One of the most challenging aspects of manufacturing is the production scheduling process. Production scheduling involves allocating machine and labor resource capacity, processes, and materials to create goods for customers. Essentially, the production schedule tells you what should be produced, on which machine, and at what time.
In order for the production process to operate properly, the production schedule must be accurate and feasible. If the schedule shows that you should be producing 10 units of an item but only 5 units can actually be produced based on capacity constraints, then you will have late orders and angry customers.
One of the main challenges in production scheduling is to minimize costs and production time while meeting customer demands. In addition, finding the most optimal production schedule can cause challenges when you have complex manufacturing processes.
This is why production scheduling software such as PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling software was developed. Production scheduling software allows manufacturers to handle demand volatility and generate the most efficient and optimized schedule possible.
While there are many benefits of using an advanced planning and scheduling software, it is important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of implementing one in your manufacturing organization.
Advantages of Production Scheduling Software
The advantages of utilizing production scheduling software pertain to the following:
- Save Time - Traditional production scheduling techniques that involve the manual scheduling of every job on a spreadsheet are extremely time-consuming and error-prone. With a production scheduling software, your schedule is automatically generated based on customer orders and demand forecasts and will schedule jobs on eligible resources with no additional effort from the scheduler. This means that when demand signals change, the production scheduler can quickly adjust and optimize the schedule to maximize the throughput of the facility and meet customer demands.
- Deliver On Time - A production scheduling software that allows you to plan weeks and even months in advance based on customer demand will ensure that you are able to produce and deliver your items on time. With PlanetTogether APS, jobs are scheduled only when there is enough capacity on the required resources and when labor is available. This ensures that the production schedule generated reflects what can actually be done on the shop floor so that you are not over-promising orders.
- Improve Communication - Another major benefit of production scheduling software is the ability to act as a communication tool. Production scheduling software acts as a single communication tool in regards to its manufacturing plans. While the production schedule is usually available via the MRP system, it is essential that it is communicated in an understandable form that can be used throughout the organization. An advanced planning and scheduling system that offers visual scheduling on the Gantt as well as grid-like views will allow every department to understand the production schedule.
Disadvantages of Production Scheduling Software
The disadvantages of utilizing production scheduling software include:
- Cost - The main concern that manufacturers have when looking into a scheduling software is the cost of implementation. When a scheduling system is implemented, you will need to pay for the software and training to be able to use it. You may also incur other costs in terms of resources needed to facilitate the implementation process or to improve scheduling.
- Complexity - The complexity of implementation is another big concern of installing a new production scheduling software. In order to make the most out of your production scheduling software, it is essential to keep track of which production crew will be working, what materials will be used, and what products will be produced. In large manufacturing firms, this may result in a large amount of work for the production scheduler as they have to gather all product numbers, part numbers, eligibility constraints, run rates, etc.
- Skewed - The last potential issue with production scheduling pertains to the difficulty in scheduling processes. While you may want to attempt to stick to a specific schedule, it will not take much to throw the entire schedule off. An example of this would include if a machine was to go down for an hour, the entire production schedule will be thrown off. This is why you need to be ready at any moment for a mishap to happen.
PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software is an essential tool for any manufacturing operation that is looking to simplify its planning and scheduling processes. An Advanced Planning and Scheduling System quickly and automatically creates a concurrent production plan and schedule that takes into consideration all of the constraints, sequencing preferences, and management priorities you have. PlanetTogether can help you increase the efficiency of your production by identifying capacity bottlenecks, reduce inventory, and reduce the overall production costs.
Our scheduling system was limiting our production capabilities. It had become the determinant of growth potential, not capacity.
DICK MARX, MATERIALS MANAGER, KNAPHEIDE TRUCK EQUIPMENT
Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software
Advanced Planning and Scheduling Softwares have become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations as customer demand for increased product assortment, fast delivery, and downward cost pressures become prevalent. These systems help planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans. APS Systems can be quickly integrated with an ERP/MRP software to fill the gaps where these systems lack planning and scheduling flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency.
With PlanetTogether APS you can:
- Create optimized schedules that balance production efficiency and delivery performance
- Maximize throughput on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
- Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
- Provide company-wide visibility to resource capacity
- Enable scenario data-driven decision making
The implementation of an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency by taking advantage of the operational data you already possess in your ERP system. APS is a step in the right direction of efficiency and lean manufacturing production enhancement. Try out a free trial or demo!
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Topics: Production Scheduling Software