Production facility managers will often say that they don't think their factory is ready for production planning software. While it is true that implementing a new software for the entire company can be a major decision, it is important to consider implementing one before major production issues arise.
Once problems arise, it can be extremely stressful for employees to scramble to input data, learn a new system, and implement changes to improve the factory's efficiency. This is because employees are working in a reactive mode to solve expensive mistakes that could have been prevented by implementing a software preemptively.
Now, we implement solutions to problems with confidence, before constraints become a manufacturing issue.
GREGORY VAN LEIRSBURG, PRODUCTION SCHEDULER, STANDARD PROCESS SUPPLEMENTS
Instead, it is a good idea to implement a new production planning software before small problems turn into big ones. If any of the following statements are true about your company, then you might want to start seriously exploring a new production planning software program.
1. Late Orders and Longer Lead Times
We all know that keeping our customers happy is critical to the success of our business and careers. However, if your orders are shipping late or your have increasingly longer lead times, your customer satisfaction ratings will decrease.
It's easy to continue the status quo and hope that your customers won't go elsewhere for faster, more reliable service. However, with factors like the 'Amazon Effect', customer expectations are constantly changing and increasing.
Instead of hoping that your customers will remain with your company, you can take action to use a planning and control system to ensure that you are the best choice for your customers, not your competition.
2. Maintenance and Control Inspections are Being Missed
While most factories have delays in routine maintenance, cleaning, safety, and quality control inspections during peak operational times, regularly missing or delaying these can quickly become a disastrous problem.
If your facility can't seem to keep up with routine factory functions like these, you need a better way to get your schedule under control.
With an advanced planning and scheduling software, your production efficiency will increase which means that you will find it easier to schedule around machine maintenance and inspections without causing major delays in production.
3. Your Facility is Losing Productivity and Leaking Money
Ideally, every piece of equipment and employee in your company would work at maximum efficiency on the right orders, giving you and easy-to-predict production rate and maximum profitability.
In the real world, each employee has their own pace and skill set, and every machine has its own quirks. If you don't know what issues are causing your production rates and profit to plummet, you need to do something about it.
Production planning software can track every production line, product, and employee in order to find patterns and solutions that humans just can't spot. Plus, an advanced planning and scheduling system can go beyond tracking to actually automate work assignments and production sequencing to maximize the on-time output of the factory.
4. Rising Labor Costs
Increased production doesn't always mean that you have to hire more staff. Likewise, decreased production doesn't mean that you have to lay-off staff.
Advanced production planning software can find the most efficient way to use the people you have and identify training or marketing opportunities. That means you'll have a more efficient workforce and increase your profit without painful employee changes.
By providing better tools to your planning team, you will also reduce their stress level, save them time, and make them even more productive than they already are.
5. Your Facility is Planning to Expand:
While managers often implement a new software after an expansion, it is much easier to get the software up and running before new line and employees are added.
Not only does this give the prediction portion of the program more data to work with, it also gives you the time to adjust the program to your facility before implementing more changes.
As an added bonus, the software can help facilitate the expansion by generating What-If scenarios for various factory floor configurations, staff rotations, and even equipment swaps so you know what your investment will do for your business and your customers - all before you make the investment.
If your company is showing any of these signs, you may need to implement an advanced planning and scheduling software program. PlanetTogether's Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software can help you reduce lead times and increase productivity, so that your company can be the most efficient.
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 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!