Original Date: 02/10/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Engineering Planning and Scheduling
In the mid-1990s, Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. began to integrate planning and scheduling information from on-going work projects to make it usable throughout the organization. Bender developed a uniform-standard computer program for engineering planning and scheduling that will lead to better resource management.
For its engineering planning and scheduling, Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. engineering had been using Microsoft Project, a stand-alone scheduling program that did not give a full picture of the total work effort conducted. Microsoft Project is a relatively inexpensive tool, but could not handle the multiple complex shipbuilding projects at Bender. Primavera, which has a higher price, was utilized by the separate planning and scheduling groups on separate projects maintaining separate files. These separate files made it hard for Bender to track critical paths in the shipbuilding process, which led to a call for better manpower forecasting, including weekly work schedules to make better use of personnel.
During the mid-1990s, Bender recognized the need to implement a planning and scheduling program to improve its competitiveness. The company’s Information Systems (IS) at that time was operating on a mainframe-centric concept with a wide variety of incompatible heterogeneous desktop applications, including various program management software packages such as Primavera and Microsoft Project. Because of this lack of information integration, company resources were not fully utilized. Bender is now using Primavera (P3) to integrate and manipulate engineering planning and scheduling information throughout the company, and is progressing to an even more seamless integration and sharing of this information by using a structured query language database using the Primavera Enterprise (P3e) version. This version allows for near-real time planning and schedule changes, better manpower projects, and determining the critical path between complex shipbuilding projects.
Bender imported planning and scheduling information from Microsoft Project into Primavera (P3) to create a master schedule providing a better view of the entire shipbuilding work being done. The integrated schedule allows Bender to track and project department workloads.
Bender is transitioning to a new version, Primavera Enterprise (P3e). This software makes use of Bender’s IS Structured Query Language concept, and allows the IS group to make the planning and scheduling information available seamlessly to various departments. These departments have the ability to plan and schedule work and materials in exact quantities, and bring them together at the right time and place in the shipbuilding process. When completed, this transition will offer Bender an integrated schedule in work and material acquisition to keep production flowing seamlessly, make better projections and more efficient utilization of manpower, and allow Bender to find critical paths within and between different projects.
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