What Lies Ahead?
With so many different types of applications, it is not surprising that there is such a great variety of planning and scheduling models. Moreover, the numerous solution methods provide a host of procedures for the myriad of problems. Any given application typically requires its own type of planning and scheduling engine as well as customized user interfaces. The overall architecture of a system may therefore be very application-specific. The decision support systems that have been designed for planning and scheduling in the various industries tend to be quite different from one another.
Over the last decade there has been a tendency to build larger systems that have more capabilities and that are better integrated within the ERP system of the enterprise. Especially in the manufacturing world there has been a tendency to design and develop integrated systems with multiple functionalities. Especially in supply chain management the systems (and their underlying models) have become more and more elaborate. The dimensions according to which such a system can be measured include the number of facilities in the network as well as the various time horizons over which the system must optimize. Integration may occur in scope, space and time.
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