Manufacturing and Production Scheduling

Is there any Advantage to be gained from a Scheduling system?

If the shoe fits...

Modern ERP systems often contain a scheduling component, sometimes companies have simple scheduling tools custom made internally, perhaps as simple as a few Excel-sheets or in the most basic case, a Mr. Jones in the factory-office who's been doing it for eons with a pen and paper. In some cases, these are really all that's needed.


Then, perhaps it is time to get Mr. Jones some help from systems that's been solving these problems for over twenty years.


Understanding the problem

Having all the information about current processes and jobs available, to everyone and in a quick-access manner, is vital to ensure open access and accountability. Many times (if not mostly) people neglect to attend to problems, not because they are lazy or unwilling, but because they didn't know about it in time, or neglected to find out due to difficulty in accessing the information.

If someone can see that a job in their responsibility field needs attention, she or he is likely to attend to it (moreso if everyone can see it). Seeing that there is a problem is of course only half the battle - Seeing it as soon as it happens, and immediately understanding what exactly the problem is will determine the speed with which people can attend to the problem.

Once we understand these implications in our processes, one can easily test by asking:
  - Can all people see the entire process?
  - Can they do so easily?
  - Are problems flagged visibly and instantaneously?
  - Are the flagged problems clear and descriptive enough to be easily understood?
  - Can jobs be scheduled, moved or re-scheduled with ease or perhaps even automatically?
  - Are flow constraints (capacity, maintenance, etc.) clear and easily visible?
  - Can managers easily see overviews of achieved yields and times, or highlight candidates for improvement?
These are all very important questions, and if you can't answer "Yes" convincingly to all of them, chances are your people lack the tools to manage the process as efficiently as you would like.


As an aside...
During presentations people often ask: "What do you mean here by 'efficiently'?". It simply means that the efficiency of any process is measured by the amount of resources put into it, vs. the amount of product coming out of it. To improve efficiency you need to either produce more, or use less resources. In manufacturing processes, the "Human" resource (aka: Time spent on it by people) is often a very large (if not the largest) input resource, which means that being able to lower it by a good margin will increase efficiency considerably.


We know what is needed - How does a RIFIN scheduling system solve it?

PlanSys is our flagship system in the manufacturing and production sector, and while it's somewhat involved for a quick discussion (demonstrations often take several hours), we would like to show some highlights covering the points made above:



(Please Note: The following example images are all from actual live systems, so some sensitive values are obscured here, but in the working systems they appear normal.)