Manufacturing companies are now looking to planning & scheduling as the next big opportunity to improve operations performance. The number of effective manufacturing planning & scheduling applications on the market today is proof that manufacturers are investing in this critical area of the business. So why are some companies still struggling to make their investment in production planning software and processes pay off? There are many reasons why a planning & scheduling initiative might not deliver expected ROI, but as I recall an incident from early in my career, I’m reminded that effective two-way communication is a critical element for planning & scheduling program success.
- March 11, 2021 / by John Will
If your manufacturing company has decided to invest in shop floor scheduling, it's time to determine what solution is the best production scheduling software for the organization. By this point, the production planner and operations management have probably built a business case for production scheduling software. You’ve engaged corporate executives, quantified the financial impact, and articulated production scheduling software advantages. Now it’s time to figure out which manufacturing scheduling software will align with manufacturing processes, integrate with existing manufacturing and business technology, and empower production planners to solve both common and complex problems.
- January 15, 2021 / by Steve Lajoie
If you’re an operations leader or a production planner in manufacturing, you might know how hard it is to get top management approval for production scheduling software. Where technology funding is concerned, senior executives will often question why the ERP system isn’t enough to keep the daily manufacturing schedule on track. However, the ERP system isn’t usually equipped to handle events that happen in real time on the shop floor. When everyday problems disrupt production orders, the people in charge of production scheduling and operations management can join forces to decide if production scheduling software is right for the manufacturing company. Building a business case for production scheduling software helps you quantify the financial impact, articulate how it impacts business goals, and create a powerful tool for engaging corporate executives.
- August 18, 2020 / by Diane Murray
If your manufacturing business has ever survived a crisis — supply chain disruption, market demand fluctuation, distribution problems, or perhaps even a natural or economic catastrophe — it had an uncommon opportunity to shine through the adversity. More importantly it gives you a chance to learn from the outcomes generated by the organization’s responses to the disaster. We don’t know any that are eager to flush it all away — not just the performance gains, but the opportunity to do even more with the unexpected wisdom.
- July 29, 2020 / by Sean Lashmar
Manufacturers are always eager to balance efficiency, reputation, and the many other factors that affect overall business performance. Everyone agrees that performance improvement in manufacturing operations is one powerful tool companies leverage to achieve their strategic business objectives. Even when there’s a status quo in market conditions, regulatory requirements, and other factors, nearly every manufacturing enterprise is doing something to improve manufacturing performance. When something happens to disrupt circumstances — whether it affects just your business, many companies, or an entire group — there’s no doubt you’ll respond to your company’s best advantage. But will you also use the experience to uncover “the hidden factory,” and discover new ways to create capacity without adding equipment?
- June 10, 2020 / by Sean Lashmar
Production scheduling in manufacturing is complex; it’s difficult to produce a production schedule that is both achievable and meets business requirements. Have you ever been part of an organization where the production planner’s life seems like groundhog day?…Every day, that person adjusts and re-issues the master production schedule? If so, you probably saw lots of frustration and people continually scrambling — not just the shop floor and other internal operations teams, but also suppliers and customers. Operations has to readjust crew and equipment plans, suppliers have to rush orders, and customers often receive less than what they need. Many organizations look squarely at the production planner to fix the issue. The reality is that production scheduling isn’t just about production planning software; a cross-functional approach is required for success.
- May 28, 2020 / by Patricia Hatem
A lot of companies wonder why the production schedule gets off track, and why there’s so much angst between production planners and shop floor people. “This production schedule is ridiculous! We just ran that last week! What are they thinking in the office — do they even have a clue?” Those are statements I've heard more times than I'd like to admit, and it's tough to hear. People with these (and similar) comments are clearly frustrated and fatigued by the situation; they are simply tired of it! Fortunately, there are lots of ways a manufacturer can create alignment and balance between shop floor staff and production planners.
- May 12, 2020 / by Patricia Hatem
Does your company think of production planning and scheduling as simply a plant process to convert orders into a daily manufacturing plan? If so, it might be missing out on some of the greatest opportunities to improve on-time delivery, optimize inventories, and increase profitability. Over the years I’ve observed repeatedly how data helps companies eliminate conflicts, set priorities, and bring people together around shared objectives. The longstanding plant-supply chain balancing act is a common one among manufacturers, and for the last five years I’ve had a front-line view of how world-class companies use data to overcome plant-supply chain conflicts.
- April 30, 2020 / by Aaron Muhl