5/18/18 3:08 AM
Daily production planning can be challenging; machines break down, happenstance instances of key employee absenteeism, upstream supply chain matters, quality issues. In any case, there are production days where things do not go as planned. Trying to be both lean and agile can be especially challenging. Lean manufacturing provides a means for waste minimization, which is key to dynamic order fulfillment while maintaining a low waste manufacturing production plan. Lean production can be compatible with forecasting, but it has a unique upstream plan approach and process.Inventories are to be a balance of both adequate - and yet minimal. Lean principles go hand in hand with JIT, Kanban and Kaizen practices and procedures. Physical inventory, factory floor space, quality control and so many elements are controlled - and especially the timing of actions in the process. This requires tight-yet-adequate production planning and control.
When it comes to production, all operations have a great appreciation for accurate forecasting; however, accurate forecasting can be difficult, if not impossible, due to unforeseen circumstances or order modifications. This is why companies both strive and struggle with having the exact amount of raw materials on-site and ready for a build, as well as machinery and personnel. Predicting even today's needs can be incalculable at times, which is exactly why a balanced manufacturing plan is essential to your production planning and control optimization strategy.
As mentioned previously, many companies believe that forecasting accurately is essential. This is not always the case, because lean manufacturing tends to be flexible when it pertains to forecasting. Instead of trying to be accurate, having a robust idea of where the total volume of the market will be is enough to become flexible in adjusting production, therefore accounting for last minute unforeseen circumstances. This is how companies like Toyota have found their way to be extremely successful and minimized the amount of waste they produce. Lean manufacturing can greatly benefit from production control elements commonly found in advanced planning and scheduling (APS) systems.
Manufacturing companies are moving toward lean manufacturing systems which are compatible with advanced planning and scheduling software (APS). APS serves well in lean, agile and JIT production facilities. Some APS software systems are so dynamic that they seamlessly accommodate mixed-production facilities that may have a mixture of mass production needs while still having the nimbleness to fill agile project orders.
Core functionality found in APS that applies to lean production may include:
Advanced planning and scheduling systems (APS) software allows for a fast and flexible extension to capacity planning, production scheduling, and material requirements planning when tightly-integrated with your existing ERP system. APS is a step in the right direction of production planning and control for lean manufacturing and lean production facilities.