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The foundation of the template I will be talking about in this article is Infor ERP, a solution built on decades of manufacturing experience. If you really want to schedule well, ERP software “holds all of the cards”—meaning all of the information needed to schedule properly exists within the system, in one database. Other solutions may be better than what you are using today, but typically require data entry and human intervention. A manufacturing ERP solution has the tools built in and is the most efficient way to schedule production. If you are interested in what ERP solutions we offer, click here. Keep reading to learn about the most important things to include in your scheduling template.
The building blocks of a manufacturing production schedule template
To schedule properly, your template should include foundational building blocks, like the ones below:
- Outside services (if applicable)
- A method to “relieve” the schedule
The term “resource” can sometimes be confused as “machines” in manufacturing production schedule templates. This is not always the case. It could be a department, a machine, a group of machines, a person, or a combination of all these. At the end of the day, resources define your capacity, which is the amount of time you have available to perform work using the resource. Your template should specify the number of machines you have, the number of people you need to operate those machines, and the shifts those resources are available (if you run more than one shift).
This one is pretty simple. Your template should account for time. Your exact definition of time depends on your environment. Some people schedule in terms of minutes, others in terms of weeks, months, or years. This is highly dependent on your product. The time it takes to build bolts is vastly different from a battleship.
A lot of people have difficulty scheduling because you can exert a fair amount of control over your internal resources, but when materials are brought in to the equation, things become more difficult. Your template should take in to account that material is needed at a particular operation if applicable. If you have available capacity and time, but no material, you have a problem. Capacity and materials need to be scheduled concurrently.
In some environments, work is performed within your four walls up to a particular point. Then the product is sent to external companies to have some other sort of work done. Plating and painting are typical services that manufacturing companies will send out. If you have both internal and external processes for a product, it should be part of your template. There should be a mechanism for tracking when the product needs to go out, when it is expected back, as well as the quantity expected.
A method to “relieve” the schedule
Think of your capacity as a sink and the work you send to the floor as water filling the sink. “Relieving” the schedule is basically your drain. The drain is a way of telling your template the amount of work that has been done and what remains from a scheduling perspective. There are different methods for capturing this reported production, but barcoding and mobile devices are the most popular and efficient ways.
Related: VISUAL ERP Scheduling Workshop
There are MUCH deeper discussions that can be had regarding scheduling and manufacturing production schedule templates overall. Scheduling is the heart and soul of any manufacturing company because it affects practically every department in an organization. There are very sophisticated tools available to manage production scheduling and we help companies leverage these tools to improve their performance every day. Would you like to talk with someone who has successfully deployed scheduling in a manufacturing environment? Click here to have a free consultation with our president, Jack Shannon.