Before the project with DecisionBrain, IBM Bromont used a packaged software that provided basic capacity planning functionalities, without embedding any optimization. The software struggled to cope with new demand formats received from customers. A high proportion of Part Numbers (PNs) are produced on small production runs. Approximately 20% of PNs have long production runs, while the rest have short runs. The process has a high variability coming from:
- High demand variability
- High supply variability (wafers quantity/product mix)
- High process variability (e.g. different PNs are created as a result of testing)
All these factors, combined with a complex production process, make planning particularly difficult. Manual planning is far from optimal, especially considering that demand could change from one day to the next. IBM was looking for a reliable customized long-term planning solution that could cope with all these issues.