Production Scheduling: What It Is, Stages and Software

Production Scheduling

There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes when you go to your favorite clothing shop and buy a pair of pants to test out. To ensure that the materials needed to make pants are received, processed, and shipped on time, a manufacturer has worked tirelessly to meet strict production scheduling.

Manufacturers are often faced with delays in work orders or difficulty procuring the right materials for production planning. This makes it difficult to stock shelves.

60% of supply chain managers believe that improving efficiency and effectiveness will continue to be relevant in disrupting supply chain management in 2021. 50% think that tech will have a significant impact on operations to support that goal.

This article will cover production scheduling and its evolution, as well as the critical role of technology in the supply chain. We’ll also discuss how to make production scheduling more efficient.

What is production scheduling?

It is vital to the supply chain. It’s actually responsible for many of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs), in the entire supply chain.

A recent survey of 623 supply-chain professionals revealed that these are the most commonly used production scheduling KPIs for a production scheduler.

  • Daily performance (40%)
  • Reduce Costs (35%)
  • Production service rate (29%)
  • Inventory Turn (28%)
  • Production time (27%)

What is production planning?

Production planning determines the scope and amount of work to be done. Scheduling decides who and when to perform those operations. It works in the same way as production scheduling. It allocates resources, employees, materials, production capacity, and other production capabilities to different customers.

Production planning is the first step in scheduling. Although both are important, we will focus our remaining time on production scheduling. We’ll start with creating the schedule.

What are the stages of production scheduling?

Production scheduling results in a production schedule, or a production program. Production scheduling is adjusted according to the availability of staff and resources, as well the number of orders.

You want to find the right balance between your customer’s needs and the materials that you have.

In 5 steps, the production schedule can be created and executed:

  • Planning: There are two types of planning: static and dynamic. Static planning assumes that nothing will change, while dynamic planning assumes that everything can change. Both involve gathering and analyzing available resources, budgets, timelines, and staff availability.
  • Routing: This is the process that takes you from the raw material to the final product. The production routing helps to determine the best sequence of steps that is cost-effective and the most efficient to make a product.
  • Scheduling: This is where you set the date and time that each step must be completed in order to complete a production order. You can create many types of schedules during this process.
    Master schedule: master production scheduling includes people, routing steps, resources, etc.
    Manufacturing schedule – manufacturing production schedule includes only the routing steps.
    Retail operations scheduling – This includes routing steps for retail products. These are slightly different because they’re made to be placed on a shelf or in an electronic queue, rather than being shipped directly to the customer.
  • Dispatching: This is the act of moving goods and people around. It involves issuing instructions and orders for products and parts to be moved from one place to another throughout the production scheduling process.
  • Execution: This is the execution of your production schedule.

How do you optimize production scheduling?

Here’s how you do it:

  • Create a dynamic schedule: You must be able to adjust quickly in the event of a problem. This includes contacting reinforcements and redistributing resources.
  • Control what is actually work-in-progress (WIP): Nothing is a priority if everything is WIP. A job should not be considered WIP unless it is absolutely necessary to be done now.
  • Prioritize on-time delivery, rather than scheduling due dates: The due date for an order might be pushed to the top of your production schedule. In reality, the due date today is 5 days away otherwise the order will not be completed on time. You can prioritize the former with a dynamic schedule.

Without the right production scheduling software, It is impossible to create dynamic workflows and production schedules.

Production scheduling tools force you to focus on a single date. Others provide dynamic support for an operations team that allows them to run a production schedule with maximum efficiency.

What is production scheduling software?

Software that helps you manage and build your production schedule is called Production Scheduling Software.

It is designed to improve your production process and make it more efficient. and You should constantly update your priorities and your schedule. Also, keep an eye on inventory plans so that you can make adjustments if necessary.

The best APS software is often referred to as advanced planning and scheduling software (APS). It can be integrated with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing resource planning software (MRP) so data updates automatically across all platforms.

Final Thoughts – Production scheduling

Production scheduling can be a complex job that involves many people and multiple tasks. You also have to consider the unpredictable nature of supply, demand, movement of materials, and complex manufacturing processes — all of which could throw your carefully planned plan out of the window. If any of these things go wrong, the entire production could come to a halt.

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