It is quite simple. When you prioritise production scheduling, your daily operations run smoother and you become proactive. You avoid constantly being one step behind when unexpected changes occur. Both customer services and productivity are improved, and you improve both your top line and your bottom lines. In other words, prioritised production scheduling gives you a valuable competitive advantage.
Why and how?
Many manufacturing companies do not afford production scheduling sufficient focus and attention, and do not fully recognise the full potential of what scheduling can do to improve productivity and customer services. The degree of focus that you have on production scheduling directly impacts your performance in a global and competitive market.
Inefficient scheduling equals lack of overview: ad hoc management, rush orders, time-consuming meetings, inefficient processes, expensive down-time and a lack of tools for assessing how new orders and variations affect production. There is no overview of alternative options when a production line is down. How does an unplanned stop affect other orders? What happens to other orders, if you squeeze in a rush order? Why is production unable to meet delivery times even though orders were started on time? Lack of overview is the main culprit, when a company finds that it is repeatedly forced to pay compensation for delays, pay for overtime, correct manual mistakes etc.
The Covid-19 pandemic accentuates the need for reliable scheduling
With the Covid-19 pandemic, everything was turned upside-down in many production companies. Overnight, all forecasts became obsolete, as demand , or supply in some cases, suddenly plummeted, and orders were cancelled. It was impossible to predict demand looking one month ahead – or even just one week. No one knew how the market would develop.
In times of great upheaval and fundamental changes in the markets, it is vital that companies gear themselves to improve adaptability. It has never been more important to focus on maintained flexibility and on having a complete and continuously updated overview of production.
Reliable and competent scheduling is essential in managing change – and for ensuring that the company does not suffer unnecessary financial or qualitative setbacks. This is true regardless of whether the company is going through a sudden boost or a sudden slump in orders. Prioritised scheduling provides the basis for immediate clarification and adjustment of production volumes. Forecasting is faster and easier – the consequences of changes are clear. A complete overview of production qualifies decision-making in all areas of the company. Prioritised scheduling provides a comprehensive overview of the actual status in the company – and a reliable indication of where the company is headed.
Production scheduling – a valuable and strategic tool for top-management
Production scheduling is not just a prioritisation for the planner, but is a tool for several functions across the organisation: management, sales, purchasing, customer services, operators, production management etc. When scheduling is used strategically by several functions in your company, you improve both top and bottom lines.
With prioritised production scheduling, everyone is kept updated on progression in production at each production stage, and it is easy to inform all relevant departments of changes, new orders, upscaling or downscaling. Using production scheduling strategically improves the quality of decision-making in all areas of the company. Both in times of crisis and in times of rapid growth.