How to enhance production scheduling to reduce costs and inefficiencies

Posted by Stephen Whitehouse on 13 Nov


Production scheduling can be fraught with many perils for manufacturing businesses of any size or capability. Such as issues with procurement can seriously impact on production and even cause shutdowns in the most extreme cases. Planning production schedules can also be problematic as there are always variables beyond control; such as team members are absent from work, new orders received with short lead times or urgently required, lack of components or even if machinery suddenly breaks down. 

Effective production planning and scheduling need to encompass a variety of variables in order to be productive, efficient and keeping operational costs to a minimum.

Importance of production scheduling

Solid production planning really will help increase productivity, but sound planning entails a wide number of considerations. These include human resources, skill sets, the availability of materials and planning enough time for use of the equipment or machinery.

Multi-functional systems like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) can help any manufacturer achieve the effective production planning needed. Effective scheduling offers a range of benefits, including:

  • Enhanced planning processes can help create reductions in labour costs and time inefficiencies. 
  • Continuously maintain adequate levels of inventory needed to meet demands, removing the need to order safety stock items.
  • Optimised use of resources, machinery and equipment providing increased capacity.
  • Vast improvements to deliveries of products and services across the entire supply chain.

Requirements for an effective production schedule

A good production schedule will provide reliable market forecasting trends which can be used to ensure all supplies required are available to meet demand. It will also provide effective and reliable inventory control. Human resources and equipment factors will also be addressed within efficient production scheduling so that there is a smooth flow of orders across an entire production line. Effective planning will maximise the production capacity of the business, while still leaving enough room for urgent jobs and changing priorities.

Tips for effective production scheduling

Establishing an efficient production scheduling starts with mapping out all current production processes to design a process map and identify inefficiencies within your business.

Risk factors could also be identified by evaluating historical data. When the process mapping and risk evaluation stages are complete, you will be able to move forward and plan all key elements within the production process.

Using recognised ERP software provides all the support required to create an effective production schedule. Some examples of businesses that have adopted ERP systems to enhance production are discussed below.

Positive ERP adoption 

A variety of UK businesses utilise up-to-date production planning techniques to increase profitability and efficiencies, these include:

  • John Sankey, furniture manufacturers who find the ability to configure and plan products extremely valuable and also benefit from complete traceability.
  • EGL Homecare Ltd, a market leader in the production of scourers and sponges. This company benefits from ERP software ability to manage high-volume production schedules. They also find that the ability to effectively manage their supply chain increases effectiveness in all areas.
  • Lander Automotive utilise their ERP software for all manufacturing planning to ensure a lean and paper-free workplace at the same time.

WinMan ERP Software is a comprehensive solution for manufacturers and provides the tools and functionality required for smooth production. Get in touch today to learn more.

>> Download our eGuide on 'How to Tell You Need a New ERP System' 

Topics: Manufacturing, Product Configurator, Production Management, Lean Manufacturing, Productivity

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