The Nuts and Bolts of APS Technology


The Nuts and Bolts of APS Technology

FND Q  & A with Cris A. Young

Guest: John Buglino, Director of Marketing, Optessa

We have with us today John Buglino from Optessa, Inc. I had noticed that John and I attend many of the same online manufacturing events, groups, and podcasts. That made it imperative for me to sit down and talk with him regarding the state of the industry and how his company is making their customers more successful in their business efforts. John is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Optessa which has a patented APS (advanced planning and scheduling) software used by many of the leading US manufacturing companies.

Welcome to FND John.

Please share with us a little about yourself and how you got into manufacturing and also technology?

Thank you, Cris! It is great connecting with you and sharing more with the FND community. I got my start in manufacturing about 4 years back when I took a role within a microelectronics manufacturer serving customers in the aerospace, defense, telecom, and medical markets. My role there was like my current role with Optessa, however it was marketing and selling hardware as opposed to software. In February 2020 I joined Optessa as their Director of Marketing.

Who is Optessa?

Optessa is an advanced planning and scheduling software utilized by top tier manufacturers around the world. Since 2001, Optessa has provided manufacturers with the only planning, sequencing, and scheduling software that guarantees results using patented algorithms that adapt to any challenge without extra coding.

What is APS software?

APS stands for advanced planning and scheduling. It is a digital solution that assists manufacturers with the creation of production plans and schedules by considering business resources and constraints.

How is the technology utilized?

This software is used to create production plans and schedules based on inputs and data supplied by the customer. These inputs can include material inventories, customer orders, labor resources, and machines.

What problems does it solve?

There is no shortage of problems the right APS software can solve for a manufacturer. Key business objectives include order fulfillment, lean operations, improved material stability, maximize throughput, and increase productivity.

What types of manufacturing companies are using APS software? 

Too few are, if at all, using APS software. It is tough to break the reliance on manual processes, homegrown systems, or excel spreadsheets to manage the production plans and schedules. Those that are using it, and properly, can see returns to their business in a matter of a few weeks or months.

John, we recently got to chat about how important technology and automation is now and will be in the future of manufacturing. What are you seeing out there with regards to the adoption of technology and automated business processes in the industrial world? Part of our discussion focused on several of the issues that today businesses face such as workforce, supply chain, machine maintenance, and inventory concerns.

Too many are turning to and then quickly blaming technology when things go wrong – or the issue remains after implementing the technology. There is a high adoption of and use of technology more so now than in the last 3 years, however issues remain. I would argue that the issues are stemming from the lack of understanding from the individual sourcing a solution and the processes needed to improve the technology.

Please share with our audience what Optessa does that will assist in overcoming the challenges that many companies are facing today. What benefits could a business expect after integrating Optessa into their business processes?

Most of the companies out there have existing software applications already in use and they don’t want to replace them. Optessa can be deployed as a standalone solution or, most common, as a complementary software solution to existing systems. With the ability to utilize any digital input from the customer, an ERP or excel spreadsheet, the Optessa team will model your entire production environment in our software. Users of the software will be able to work in the Optessa software just as easily as they do with existing systems or spreadsheets. The Optessa software takes all the available inputs from the customer to generate the optimal production plan and schedule based on the specific KPIs given to us by the customer. The software can account for limitless features, functions, routings, and constraints to achieve the desired result(s) of the customer. Optessa delivers these feasible plans and schedules in a fraction of the time, taking minutes instead of hours/days, through other methods.

How easy is it to integrate Optessa’s product into the tech stack?

The integration process is easy considering you have a full team of application specialists working to ensure a seamless connection from Optessa to any legacy systems or data sources in place. If an integration is not possible, the Optessa software can receive inputs through manual file sharing or shared tables with their customers.

What if a company has multiple locations?

Multiple locations, no matter the distance, can be accounted for and included in an optimal plan and schedule for our customers. Several of our customers have complex manufacturing routings that require partial goods to be moved from location to location to arrive at a finished good. The Optessa software can account for transit times and will include these times when generating the plan and schedule for our customers.

How quickly can Optessa’s software adapt to a change in production, workforce, or materials disruptions?

With the Optessa software our customers can replan and reschedule in seconds, as disruptions arise. On top of the speed, the software engine will generate the new outputs with a bias towards the original plan and schedule to further reduce any disruptions. Through the software’s report center you can generate a report of the original output versus the new output to understand the downstream impacts of the disruptions.

I read in a recent article where Optessa was referred to as an Industry 4.0 building block and how that could open up new and different opportunities for companies utilizing your software. Can you give more details on how this is possible?

The Optessa software is a building block, more so a foundational piece, when speaking about Industry 4.0.  Our team feels that feasible production plans and schedules, which can only be generated using our software, serve as the foundation of a stable supply chain. Optessa holds the patent for optimization – meaning all our results are guaranteed to be mathematically the best.

What sets Optessa apart from the other available products out there?

There are two things here – First, Optessa is the only provider in the APS software space that will model your entire production environment; second Optessa is the only provider that mathematically guarantees the results given to our customers.

Most of our readers are in the fastener industry how can they apply Optessa’s software in their businesses?

The first step in applying our software is to define your problem. The software is versatile and can be configured to solve nearly every manufacturing problem out of the box. It is the duty of our customer to identify the problem, gather the necessary data (can even be partial or incomplete), and quantify what solving this problem means to their company.

What is your best one piece of advice for companies sitting on the fence regarding the updating of their software and business processes?

Cris, my piece of advice is to start a conversation with me or any member of the Optessa team to begin your APS journey. Like their manufacturing environments and processes, our software is complex. There are a number of conversations that need to happen to make sure we can deliver on the expectations of our customers, align their teams, and generate a feasible plan to implement.

Well John, it certainly sounds like you and the Optessa team have figured out how to solve complex problems for and advance businesses who need assistance with production and scheduling for many different situations on a companywide level. FND appreciates you sharing how Optessa can help to solve the age-old problem of production and scheduling mishaps that plague many of the manufacturers today.

You can find out more about APS systems at

John Buglino

John brings his experience in lead generation, marketing automation, and social media marketing to Optessa. Started out his career with New York Community Bancorp as a marketing assistant and later worked for iCIMS and the Hermetic Solutions Group in versatile roles driving new business and elevating the brand within their respective industries. John holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and advertising from Seton Hall University.

About Optessa

Optessa is a leader in intelligent planning, sequencing, and scheduling optimization software with many successful implementations among top tier global manufacturers. Optessa products have wide applicability in industries as diverse as auto OEMs, suppliers, power equipment, electronics, semiconductor, and mills; batch process industries such as food and beverage, and paints; as well as shipping and logistics.

The company has offices in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Hazlet, New Jersey, USA; and Goa, India. Optessa’s leadership team combines deep expertise in software, mathematics, manufacturing, and optimization technologies with unmatched customer commitment.

Optessa supports global deployment at more than 100 distinct manufacturing facilities and production areas. We also partner with industry leaders, Deloitte and Tech Mahindra, to further enhance our client support.


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