Preactor Pricing, Features, Reviews & Comparison of Alternatives


Advanced Planning and Scheduling

4.0/5 (1 review)

Preactor overview

What is Preactor?

Preactor is a family of products that provides Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) solutions for small, medium and large companies.

Preactor is used by companies in discrete, process and mixed mode type of environments. It is equally at home in modelling plants that involve machines, packing lines, tanks, assembly lines and so on in make to order, make to stock, engineer to order, repetitive and continuous processes. Preactor can be installed straight out of the box but can also be customised and configured where necessary and without disturbing the core Preactor code, an important issue when it comes to future releases and technical support.

Preactor is also designed for integration with other software such as ERP, MES, Data collection, Forecasting, Demand Planning and OEE applications.

The basic difference between planning software and scheduling software is that planning systems are ‘bucketed’ (monthly, weekly, daily) and cannot preserve operation sequences within the time bucket. True scheduling systems are bucketless, preserving sequencing, and capable of generating work-to or dispatch lists. Assignment of operation to resource is a key function to achieve operational efficiency and optimizing performance.

Detailed Scheduling software is an important tool for many companies where it can have a major impact on the productivity. Detailed scheduling uses a shorter time horizon and a much more detailed process route than a planning system. Typically the input would be manufacturing orders which have a process route associated with each defining the operation steps to make the product. The user then can load the orders onto individual resources using scheduling rules and interact with the schedule using the Gantt charts and plots that are generated. A typical output would be a dispatch list for each resource.

Preactor takes a breakthrough approach to the planning process. Whereas most planning systems use a spreadsheet type grid to calculate the production load with some simple load levelling to push overloads from one week to the next, Preactor’s uses its detailed scheduling roots to search for available capacity.

When used in a long term planning system Preactor is set up with a high level model of the process. The forecast demand is usually planned at SKU (finished product) level and the process capacity is typically represented as weekly or daily ‘buckets of capacity’, with the resources representing departments, cells, plants or entire factories. The inputs to the planning system are the forecast demand, initial stock and the target stock level required at the end of each day or week. The target stock levels can either be entered as a number of items, e.g. 10,000 cases, or in Days of Cover (DoC), e.g. 14 DoC, in which case Preactor analyses the forecast and real demand over the next DoC period to determine the required stock level.

The available capacity is also entered through a calendar system set up in either daily or weekly mode for each resource, where resources may be departments, cells, plants or entire factories.
Typically the production load is backward scheduled, so Preactor will start by trying to load the demand onto the available resources into the week or day it is ideally required. Preactor also includes the concept of a ‘Make Window’. The Make Window defines how early you are prepared to make the product because there may be shelf life issues to take into account. If capacity cannot be found within the Make Window, then alternative resources will be considered.

The planner can then use the system to change planning parameters and capacity in each period to see the impact on deliveries, stock levels, and capacity utilization over the planning horizon.


Pricing options
One time license
Free trial
Value for money
View Pricing Plans


Business size



United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, China and 3 other markets, India, Japan, Germany

Supported languages

English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish and 12 other languages, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
Preactor screenshot: Preactor Workspace, Materials Explorer & Sequencer/Gantt ChartsPlanning & Scheduling - What's the difference and how they're important

Preactor user reviews

Very good

Value for money
Ease of use
Customer support
Robert Maxwell

use for CT scans every day

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2018-12-29
Review Source: Capterra

Easy to use and understand, use it every day

I've never had any problems with this software

Rating breakdown

Ease of use

Likelihood to recommend: 8/10

Minimize review

Preactor pricing

Pricing options
One time license
Free trial
View Pricing Plans

The cost of a Preactor system license will depend on the Preactor product you choose and the services required to customise it.

Preactor Express is our new Free entry level version of the product family.

There is also the opportunity to purchase PreactorCover with the license. This annual maintenance fee will entitle you to free telephone/email/forum support and also free upgrade to new versions of Preactor as they are released.

