Master the Art Of ERP Production Scheduling
Proper production scheduling lies at the heart of any manufacturer’s shop floor strategy. Knowing the amount of raw material and total resources necessary to produce your product in time for customer demands is the heart of your operations, and scheduling your production lines can be a fine balance as you take into account necessary resources, time, machinery and employees. There will always be a trade off when it comes to manufacturing production—no one has all the time in the world to make all the products they want or the employees needed to both innovate for the future all of the time while still keeping up with current demand. Thus, production scheduling is somewhat of a fine art, but you can make mastering that art easier with the help of ERP software.
Any robust manufacturing ERP system is capable of production scheduling that can manage projects involving multiple teams, production lines and a wide range of materials, factoring in necessary tradeoffs, workflows and production efficiencies at any given time—automating those tough decisions through smart, pull-production planning. With ERP production scheduling you can rest assured that your valuable production lines are being utilized as efficiently as possible. Keep on reading for more on the benefits of ERP production scheduling and why you should master it for your own business!
Increase Shop Floor Efficiency with Kanban Scheduling
Kanban scheduling works in line with lean ‘pull-production’ principles—in which manufacturing systems work backwards from a desired outcome, and pull in only the exact necessary material, employees and machinery to complete that outcome. This means that instead of estimating demand and hoping you are in the general ballpark, Kanban will signal to your production lines to only create exactly what has been demanded, and the demand alerts the step before it (say, packaging) which then begins preparing only materials needed to complete the required product. That way, when the first domino of the production line is finally pushed, the rest are perfectly in place to fall exactly as you want them to. When each step in the workflow is completed, resources are replenished and production lines reset. Because ERP production scheduling allows you total control over the ‘Kanban’ board, you control the project objectives; start and end dates, production lines, and employees involved before a project ever begins. Your business will have a clearer eye and a great hold on your shop floor than ever before—and be able to reduce waste and increase efficiency with that new power.
Meet Client Deadlines
When you work under a pull-production scheme, all of your production scheduling is built around a specific amount of product made by a specific date or time. This means that you will be more capable than ever before of meeting client deadlines and delivering on your promised shipment dates. When your shop floor isn’t wasting time making products that won’t sell and will languish in your warehouse and you’re setting specific dates for beginning the production process, your business will be able to predict those delivery dates more accurately too. It only makes sense, after all, that when you master ERP production scheduling, you will able to align that schedule to the specific needs of your crucial customers.
Kanban-style ERP production scheduling is one of the core tenets of lean manufacturing. Lean principles seek to reduce costly waste in all areas of a business, whether that waste manifests itself in time, money, or excess product that won’t or can’t be shipped. This is especially important if you work in the manufacture of perishable goods or in a rapidly evolving market like electronics, as excess, stored product will end up costing you much more as it depreciates in value rapidly and may end up needing to be disposed of altogether. Instead, mastering ERP production scheduling means that you only produce as much as is demanded—and you don’t have to deal with costly implications of waste and an overloaded inventory.
Preserve Your Production Lines
Just as proper ERP production scheduling can get rid of excess product and waste that may be clogging your workflows or filling up your warehouse, it can also translate that time saved into healthier production lines and machinery that is only running when it needs to be and there is a demand for product. When your shop floor is only producing as much is necessary and in line with demand, it is only taking on necessary wear and tear. That means less money spent on maintenance (and the downtime that comes along with it) and upkeep of your valuable manufacturing tools. Instead, you can extend their longevity and keep them working at their most efficient for as long as possible—and be able to schedule in the downtime in your ERP when they do eventually need repairing or replacing!
Supply Chain Communication
The modern manufacturer can have many moving and distant parts in its organization, whether it is disparate employees, departments or facilities spread out nationally or globally. By taking advantage of ERP production scheduling, businesses can create a single nexus of organization—the ERP software itself. From one point, executives and managers can manage the entire schedule—no matter where the production lines may be located. Every facility, employee and machine will show up on the system’s virtual Kanban board and can thus be assigned a workflow or task from that central ERP node. The ERP production scheduling manager will be able to see what product has been demanded, which lines are ready to start production, which are currently busy or down, and will be able to facilitate a completely smooth and timely supply chain from the raw materials to the consumer’s hands.
Proper ERP production scheduling ensures that resource utilization is optimized across your entire organization. If you are currently running an ERP system within your business (or planning on implementing one soon), mastering the scheduling module should be high on your company’s list of priorities. It is a powerful tool that will allow you to save untold amounts of money and time in wasted product, machinery wear and employee effort.
For more information on how enterprise software can help you master ERP production scheduling on your shop floor, or if you’ve been inspired to implement an ERP for the first time, contact an expert at Datix today! We have over 18 years of experience in ERP consulting and can help your business at any stage in the process, be it