Guest Post: Do’s and Don’ts in Production Scheduling

Are you having difficulties in scheduling your freight shipment at the right time? Do you have problems in getting your shipment to arrive at its location on the date that you schedule it? If your answers are yeses, indeed, you’re not alone. Production scheduling can be an intricate task which involves the process of creating dispatch lists for the proper functioning pertinent to freight forwarding businesses. In this article, we will discuss what to do and what not to do in scheduling for your proper shipment due.


1. Do plan carefully ahead of time.

Production scheduling consists ofplanning the provisioning of available resources such as warehouse facilities, vehicles for transportation, and others materials and equipment to fit the schedules of your manpower resources. All these elements are most often subject to constraints and limitations, so planning ahead of due time is truly essential. You have to take into account the materials for requisition to fulfillment, machine loading charts and roster of the workforce. This is necessary to have an overall clear picture of how to achieve the right production schedule for the freight shipment.


2. Do get the third group of operations’ advice for production scheduling.

The ideal production schedule brings about detailed targets and other specifics that help shop floor staff and managers to monitor the performance of machine and labor productivity and usage of materials. This also aids the customer service team to delivery items on time. However, the right people to conduct production scheduling are neither the staff members or shop floor managers nor the customer service staff. Rather, they are the third group in operations who meddles between these two teams. The recommendation of this group is expected to be based on their observations and analysis on how timely the availability of materials and machines is and also the absenteeism and attendance of employees.


3. Don’t rely on only a spreadsheet to monitor and production schedule.

By now you realize that production scheduling is a time-consuming task. While you’re planning, new orders are coming in and these might affect and cause changes to your plans. Machine breakdowns may occur whenever or at the time they are least expected as well. As such, you need to redefine and revise your schedules once again manually by hand (paper-form) or electronically through a spreadsheet. However, after some time of utilizing a computerized form of managing schedules, you will also recognize that master production scheduling and capacity planning through a spreadsheet file will do only little help. Just because you are using it as a typewriter to make encoding the pre-planned and changes to schedules easier does not equate to more efficiency. This leads to the next point.


4. Do invest and make good use of legitimate software specially for finite capacity scheduling and advanced planning for production.

An ordinary spreadsheet does not have the power to help you in the decision-making process.When you use software specifically targeting production scheduling concerns, you will have the ability to create detailed models of capacity. With more accurate models of capacity planning, you can then make more accurately predictions and calculations of when operations and productions start and end. These software will also give you good estimates and simulations of what-if scenarios to help review your planned production schedules before execution.


5. Don’t overlook on employees’ shift planning.

When you are into production, you are inevitably dealing with both the production and those working behind the scenes—your people. So in a nutshell, production scheduling poses as a tough challenge, since you need to consider both the schedule of the freight (delivery of shipments) and also the shift schedules of your people. The key here is to manage the workforce’s shift rotations seamlessly, note their vacation leaves and holidays in the calendar, and keep adequate number of workers at all times. You may also use an automated system to integrate overtime regulations and put an end to excessive overtime costs.


With proper production scheduling, you really need to monitor the operators’ performances, schedules and skills and the relative efficiency of your machines and tools. All these contribute to factors that affect the production control, capacity utilization and your delivery commitments.

Author bio:

Natalie Montes is an alumna from San Beda College of Alabang, a former marketing assistant and a 23 year old freelance writer. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Ballad and Old Love songs. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on her Twitter.

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