Exercise № 2

Time for
a check-up!

Welcome to our planning check-up!

We all undergo regular medical check-ups. Corporations are advised to do the same, particularly with regard to their processes. For planning to be really successful, the status quo of the current planning situation is crucial.

Do you want to achieve outstanding results? Then go ahead, take the plunge: Come to us for a check-up and find out where improvements need to be made! Your business, your department –  and you personally – can only stand to benefit from this. Work on your decisiveness and get fit for new markets and challenges!

Unit 1

A clear result: Take a moment to answer three questions from our case history questionnaire and find out how sound your planning really is.

Go to unit

Unit 2

A clear goal in mind: once the results are clear, you’ll get our therapy plan. Practical solutions which can drive your business further.

Go to unit

Unit 1

Unit 1:
Case History

A clear result

Status Quo

How sound is your planning?

We listen carefully and ask the right questions. In this unit you can undergo a check-up with the help of our mini questionnaire based on the top 3 most frequent questions concerning planning. In Unit 2 you will get the appropriate therapy plan: here you’ll find out which changes can be deduced from it.

Yet first of all, you need to get an idea of what state your planning processes are in. An honest result can be painful, but it is a crucial step towards making a positive change. So take a deep breath and off you go!

 Case History Questionnaire

Question 1:

Does your company repeatedly experience bottlenecks in production/processes, poor plant utilization or capacity problems?

You’re not alone! We say this because we encounter this problem in many of our projects: Bottlenecks lead to lasting disruptions in operating procedures. Plants which do not run at full capacity mean inflated production costs. A high number of cross-dependencies makes a planner’s task even more complex. How can you change this? Follow the questionnaire and read more in Unit 2

Congratulations! You seem to have your processes under control. Maybe you already deploy planning software? If you would like a second opinion to see how you can make even better improvements,  just contact us!

Question 2:

Does this sound familiar? The Sales Department would like to be more flexible when it comes to binding new customers, the head of production would like level machine capacity utilization and management would like to see stock kept at as low a level as possible. Who will come out on top?

Securing customer loyalty by guaranteeing high flexibility and short delivery times is cetainly an advisable strategy. In our experience, popular decisions of this kind tend to be at the detriment of other departments as far as customer loyalty is concerned. In order to balance this out, the relevant targets must be defined which allow an assessment. If you’d like to see how this works, then read more in Unit 2

A production department that continuously operates at full capacity increases a company’s profitability. If this is your assumption, what’s your take on delivery reliability and high customer satisfaction? As these are both vital for the lasting success of a company, you should take a look at both sides of the coin. Striking a balance between both targets is easier if their impact on the entire venture can be assessed. Read more about this in Unit 2.

Maintaining low stock has a positive influence on the company results and on its liquidity. Particularly in market segments which are under immense cost pressure, these indicators need to be observed closely. The same applies to the issue of high flexibility and short delivery times which satisfied clients clients expect of you. An optimal trade-off should be determined only when the effects of both targets on the entire venture can be assessed. We show you how this works in Unit 2.

Question 3:

Defining the right KPIs is one of the most essential requirements when it comes to assessing target attainment. How confident are you that your goals are based on the right KPIs?

Planning errors based on poor decision-making occurs more often than people think! Defining the correct measurands is not always clear, even for experienced specialists. A lack of systematically processed data in a company is not uncommon. In Unit 2 we will show you examples of how the relevant KPIs can be identified one step at a time.

Very good. You have the necessary requirements for optimal planning. If you would like to know how you can develop more new optimization potential , we would be glad to show you how. Contact us!


» An honest result can be painful, but it is a crucial step towards making a positive change.«

Unit 2

Unit 2:

A clear goal in mind

Solution 1:

How can I best optimize my processes for bottlenecks and capacity issues?

If there are bottlenecks in your production process, then decisive action is called for! Focus on where the bottleneck occurs and on the upstream and downstream processes. Relieving the bottleneck almost always leads to an improvement in output, even if it is attained at the detriment of other areas.

