Your Trusted Pathway to Promise Perfection: The Top 3 Capabilities that a Capable-to-Promise system should have. 

By Luca Ianniello

In the world of manufacturing, efficiency and effective resource allocation plays a pivotal role in meeting customer demands while optimizing operations. The recent increase of disruptions and the consequent reduced visibility of the supply chain, have increased the risk of not complying with previous commitments and heightened the need for tools to address these challenges. 

A proven solution is a Capable-to-Promise (CTP) system. This type of solution enables enterprises to commit to customer order delivery dates, based on production/resource capacity and inventory.  

Most ERP and SCM systems provide a similar feature though seldom based on available capacity and inventory, but rather on planned ones. The difference is crucial, especially today. 

An effective CTP solution needs to be based on a finite capacity model, connected to the shopfloor and updated in real time. Interoperability with ERP, SCM and, if present, MES,  is crucial to provide the CTP system with up-to-date information and produce trustable projections. 

In light of the previous considerations, let’s see the top three most important features that a CTP system needs to have to impact manufacturing efficiency. 

1. Real-time Visibility

A CTP system needs real-time visibility into the production floor’s capacity and capabilities. It should be able to assess available resources, such as machinery, labor, and materials, and determine their capacity to fulfil customer orders accurately. With this insight, businesses can make informed decisions about order commitments and confidently communicate delivery dates to customers. 

2. Finite and Constrained Capacity model

By leveraging a finite capacity model, a CTP  system can accurately promise delivery dates to customers. The system considers all existing production orders, their respective manufacturing times, and available resources to generate realistic timelines. Planned and unplanned downtime can be considered, as well as production constraints, such as operator skills, tools, energy and so on. This capability helps avoid overpromising and underdelivering, reducing the risk of disappointing customers and allowing manufacturers to build stronger relationships based on trust. 

3. What-if simulations and scenario planning

CTP systems often provide simulation and scenario planning capabilities, allowing users to evaluate the impact of different order configurations, resource allocations, or constraints on the CTP results. These simulations enable better decision-making and help in identifying potential bottlenecks or capacity constraints in advance. ERP systems may not offer such advanced simulation capabilities, limiting the ability to assess different scenarios accurately. 

When more than one solution is possible, a CTP system with what-if capability can run multiple scenarios, increasing the possibility for manufacturers to identify several production setups and evaluate which is the most effective and performant.

When a CTP system, such as the one previously described, like Opcenter APS, is in place, the benefits for manufacturers are numerous, and the impact on customer satisfaction is significant. Delivering accurate promise dates enables manufacturers to proactively manage customer expectations. Businesses can cultivate a reputation for reliability, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase customer loyalty. 


Modern and effective Capable-to-Promise systems, based on real-time and finite-capacity simulation capabilities, bring significant benefits to manufacturers. Higher visibility, accurate order promise, optimal resource allocation, improved production planning, enhanced customer satisfaction, and reduced costs are just some of the advantages that propel manufacturing efficiency forward. By leveraging this powerful tool, manufacturers meet customer expectations consistently and gain a competitive edge in today’s dynamic business landscape. 

Opcenter APS, the Siemens Planning and Scheduling solution, provides a robust CTP process and includes interoperability with MES, SCM and ERP, real-time visibility, what-if simulations and a finite-capacity and constrained scheduling model.  It has all the features required by a CTP solution to be effective as described in this blog post. Are you interested in Opcenter APS Capable to Promise feature? Have a look at this video! 

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at