Every company, in order to maximize their productivity, will need a good production plan. One thing to note is that it is a complex process to execute effective planning. This process covers many different activities to make sure that equipment, human resources, and materials are available where and when they are needed. Production planning can be described as a roadmap that will help your company know where they are going and how long it will take them to arrive there.
Production planning advantages
• Eliminates wasted time
• Reduces labor costs
• Improves process flow
• Reduces inventory costs by decreasing too much work-in-progress inventories and the need for safety stocks
• Increases capacity and optimizes equipment usage
• The on-time deliveries of services and products are improved
Production planning key factors
• Market expectations-in order to effectively plan, your company should be able to estimate potential sales. Most companies will not have a firm number for future sales but they should be able to forecast sales based on established order or market trends.
• Inventory control-a company should have in place a sound inventory system along with establishing a reliable inventory level.
• Human resources and equipment availability-good production planning will help a company manage their open time, which is the time frame allowed between processes. This time will allow all orders move smoothly within the production service or line. It means that you will have enough employees to work the production line so that the products customers need will be available. It is not a good idea to plan for full capacity on the production line. The company should leave room for any changes and unexpected priorities.
• Time and steps standardized on the progress map-the company should map out the processes how they happen to determine the production steps to complete the job. Then they will need to incorporate the approximate time it took to complete the work. The company needs to remember that the many of the steps may happen at the same time and they often do not happen in sequence. Once the company completes the process map, it will help them understand how long it took to complete the process. Standardizing time and work involved when doing similar or repeated work will help to speed up significantly the planning process of the company.
Production planning also needs to address certain key elements in advance of production to make sure that there is an uninterrupted flow of work. They need to make sure that the material needed is ordered so it is available when needed. If any special equipment is needed they need to procure it early, especially if it needs installed. The company should make sure their employees are trained for any new equipment.
This article is penned by Lora Davis for JobPack Production Scheduling Systems. JobPack provides production planning software and scheduling software for metal cutting manufacturing companies in the Aerospace, Automotive, and job-shop industries. So the next time you need a job a production scheduler try JobPack!