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2 min read

Get Your MTOs On Time With Production Scheduling Software

Production Scheduling Software

If you are a Make-to-Order manufacturer that is continually not delivering your product on time, then perhaps you have already begun to research how production scheduling software can solve this problem.  It is important to thoroughly research when and why you are not delivering on time, so that you can utilize production scheduling software to its full potential. Production Scheduling Software

When: Changes Occur

  • What is actually changing? Is it the delivery date? Is it the quantity?
  •  Are these firm orders?
  • What percent of your orders change?
  • Are orders being canceled? And how many?

What you need: You will need to look for a production scheduling solution that offers a Gantt chart to view individual or multiple orders.  This will enable you to see the impact of Production Order changes.  

Capabilities to look for: Drag-and-drop interface and “What-if” scenario views.

Ultimately: You’ll want a production scheduling software solution that allows you to evaluate alternatives to provide the earliest possible delivery dates.


When: Creating an Order

  • Sales department promises unrealistic delivery dates?
  • Sales cannot see into the capacity of the production floor?
  • Highly competitive market puts additional pressure on them?
  • Salespeople do not have access to inventory availability?

What you need: You’ll need to be able to run a Capable-To-Promise which will generate a realistic delivery date based on the Bills of Materials and production capacity.

Capabilities to look for:  The production scheduling software should have graphical views of the work center loads for given time periods, which would allow the user toe decipher inventory levels at all warehouse and plant locations.

Ultimately:  With production scheduling software, your sales team should be able to accurately determine the earliest possible ship date.


When: Planning

  • Is the Shop floor inefficient causing  production slow downs?
  • Is capacity insufficient?
  • How do you handle setup considerations?
  • Do you have excessive expedited orders and how does this impact the schedule?
  • Is production tied to sales demand?
  • Do you have “safety stock”? What impact does this have on your inventory valuation?

What you need: You will need a production scheduling software solution that sets up a realistic plan reflecting true material, machine, people and tooling availability.   You will need the ability to run time-phased safety stock adjustments to respond to seasonal demands, and directly link Orders to Production Orders through “Marking.”

Capabilities to look for: Interactive capabilities for drag and drop Production Orders on a Gantt Chart.  These interactive capabilities should also extend to collecting Production Order status via a Shop Floor Control system. 

Ultimately:  Quotations, forecasting, inventory on-hand and tooling, personnel constraints should be available at the Master Scheduler’s fingertips with multiple-time dimension views.  Also, you should be able to reduce the amount of safety stock necessary with the capabilities of production scheduling software.


When: Scheduling

  •  Too much scrap & re-work creating poor quality output?
  • Do you have incoming inspection?
  • What % of items fail incoming inspection
  • How does inspection affect your production schedules?
  • How do you identify vendors who commonly deliver defective materials?
  • Do you do in-process inspection?
  • Do you have to maintain adequate safety stock to account for quality control failures?

What you need:  Your master scheduler will need visibility into all warehouses, intercompany stock and quarantine areas to make appropriate inventory decisions.  You will also need the capability to either include or exclude items in an inspection status to allow for what-if comparisons.

Ultimately: Production scheduling software should be delivering your master scheduler the ability to reduce re-works.

Each of the above pain points are difficult to fathom in itself, but the company will eventually, if not already, experience inability to meet customer demands, a decrease in margins and cash flow, eroding market share and declining profitability without the correct production scheduling software solution.  It is important to know which areas of your production process are suffering, whether that be scheduling, planning, orders or all of the above.  Solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics AX can provide all of the above capabilities for a production scheduling software solution, so that you can continue to deliver your make-to-order on time.

Production Scheduling Software

Tags: Manufacturing ERP Software

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