The importance of Extended Enterprises increases in a more global economy. Enterprises concentrate on core technologies and create partner networks for the manufacturing of their products, a trend also visible in the semiconductor industry and illustrated with quantitative data in the introduction.
A methodology to optimize the planning for the Extended Semiconductor Enterprise is presented. The generic optimization approach documented in the paper opens also opportunities for an application in other discrete manufacturing industries. The methodology searches for the optimal plan and uses the make or buy decision processes typically found in the Extended Enterprise to resolve unfeasible resource constraints. The combination of an exact optimization algorithm with heuristics at two levels creates more flexibility for the Extended Enterprise Planner. The decision to include heuristics in the methodology has been taken based on the outcome of an industry survey.
Benchmarks illustrate that the documented methodology generates schedules that increase resource utilisation and decrease subcontracting costs.