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Thinking About Hiring a Scheduler So You Can Use ERP Scheduling?

3/10/19 11:10 AM

ERP Scheduling Workshop LP

Chances are good you don't need to hire someone

I have a certain passion for helping companies manage their capacity by scheduling properly. In this blog post, I’m going to discuss a common thought process companies go through to finally get to the point of using ERP to schedule their shop floor: They need to hire a Scheduler. Put someone in charge and have them get the company to the promised land of scheduling properly. It sounds reasonable, but in my experience, it’s a misguided strategy. Let me explain why.

First, that thought process can turn into a roadblock. If you can’t find the right person, or if the thought of adding another person to the payroll is not appealing, the project never starts. You find yourself in the position of wanting to do something if you could; but your hands are tied. Therefore, you continue with the status quo: Spreadsheets, standard lead times, guessing and arguing.

It’s a group effort

Second, the premise that scheduling is the responsibility of one person is flat out wrong. A company will never manage their capacity and schedule properly if the entire organization isn’t in sync. This isn’t the job of an individual; it’s the job of everyone doing their part. Here are some examples of what I mean:

  • Sales – They need to check how a new order will fit in against all the other commitments that have already been made. This can be done by using functionality in Infor ERP, right from customer order entry. If they don’t do this and continue to enter orders that your ERP already knows can’t be completed by the required date; manufacturing will continue to miss delivery dates.
  • Engineering – They need to assure Shop Resources are defined correctly and that work orders are structured properly. The work order is what your ERP schedules, so that information needs to be correct. (If you are concerned about not having accurate run times, don’t let that be a roadblock. There are practical solutions to that issue.)
  • Material planning/purchasing – Accurate want dates on the purchase orders are important. One of the unique features about Infor ERP scheduling is that it takes in to account material needs when scheduling. If there is an open PO for the material, the ERP looks at the want date on the PO and schedules the step after the material is due. If the date is wrong, the schedule is wrong.
  • Production – Accurate labor reporting is important. Info ERP scheduling considers all the work that is not completed in the schedule. If work is done and not reported, it is scheduled again.

This is a true team effort; just like producing your product is.

You need a plan, not a person

What you really need is an education and a plan, not a new employee. You also need to be comfortable with the fact that you may not have the expertise to come up with the right plan. I say this because if a company did have the expertise; they would be scheduling. There is no shame in not knowing what to do. First year med students aren’t ashamed they aren’t doctors. They go to med school to learn how to become one.

Related: What is an ERP scheduling workshop?

I educate organizations on how all the pieces of Infor ERP need to work together in order to schedule properly. I develop a plan with them, so they can get to the point of using scheduling. In all of the times I have completed this to date, not one company had to hire a new employee to be the Scheduler. They already had the right staff; they just didn’t have a plan or the background to create one.

If you’d like to have a discussion about getting scheduling up and running in your company, I offer a 30 minute free scheduling assessment. Click on the link below, fill out the short form and I’ll be in touch.

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Jack Shannon

Written by Jack Shannon

Jack is the President of Visual South and has been working with ERP since 1996 when he bought it in his role as a Plant Manager. Since 1998 he has worked for Visual South with roles in consulting, sales and executive management.