Our partners at IQMS have released a brand new whitepaper, “Best Practices for Optimising the Production Scheduling Process”. You can download the whitepaper here.
IQMS design enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution system (MES) software for manufacturers. You can see other whitepapers from IQMS here.
In the demanding manufacturing environment it is important that plants stay as productive as possible. Every second of downtime is wasting resources. Each part of the manufacturing shop floor needs to be working as fast and efficiently as it can.
That’s why manufacturers invest in top-notch, durable process equipment, and continue to invest in ensuring that it is reliable and well-maintained, to remove the risk of downtime and keep the manufacturing process as efficient as possible.
But even with the best process equipment in place, operations managers in plants are constantly coming up against obstacles that may hinder plant productivity.
One of the biggest challenges for manufacturing operations managers is production scheduling. With constraints on all sides, from the limited availability of workforce, suppliers and vendors, to tight deadlines from customers, the task of increasing productivity is a challenging one at the best of times.
Couple these challenges with with an inefficient planning and scheduling process, like a legacy ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution or other outdated enterprise planning software that leaves much to be desired; or even a rag-tag combination of emails, handwritten notes, paper cards, print-outs of purchase orders and smudged communal whiteboards; and the challenge for manufacturing operations managers tasked with improving efficiency and production becomes almost insurmountable.
Without the tools and information they need, production scheduling teams will have a tough time optimising production schedules. Your team may be hardworking and experienced, but in order to scale production, application of modern technology is required.
It is clear that an effective production scheduling process is the key to scaling up productivity in manufacturing plants of every size or, to take a more pessimistic approach, an ineffective production scheduling process is the key to an unproductive manufacturing plant. Prem Vrat, G. D. Sardana and B. S. Sahay note in their book 'Productivity Management: A Systems Approach' that:
“An ineffective production planning, scheduling and follow-up can fritter away the resources of manufacturing… it can also be responsible for delays I schedules, machine idle time, queuing and congestion before machines”
So, how can manufacturers begin to optimise their production process?
By applying smart technology, like monitoring software integrated with an ERP system, to increase efficiency and improve customer service levels, whilst reducing costs.
This latest whitepaper from IQMS examines in greater detail some of the key challenges for manufacturing operations managers looking to optimise their production scheduling, as well as exploring some best practices to help you do just that.