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Effective production scheduling despite regular last-minute orders

Executive summary

The products Micromed manufactures are all made to order and are very complex and individual in their combination and configuration. For many years, planning was done with paper and pencil or even just in the head of the shop floor manager. Then the number of orders increased and daily rush orders required constant rescheduling of the production plan. A scheduling software was needed to support planning in order to ensure delivery dates and keep track of orders in production. Today they schedule their production with just plan it, and integrating last-minute orders became easy and convenient for them.  

Results are:

  • easy integration of last-minute orders
  • faster rescheduling
  • better communication

The production scheduling challenge

Micromed produces its biomedical devices in Treviso, Italy, the headquarters of the company group. Each device is assembled individually, which means that each order also includes its own job routine. As the number of orders increased, production planning and scheduling became more and more difficult.

Not only the increasing number of orders made manual planning more and more difficult. Almost every day, last-minute orders have to be moved around and the existing schedule has to be adjusted. 

It was clear that a software solution for planning and scheduling had to be found quickly. So Micromed was looking for a web-based, easy-to-use- scheduling software allowing real-time scheduling, capacity monitoring, and an operator user interface.

We wanted a software-driven solution  - and just plan it ended up as the one with best value for money.
- Alessandro Pian, Group Operations Manager of Micromed

About Micromed

The Micromed Group is a group of globally active medical technology companies that produce high-quality devices for neurophysiology. They offer innovative product solutions for routine EEG, intensive care, long-term monitoring, and mobile EEG recordings as well as for EMG, Evoked Potentials, SEEG, and sleep diagnostics.


About job shop scheduling

Have look at our ultimate guide to visual job shop scheduling if you want to take a deep dive into this topic.

Production scheduling with just plan it

Today Micromed benefits from the use of just plan it especially in these 5 areas:

#1 Clear overview

The visual scheduler provides the production planner today with the necessary transparency of the scheduled orders, the capacity of the resources, and the delivery dates.

#2 Faster rescheduling

The scheduling engine of just plan it allows Micromed a faster, easier, and safer rescheduling.

#3 Last-minute order integration

With a better overview of the schedule, a priority-based job list, lots of visual decision support, and faster rescheduling, last-minute jobs can be added to the schedule much more conveniently.

#4 Better communication

The visual scheduler not only improves communication on the shop floor and increases personal responsibility, but also improves the communication between sales and production. Thanks to the overviews created by the visual scheduling software, production can now show how their workload is doing, and sales better understand why sometimes last-minute orders would overwhelm planning.

#5 No more missed jobs

As all jobs have to be entered properly in just plan it, no information can get missed. Valentina:

It is easier for us not to forget anything because this was the case before. In just plan it, when you put a job in, you can't forget it. That was very helpful.
-Valentina Degan, Production Schedule Manager 

Learning and using just plan it

Although just plan it was introduced at the end of the year, the phase when production is particularly hectic, the launch went smoothly. Valentina:

Already in the first session, we could enter data and use the program, even if we had no idea about the software.

And so just plan it could be put into productive use without delay, even during the hottest phase of the year.

In addition to a more controlled scheduling of last-minute orders, better communication, and faster rescheduling the entire planning process has gained stability. Valentina Degan, Production Schedule Manager:

With jpi, we gain more robustness. If the person responsible for the schedule is not available, the team on the shop floor can see the orders and delivery dates in the schedule and act accordingly.