Operations Planning and Scheduling for the Food and Beverage Industry

5/16/18 4:45 PM

The food, beverage, and related processing industries have their unique production challenges. With demand being a primary factor in production scheduling, there are many inconsistencies in demand that can impact operational planning. Operations Planning for the Food and Beverage IndustryDemand can have variables of all sorts that contribute to the change in amount of product being consumed; seasons, competitor sale promotions, or even a nationwide change in average income. Food and beverage industries can have a considerably more challenging time stocking their shelves full, simply because of the varying demand and lack of shelf-life the products contain. Planning and control for the food and beverage industry can seem to be nearly impossible, with last-minute consumers making the decision of how much product is really needed. Production can never stop when it pertains to this industry, which is an obstacle that many planning and scheduling teams face when attempting to predict demand.

food-processing-white-paper-copy1Some of the challenges of food and beverage planning and scheduling include:

  • Bottleneck productivity recognition constraining capacity of production.
  • Consumer consumption hindering large quantities of storage.
  • Scheduled maintenance.
  • Various dispatches a day; meeting customer conveyance periods.
  • Cleaning of resources; hindering the ability to smoothly produce goods.
  • Reusable asset availability that interrupts production.

With the above challenges limiting a facility from reaching its truest potential, they miss out on perhaps the most critical of all objectives - revenue. This has left more than one operations manager wondering how to increase productivity and coming to the conclusion of planning without real-time feedback tools leaves them only weighing lost productivity after the fact.

So, how should a production or processing facility develop an operations plan? One place to start would be by evaluating the planning and scheduling system and the limitations of their ERP system. Outdated systems can lead to a great deal of frustration. Do you upgrade or do you add-on? Switching to a more advanced planning and scheduling system can bring an incredible amount of real-time insight into an operation. APS software, as an ERP extension/add-on, can can constitute a real-time strategy to accommodate the high expectation of customers.

With market growth and product capacity consumption, scheduling tools become a necessity in resource planning. Utilization of APS software allows for improved productivity through a strategy for demand. It contains up-to-the-minute results of facility functionality, which, in an operation that contains the mentality of  “every minute counts,” provides visibility and feedback that allows you to alter flow on the fly and in your favor. Advanced planning and scheduling systems are one answer for food and beverage industry planner and operations managers that desire a comprehensive operations plan for production.

Related Operations Management Video 

 APS Resources

Topics: capacity planning, Industry, production planning, packaging, ERP, APS, supply chain, agility, control design, beer brewing, food manufacturing, multi-plant, SAP, Demand Forecasting


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