Preactor features


Activity Dashboard (625 other apps)
Activity Tracking (347 other apps)
Audit Trail (342 other apps)
Auditing (384 other apps)
Automatic Notifications (551 other apps)
Billing & Invoicing (322 other apps)
Compliance Management (428 other apps)
Customizable Reporting (435 other apps)
Data Import/Export (412 other apps)
Document Management (357 other apps)
Document Storage (343 other apps)
Inventory Management (469 other apps)
Inventory Tracking (360 other apps)
Monitoring (324 other apps)
Real Time Data (360 other apps)
Real Time Reporting (316 other apps)
Reporting & Statistics (586 other apps)
Third Party Integration (471 other apps)
Workflow Management (461 other apps)

Videos and tutorials

Additional information for Preactor

Key features of Preactor

  • Integrate and automate data transfer
  • Modify existing and create new Preactor reports
  • Set up or changeover times that are sequence dependent
  • Transfer batching between operations (overlapping)
  • Define import and export routines using the Preactor Wizard
  • Publish schedules on a web site
  • Plot the capacity usage of resources
  • Plot the usage of additional resources such as labor, etc
  • Modify the data tables
  • More features listed on our website
View All Features


Case studies and references are available in almost every manufacturing sector as well as services and logistics applications. Some of the measurable benefits include:-

15-20% Improvement in productivity – get more from what you already have.
40-50% Reduction in raw materials inventory – synchronize purchasing with an achievable schedule.
40-50% Reduction in make-span time – reduce WIP that slows down production flow.
50-90% Improvement in customer service – increase on-time deliveries.

These benefits can provide a return in investment (ROI) measured in weeks or just a few months.

Preactor takes a breakthrough approach to the planning process and uses its detailed scheduling roots to search for available capacity.

An important feature of any scheduling tool is the ability to customise it to meet the unique needs of each application. Templates can help to get the user to 80% of the requirements but to get the last 20% it’s important to be able to tailor the tool to fit.

ERP is good at costing, inventory control and transaction control for key business processes. Preactor is good at drilling down to the shop floor to manage individual orders or individual resources in real time. It generates achievable production schedules that take into account all potential or existing constraints on the shop floor. It can increase throughput, reduce work in process and raw material inventory. It provides a ‘crystal ball’ for the planner to use at shop floor level.

Some APS solutions have functionality that overlaps ERP particularly in the area of Bill of Materials (BoM), order generation and stock control. This may lead to synchronization issues. Preactor takes a different approach. It adds functionality, enables ERP and does not overlap so avoiding synchronization of data.

Preactor is designed for integration with ERP and data can be passed easily between them without affecting the others performance. Scheduling systems need ‘in memory’ data to aid scheduling speed whereas ERP systems are more transactional based. It is unacceptable for the performance of the scheduling system to be compromised by a ‘report run’ on the ERP system. Separate programs are essential.

Preactor 400 APS and higher versions have features to connect orders together so it can take into account the real constraints and unexpected delays automatically. SMC or 'Standard Material Control' is a function that creates links between orders (pegging of materials). These links can then be used by Preactor to ensure that only when materials are available from one or more producing orders can the consuming orders connected to them by SMC start. Rules can be applied by the user to control the selection of which producing orders to link to a consuming.

The user interface provided by Preactor can show order status in a variety of ways. This provides the planner with a complete picture of demand, capacity, resource usage and operation sequence, as well as the expected completion time for each operation in a Gantt chart.

When ERP systems use capacity to restrict the loading of operations into ‘buckets’ of time it will not take into account the sequence of loading within them.

The ability to make ad-hoc enquiries to establish when an order can be shipped is often a critical requirement. So called 'Available To Promise', ATP, (usually defined as a calculation based on the availability of current stock, work in process or fixed lead times) does not necessarily meet the needs of many companies.

Capable to Promise, CTP, (generally defined as taking into account the current status of production and the finite capacity of resources) is often what is really required. This is a more complex calculation based on data that most ERP systems do not have, so many offer instead, a simpler calculation based on finite capacity at a bucketed level e.g. da