Customer Story - PPDS Implementation in Dynamic Work Environments.

World’s leading Consumer Goods Company

PPDS to enhance the way Dynamic Work Environments operate

Company profile

The company involved in this case study is one of the
world’s leading consumer goods manufacturer (CPG), with sales exceeding $60 billion in 2013.
This company is headquartered outside the United States and
employs over 170,000 people worldwide.

Business situation

The company was in the process of an SAP Advance Planner and Optimizer - SAP APO implementation, and wanted to incorporate the PPDS (Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling) tool. The biggest challenge was that the company has over 25 manufacturing sites spread over North America.

Although some sites were similar, owing to different product categories, they all had their own unique considerations for scheduling and comfort levels in regards to system usage. The actual scheduling process at each location was not well understood by others and most efforts at cross training on this activity were not successful.

The goal was to deploy a training and implementation strategy that would cover all end users and drive engagement that would achieve the following objectives at go live:

  •   System Readiness & Usability
  •   Team Preparedness from day one

The challenge was to engage dispersed key stakeholders on a regular basis, have them execute the required activities and “buy in” to the new system and process so that the company did not waste time, money and resources on a system not utilized. Adverse impact to services during the learning curve was to be avoided.

Technical situation

Fragmented & Inaccessible Data

Since the production scheduling was done outside of SAP and involved multiple off line spread sheets, the core team had limited understanding of each manufacturing site’s constraints in regards to output, shift schedules and work calendars. This information is critical to having an effective, efficient application of PPDS.

Legacy System Constraints

Upon further evaluation it was apparent that the legacy system was poorly maintained in regards to critical master data such as: resources, production rates, Bill of Materials and available future capacity.

Need for PPDS

In order to maximize available capacity at multiple locations, allow the “re direction” of scheduled production from one site to another, or understand when it would be required to “front load production” of seasonal demand before capacity constraints, it was critical to have all sites implement and sustain PPDS.


Core Team Creation

A core PPDS team was created that was tasked with end user engagement, skills enhancement and system preparation.

Team involvement was key. Therefore, a robust engagement strategy was developed that included the following:

  • General e-mail was sent to the entire future PPDS end user group advising them of the project.
  • This was followed up by individual introductory phone call conversations.
  • Technology platform “live meeting” was used for a formal “kick off” meeting.

The agenda covered the following:

  • Introductions
  • Project overview
  • Required system cleanup activities
  • Detailed implementation schedule

Meeting Plan

The core team was supported with a rigorous meeting plan that included managing attendance tracking of the 35 plus team and, monitoring to completion, the required weekly SAP system activities to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Material Master Validation in the legacy system
  • Work center replication in APO
  • Validation of routings
  • Creation of set up groups and set up matrix
  • Creation of Product Data Structures
  • Other required activities

Meeting & Training Details

Simultaneously, “live meeting” was used to introduce team members to the new ways of working with the new system. The core team identified critical end user activities that were required in the new system. After this, a delivery schedule was developed and executed in such a way that the team was introduced to the new system and its usage, months before “go live”.

Detailed training material was created including numerous screen shots of the new system for every activity that was covered in the meetings. This was distributed to the team members and also included in a “training library” that was created on SharePoint.

Understanding the unexpected demands at manufacturing locations, the core team identified end users who had been “absent” for key sessions and scheduled “make up sessions” to keep the team aligned with expectations and skill development.

Final Precautions

In an attempt to provide maximum support for the end users a “pre cutover session” was scheduled at the NA Corporate Headquarters location 2 weeks before go live. All end users participated. This allowed the “real time validation” of system required activities and provided the opportunity for end users to practice activities such as:

  • Product introductions and New item set ups
  • Overriding factory calendars
  • Converting Supply Network Planning - SNP Planned orders to PPDS orders
  • Scheduling options including Heuristics or Optimizer functions
  • Product Life Cycle Management

The core PPDS team also took this opportunity for some “team building” activities which were much deserved after the intense preparation and training period that the team had endured.

Prior to the end of the scheduled activity the core team covered:

  • Final cut over schedule
  • Issue resolution process
  • Schedule of “daily touch point meetings”.

As a result there were no issues in the PPDS space that interrupted operations or negatively impacted customer service.


The format, structure and implementation approach that were developed and executed produced successful results in the following ways:

  • Clarity on roles and responsibilities
  • Documented and updated Training
  • Reports in place to track and monitor performance
  • Focus on functionality of system
  • Engagement of employees on system issues
  • 3rd Party manufacturers relationship improved and deemed trustworthy

Implementing a new technology is never easy. Experienced Solutions4Business consultants seamlessly integrate with your teams to engage, involve, train and communicate visually, thereby ensuring productive new technology implementation and sustained use.

Schedule a consultation with an expert!
North American Sales:
+1 (855) 345-7742 (Toll-free)

General Info:

Media Inquiries:

Partnership Inquiries:

Current Job Openings:
+1 (856) 553-5577

Solutions4Business Headquarters:
250 Pehle Ave Suite #200,
Saddle Brook, NJ 07663 United States

Request a Call Back