Before we get into production scheduling and how it benefits manufacturers, let's take a look at the roles of the production department within a manufacturing company. The production department converts raw materials into finished products. This department can include designers, engineers, technicians, and machine operators.
Production scheduling refers to the process of scheduling and planning all production activities within a given time frame. This includes the development of strategies for the allocation and use of machinery, human resource, and production material.
What is a Production Plan?
To ensure a smooth production process, a production schedule includes every detail. It acts as a communication channel between sales and production. It is regularly reviewed, updated, and evaluated by managers.
What does the Production Schedule do?
Production schedules are an important and versatile document that helps to plan, forecast, predict, and meet demands on time.
The production schedule is responsible for the fulfillment of orders. It optimizes the production process and corrects inefficiencies in the production flow. It helps to keep machines and workers at their best. This schedule helps everyone understand their tasks and the expected output.
Production Scheduling Components in Manufacturing
Planning is an administrative process that guides your company's production processes. Planning ensures that the company's production processes are efficient and meet the customers' needs. Planning ensures that raw materials, machines, as well as other resources, are readily available for the production of finished products on a timely basis.
This step reduces lead time by estimating product demand using historical production trends. Managers assess the production status in relation to the plan.
The routing process is what determines the route to follow until raw materials become finished goods. Routing is primarily about finding and performing the most efficient and economically viable sequence of operations during the production process.
It is an integral part of production scheduling. This determines how manufacturers will meet product specifications. Scheduling involves creating a master plan and a manufacturing schedule to route raw materials. The retail schedule shows how products will be transported from manufacturing to the shelves.
After scheduling has been completed, production details and schedules are sent to the appropriate people. To make production easier, it is important to include instructions. Instructions can include information about the product design, how to use certain tools, as well as other product information. Dispatching is an important part of the production process.
Execution refers to the actual implementation of the plan in order to reduce time and improve accuracy. To ensure that items are produced correctly and delivered on time, staff must collaborate. When execution is efficient and results in fewer errors, a production schedule is successful.
How production scheduling in an ERP system achieves efficiency
Manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning software creates an automated schedule, manages product type variations and employee availability, and integrates production functions with other departments.
Take a look at these three ways ERP software can help manufacturers increase their business growth.
Planners can see what is happening in other areas of the company and how it might affect their schedule. This allows others to see where production is at the company. In real-time, sales can see the status of orders. Purchasing can receive information about inventory requirements. It is easy to monitor quality. Plant floor performance can be quickly reported by production managers. Productivity rises, deliveries are on-time, and customer satisfaction increases.
2. Lower Costs
Production scheduling in manufacturing ERP reduces costs and increases efficiency. To reduce expedited shipping fees, the warehouse is informed when materials need to be picked, packed, and shipped. To minimize shipping costs, inventory can be better managed and maintained at an optimal level. Connectivity improves productivity, so you can do more with fewer people.
3. Greater Control
Manufacturing ERP allows purchasing to know when goods will be needed in advance so that they can obtain better pricing. Management of vendor performance and the reduction of material variances can improve quality. You can analyze performance more effectively and make informed decisions. ERP allows for greater control and insight into the manufacturing process.
How to Create an Agile Production Schedule
1. Make a flexible schedule
You must consider possible disruptions when creating your schedule. Your team must be ready to adapt to changing circumstances. You must consider your team's capacity, resources, and human resources. You should always have options in case of an emergency.
2. Definition of true work-in-progress
Realize the importance of what jobs you need to complete immediately. You should have a plan that prioritizes the jobs that need to be completed immediately. Then, you can move on to other jobs as necessary. You should only consider jobs that are still in progress if they need to be completed immediately.
3. You must complete your work by the due dates
Your schedule should be based on product delivery dates. These are the dates when items must be received. Consider production and shipping times to make your schedule dynamic. This order will keep you on track for delivery dates.
Six Ways that a Production Schedule can Benefit Manufacturers
1. Customer Service Improvement
The workflow is optimized when every step of the process (from managing raw materials to transforming them into final goods) can be streamlined using production planning and scheduling. The products are delivered on time and meet all quality standards. Customers are happy and more likely to purchase again.
2. Streamlined processes
A poor workflow can cause late deliveries. Processes are more efficient when there is a dynamic production schedule. All processes are well planned and there's a contingency plan in case of unexpected circumstances. This streamlines production to ensure that resources are available and deliveries are on schedule.
The Production Scheduling feature in ERP automates workflow to improve productivity and minimize errors. It also allows workers to focus on more important tasks.
Manufacturing ERP connects the shop floor and other areas of the business. The system automatically orders more materials as materials are used. Just-in-Time scheduling ensures that only the inventory is stored. Inventory levels are kept at their optimal levels. Costs are reduced by tight inventory control.
4. Enhanced Machinery
Machines can be connected to an ERP manufacturing system to get information about their performance and maintenance schedule. You are notified immediately if the equipment is down. It also reminds you to maintain your equipment regularly. Machines that are in good condition perform better and can keep production moving.
5. Efficiency increases
A well-planned production schedule optimizes workflow. Both machines and workers are kept fully functional, and downtime can be reduced or eliminated. Manufacturing ERP helps to maintain machines, keep inventory under control, and streamline processes. ERP allows for efficient production scheduling. This increases profitability by reducing inventory costs, equipment/employee downtime, and increasing efficiency.
6. Higher Quality
Manufacturing ERP ensures that quality control is done throughout production to ensure that the product is ready for shipment. Planning production involves procuring high-quality resources for production. Material is tracked through the supply chain to make sure they are available for production. It is possible to trace the source of any quality issues with an item back to its supplier if this happens. High-quality products and timely delivery are guaranteed by quality compliance during production and procurement. Your business will be more successful.
As a company grows, manual production planning and scheduling will not be sustainable. Manufacturing ERP software from ArionERP includes Production Planning and Scheduling can increase productivity, quality, and lower costs. It allows you to develop a strategy that will ensure finished goods are delivered on time, increasing customer satisfaction and profitability.