Limitations of Process Flowcharts

8/25/20 10:30 AM

Process Flowcharts are able to be utilized within various industries or supply chain settings. Need to track and oversee the process within a warehouse or manufacturing facility? Process flowcharts allow you to document the steps, provide times to each step, and ultimately begin to brainstorm potential ideas pertaining to process improvement.

Limitations of Process Flowcharts

Process flowcharts are a commonly utilized tool within manufacturing facilities that are seeking to improve processes through lean and six sigma tools. The tool breaks down each step and allows you to develop a visual representation that can be explained to anyone within the facility. It is also commonly utilized as a tool that allows you to explain any findings and process in a manner that management is able to understand.

While this tool should be utilized within majority of facilities, it is important to understand that there are various drawbacks associated with the tool as well. While the tool is very beneficial, it does have its limitations that can create extra time – leading to wasted time and costs. Within this blog, we are going to discuss the limitations of process flowcharts and how they relate to your facility.

Limitations of Process Flowcharts

With process flowcharts, there are a series of advantages that can be extremely beneficial to your overall operation. While there are many advantages to using them, there are also a series of limitations associated with them as well. These limitations include the following:

  • Logic Complexity – Flowcharts can become relatively complex and hard to understand when there is a complicated process that it is documenting. The more steps associated with the process, the more that need to be documented. This results in a scattered and clumsy flowchart which will be difficult to explain to management or break down. Flowcharts also have a tendency to oversimplify a process and can leave out key details of a process.
  • Alterations – Alterations are relatively frustrating and can result in wasted time when it pertains to flowcharts. This is because as you discover new process steps or any steps that are not actually apart of the process, you have to completely redraw the flowchart. For example, let’s say that you are watching a warehouse worker put pallets on a line repeatedly. He does the same process over and over again for an entire day, and therefore you believe that this is the process that they all do. Then, you draw up a process flow chart, only to see the next day that the process is completely different due to that particular working not following the standard operating procedure. As this happens time and time again, you have to redraw your process flow chart, leading to wasted time and is quite effort-consuming.
  • Reproduction – The last major drawback and limitation of a process flowchart includes being able to reproduce them. As flowcharts are unable to be typed, this means that you have to go in and draw them using Word, Excel, or some other software. This becomes very time consuming as you have to use a computer to be able to construct these on a frequent basis, taking time away from other areas that may need more time and attention.

A software that can aid with understanding the process and schedules behind production pertains to PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software is a must for manufacturing facilities that are seeking to increase operational efficiency and ultimately enhance their operation through profitability increase and cost reduction.

Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software 

Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software has become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations due to customer demand for increased product mix and fast delivery combined with downward cost pressures. APS can be quickly integrated with a ERP/MRP software to fill gaps where these system lack planning and scheduling flexibility and accuracy. Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) helps planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans.

  • Create optimized schedules balancing production efficiency and delivery performance
  • Maximize output on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
  • Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
  • Provide company-wide visibility to capacity
  • Enable scenario data-driven decision making

Implementation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency, taking advantage of the operational data you already have in your ERP.

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