Setup Dialog” where you can select whether to show a progress bar at all or one by quantity or by time.

visual production scheduler

The color of the progress bar depends on the routing status and the percentage of completion:

  • Status “finished”: black
  • Status “none”, “planned”, and “in progress”:
    • Progress by quantity/time < 100%: grey
    • Progress by quantity/time (i.e you have posted more than initially planned) > 100%: red

visual production scheduler

When you have switched on “Automatic scheduling of predecessor” and/or “successor” the operations routing status is being taken into account, so if you want to move an operation that’s in progress or whose predecessor/successor is in progress, you’ll receive a warning message and can cancel or continue your action:

visual production scheduler

#2 Visualize the setup times

One of the new features of the August release has its origin in customer feedback Netronic got for the .NET add-in and applies to the Capacity View. Users explained that rather than the wait time, the setup time was really relevant to them and that they wanted to see it at a glance.

Their wish was Netronic’s command and now they offer a context menu for showing or hiding the setup times at the bar.

The setup times are visualized as a grey section at the beginning of the bar.

#3 Show/hide non-working periods

This feature was already part of the .NET VPS and Netronic has now added it to the D365 BC app.

Some planning situations require to focus on the working periods of a work or machine center only. If so, click the new “Calendar” item in the “Actions” menu to select the desired option:

visual production scheduler

After having selected the “Hide non-working period”, you’ll only see the non-working periods that are unique to some work and machine centers.

#4 New data filter

The VPS now offers a data filter that applies at the data interface so that the amount of loaded data will be reduced. To specify the filter settings, open the new “Edit data filter” dialog that can be reached from the “Setup” dialog:

visual production scheduler

If, for instance, you want to see released production orders only, enter the relevant criteria:

After having confirmed your choice and having reloaded the data, the result will be as shown below:

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Operational Agility: What does it actually mean for your business?

operational agility

Blog Written By | Lawin Ileto, NETRONIC

An outsider’s perspective on Operational Agility

Operational Agility sounds like one of those “buzzwords” such as Big Data, Freemium or Snackable Content, which keep reappearing on PowerPoint slides that typically baffle half of the audience. In the beginning, Lawin took the term Operational Agility as it is – quick and easy operations. By taking the simplest dictionary meaning of Operational Agility, it posed more questions than answers. What does it mean to be quick and easy? How does a firm achieve this? And if this exists, why aren’t all companies practicing it?

Lawin Ileto joined NETRONIC in February 2019. “Operational Agility wasn’t a word that I’d normally come across in my past jobs. On my first day at the company the word Operational Agility greeted me during the first presentation given to me”, he said. The slide read “Our mission is to empower every SMB organization to gain operational agility with visual scheduling”, this is the goal of NETRONIC. Typically you see B2B companies using the term profitability in their goals, but what did Operational Agility have to do with profitability? “As a new member of NETRONIC, it took me a while before Operational Agility’s textbook meaning stuck to me. I had to read The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and other literature to give me a better idea of the terminologies in manufacturing,” Lawin said. “So far, from what I have picked up, Operational Agility is the key for organizations to operate and grow in unpredictable environments,” he said. Three key characteristics emerge when talking about Operational Agility (Ismail, Poolton, & Sharifi, 2011; Dahnardeh & Ali Banihashemi, 2010);

  1. Robustness – the ability to address or limit the effects of uncertainty
  2. Responsiveness – the ability to respond to market needs
  3. Flexibility – the process of achieving different goals with the same facilities

It is normal for businesses to experience a lot of unpredictable changes caused by both external and internal factors, which make the business vulnerable. For small and medium businesses, this is especially true, given their limited size and resources. In order to limit the effects of uncertainty for companies to be proactive by being strategically ready (Ismail, Poolton, & Sharifi, 2011).

The key is anticipating these unpredictable changes and being agile enough to limit their effects by tweaking internal things such as organizational structures, resources and information systems, etc.

NETRONIC and Operational Agility

“I tried to reflect on what I’ve been reading and looked at my current situation in NETRONIC with an outsider’s perspective at how operational agility was being practiced in this business,” Lawin said.

NETRONIC has been around for more than four decades. The company has been focusing on providing its customers with visual scheduling software, whether it is in the form of customized solutions or via established platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV & Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. “When we say visual scheduling, this comes in many forms; for NETRONIC this is in planning diagrams and Gantt Charts among other things,” Lawin said. The company’s products allow the visualization of resources and time-centric data into something easier to understand. The visualization gives a high-level perspective, instead of trying to read between the lines, you can make assumptions by seeing the big picture. “So my question was, what does visual scheduling have to do with operational agility? Are these two terms even related to each other?”, Lawin stated.

“Over the past months of working here at NETRONIC I have come to understand why and how visual scheduling enables operational agility”, Lawin said. As mentioned earlier operational agility is all about coping with unpredictability, by using visual scheduling software companies are able to strategically plan what is in front of them, make changes on the fly – allowing them to be more flexible and responsive when unpredictability strikes. 

“If I zoom in on NETRONIC and see how they have faced uncertainty, they have done well. For an IT company to be in the business for 40+ years, given the rate of technological advancements, this is something that my colleagues, who have been part of the company for much longer than myself, can be very proud of,” Lawin said. “When we talk about robustness the company has proven to be just that, in such a fasted paced market the company has successfully been able to limit the uncertainty surrounding the industry and even establish themselves as a leader in this niche,” he said.

“This said robustness coincides with their ability to be responsive. As I’ve come to be acquainted with the internal processes and applications, I notice that these were put in place for the developers to complete tasks quickly and respond to the different continuously changing needs of the customer. By being quick, our turnaround time and SLA are shortened and we have the ability to service several customers simultaneously,” Lawin said.

The same applications and processes also provide ultimate transparency and perspective, which makes it easy to collaborate on projects. NETRONIC software developers typically work on various tasks and projects simultaneously, so planning and resource management are very tricky and important. By being flexible the company is able to stretch its resources but assure quality in their delivery and efficiency in their output. 

“This is what I thought of Operational Agility and how I made sense of it,” Lawin said. If you are still looking for the right solution to help your company to achieve Operational Agility by becoming robust, responsive, and flexible then NETRONIC and allonline365 may have the right product for you. NETRONIC offers solutions that are fully integrated with different modules of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central that allow companies to easily make drag and drop changes to efficiently manage their orders and resources.

For companies using the manufacturing module, NETRONIC has two products available. For companies using the Jobs module, they have the Visual Jobs Scheduler and for the service module, they have the Visual Service Scheduler. Contact allonline365 on info@allonline365.com or +27 (21) 205 3650 to discuss which NETRONIC application suits your business needs best.

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