Don’t make production quantities and sequences dpeendent on client orders! In this way you can balance machine capacity far more easily. The number of set-up procedures decreases, flexibility increases and delivery reliability also. With this method you can also get by with lower stock.

With OPTANO you optimize your  processes in every phase of your production because you already consider the targets and delivery dates in production planning. You circimvent foreseeable bottlenecks and run your machines at as high a capacity as possible. A further effect: You avoid deviating from fixed schedules and in cases where this isn’t possible, these can still be identified in advance – another bonus, e.g. for customer loyalty.

Therapy Plan

How to get on track!


Once you have the results, the next step is the therapy plan. In this unit we show you how to treat some of the most common symptoms. Learn about the solutions available for the top 3 questions in unit 1. They all originate from real-life scenarios which were developed in OPTANO projects. Identifying where improvements can be made motivates you to take the first step!

Solution 2:


What characterizes decision-making across all departments without incurring frictional losses?

For decisiveness to develop across all departments, make a start with the following:

  • Make sure you include all those involved in the process early on
  • Take into particular consideration the preliminary and follow-up jobs implemented by planners, executors, the sales team, management, etc.
  • Create an open-minded atmosphere for discussions where problems can be addressed
  • Establish clear rules
  • Make sure you have objectivity by providing facts and data.

OPTANO is designed to strike a balance between competing targets. Compare diverging scenarios with one another and make the best possible choice for the sum of your targets. OPTANO gives you sound, AI-based recommendations on how to proceed and thus simplifies your decision-making process. This is our understanding of more decisiveness!

Solution 3:

How can I achieve a really successful definition and powerful visualization of my KPIs?

In order to define targets on the basis of KPIs,  you have to be clear on a set of issues:

  • What can actually be measured?
  • When is a target considered achieved?
  • How important is a target in dependency on other targets?
  • Which interdependencies and cause-effect relationships are linked to the target?
  • How can my KPIs be visualized?

Once these issues have been clarified, there is nothing to stand in the way of smart process management.

OPTANO performs an in-depth check of your data. This guarantees that your KPI data basis is reliable, correct and conclusive. The results are individualized reporting and visualization which create transparency. Present links, for example by connecting diverse views. The mathematics behind OPTANO ensure that your results can be reproduced at any time.


» Identifying where improvements can be made motivates you to take the first step!«

Homework № 2

Training Mindfulness!

Homework № 2: Spot the differences in the photos!

Finally! Homework that you actually enjoy doing! As mathematicians and software engineers, we love solving puzzles. This is why we would like you to solve a little brainteaser at the end of each exercise. This time our puzzle is all about training mindfulness.

How many differences can you find in the image on the right? Here’s a little tip:  Each element is to be considered as one.

Did you spot the differences? Well done! Then send your correct answer including your name and surname, address and phone number by using our contact link below

Send your answer


1st Prize:

A photoshoot styled on our campaign.
If your name is drawn, you will have the opportunity to choose a theme of your choice for your personal photoshoot. It can be your hobby, a business issue, whatever you want. The only condition is that it is complex enough and fits on a 1x1m table. The photoshoot will take place in Bielefeld, Germany. Travel expenses within Germany as well as an overnight stay in a hotel are included in the prize.

2nd – 5th Prizes:

Hardcover edition of »Things Come Apart.« by McLellan

6th – 10th Prizes:

Game »Die Kunst Aufzuräumen«

Legal Notice:
Dissembled objects will not be reassembled. Further technical agreements concerning the photoshoot will be clarified with you in advance. The rights to the finished product will be assigned to the winner and OPTANO.

Legal Announcement

Terms and Conditions of Participation

This competition isn’t just for glory and prestige! Our first prize is a photoshoot in the style of our campaign. Conditions: You correctly answer all 10 of our fairly mind-boggling questions in our Exercise! Campaign. You can follow our campaign in our newsletter which you will receive as soon as a new exercise is online.

The competition closes in fall 2020

Show terms and conditions of participation

Your answer

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