While planning and scheduling seem to be overwhelmingly similar, there are some differences that set these two concepts apart. As these two concepts are different, there is one point where they always come together - within operation and production. Planning and scheduling is an absolute must for any manufacturer that is seeking to have a thorough production plan and utilize its resources to the fullest extent.
The main difference between planning and scheduling is where time and money are lost. There is a need for accurate planning that will lead to ‘on the mark’ scheduling and is by far in the greatest interest for your company. One depends on the other, which means that closing the gap between the two will ensure for efficient results for the company as a whole.
The Main Differences Within Planning and Scheduling
There are various reasons as to why planning and scheduling differ, in which the following concepts are listed below:
- Planning - Planning pertains to what happens when a company is mapping out a path to ultimately achieve a result. When it pertains to manufacturing, sales and operations both are involved in the planning for upcoming demand. Or a series of large orders can be planned for across all levels of a company, from sales to finance. It all pertains to ‘what’ and ‘how’ of any project: what exactly needs to be achieved and how it will be accomplished.
- Scheduling - Scheduling is the process in which a plan is assigned to tasks, specific dates, and also is ready to be put into action. These schedules are needed to include contingencies for variances within the plan, and this reflects on the ‘when’ of a project, with the assigning of appropriate resources to get it completed within a period of time.
Within planning and scheduling, it is important to close the gaps and understand where there are any issues. These could include that plans didn’t consider various projects drawing on the same resources, external contingencies were potentially not planned, or different teams were not included in the plan. With any divergence between planning and scheduling, it creates inefficiencies that could be costly for any business. The bigger the gap, the larger the cost. The goal for any organization is to get their supply chain down to a fine art and continuous flow, ultimately leading to smooth delivery to the consumer.
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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