Printing Company Can Save $200K per Week with Data-Driven Production Planning

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Objective: Replace production planning based on gut feel and tribal knowledge with a data-driven process

Solutions: LLamasoft Supply Chain Guru, LLamasoft Data Guru

Results: Company estimates the new process will save over $200K per week in retail offset printing division

Printing Company Can Save $200K per Week with Data-Driven Production Planning


For this major printing company, the trickiest part of its supply chain is within its own four walls. The printing business is fast paced. Orders need to be produced on time and with the promised quality. In addition, with the vast array of materials the company produces, retooling production lines to run a new order can be labor intensive and time consuming. When production runs are scheduled inefficiently, it has a significant impact on both the bottom line and customer satisfaction. In the printing company’s retail offset division, sales and production were often not able to effectively communicate on order scheduling, leaving production managers unable to optimize schedules. The company believed there was an opportunity to improve the current production planning process using supply chain modeling technology.


Using Supply Chain Guru and Data Guru, the LLamasoft professional services team created a production planning system to replace the inefficient, ad-hoc process in the company’s retail offset business. In the new process, data is provided from the client’s systems in a combination of Access database and spreadsheet formats. This data is passed through Data Guru where it is scrubbed and organized before being fed into the production model set up in Supply Chain Guru. With the flexibility to handle multiple time horizons, the model uses capacity information and key constraints to recommend a production schedule.


By implementing a data-driven production planning process, the printing company estimates it can save over $200,000 every week, which is almost $10.5 million a year. Now that the initial project has demonstrated the potential benefits of formalized production planning, the company has additional savings opportunities to explore, including rolling the process out to additional divisions, and taking planning within the offset printing division to the next level by adding the ability to plan production across sites.

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