Finite capacity scheduling and planning for the machinery industry


To implement an advenced planning & finite capacity scheduling software


GAI S.p.a. was founded in 1946 in Pinerolo (TO) by Giacomo Gai and his wife Elsa. In 1959 the company moved to Trofarello (TO) and since 1972 has been lead by Giacomo’s sons: Battista and Carlo, helped by their wives Adriana and Renata. In 1985 all activities were moved to Ceresole d’Alba (CN), where the company has been growing ceaslessy. Today, the company is managed by the third generation of the family: Giacomo (Battista and Adriana’s son), is GAI’s  CFO while Guglielmo and Giovanni, (Carlo and Renata’s sons), respectively lead the Sales and  the Manufacturing departments. GAI is a robust family company, firmly rooted in its traditions, but  with wide open eyes to the dynamics  of the outside


world, strongly committing  its presence in 5 continents  through its network of top importers. In 2015, as in the years before, the company registered  a growth in the sales now accounting € 36.500.000, and an even more ambitious goal, € 40.000.000, has been budgeted for 2016 .

In 2015 GAI completed a  further enlargement project of its plant , which now extends over approximately  40.000 m₂  on an overall area of 170.000 m₂. The company currently employs 200 people. The new headquarter was officially opened in May 2016, celebrating  at the same time 70 years of the company.


It was 2009 when GAI decided to improve its own ERP system integrating COMPASS to support the planning and scheduling process. The targets of the company were really ambitious – says  Mr. Gugliemo Gai, the company industrial director – and the major motives to undertake this project can be easily summarised  to the following:

  • clear visibility of resource load in each department, in order to easily identify bottlenecks  in advance and consequently  have significant information to approach “make or buy” strategic decisions;
  • provide to every production department a finite capacity schedule (a production sequence for each machine)  always up-to-date in order to identify and address all possible variations after  job order release (modifications required by the customer, advance or delay in deliveries,… );
  • have a continuous feedback on production progress  in the plant.


GAI  planning model is based on an MTO (Make To Order) approach, which is typical of the business,  even though  some assembliers and sub-assemblies are produced based on forecast  data.

Compass software integrated with the AS400 ERP system:

  • supports the planner in planning the requirement of components generated by finished products shop orders;
  • assigns a priority class to all  pegged production orders (at all BoM levels),  to inherit the same delivery priority of finished product, to optimise the dynamic sequencing during the finite capacity scheduling process;
  • creates a production schedule that simultaneously meets constraints on machine and workforce capacity and considers components availability at the same time;
  • generates, starting from the released production schedule, the picking list for assembly, welding and lathe departments, synchronizing logistics with production ,  therefore allowing each department manager to achieve production optimization.


Since COMPASS implementation the company improved  its Supply Chain flexibility and responsiveness, increasing customer service level and optimizing internal logistics.

  • increased agility to react to market
  • material flows synchronization with capacity
  • improvement in customer service level
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