SMB Production Scheduling Blog

Why is job shop scheduling important?

Whether you are planning a meal for some friends or a holiday trip, having a schedule in place is essential. Same is true for a job shop production. Essentially, the goal is to match supply and demand. On the one side, supply includes the capacities, resources, labor and the available material in the job shop. On the other side, the demand encompasses the actual job orders including the according resources and capacities needed to complete the job. Job shop scheduling aims to combine these two components, internal supply and demand, in the most optimal way possible. Therefore, having a proper schedule in place is a crucial value proposition for job shop managers.

Topics: Job Shop Scheduling

Production scheduling - the 3 critical factors for success

A transparent plan and reliable delivery commitments are the core challenges manufacturers are facing – especially when they run a job shop with high mix - low volume. Therefore coming back to any kind of scheduling tool is indispensable at a certain point of business scale. The market offers a various range of different scheduling approaches for different situations and with different focus. Hence it is definitely worth to invest a broad space of time upfront to test different options and to investigate which is the best solution for your business.

But in practice one can see in a lot of cases that the scheduling efforts after this “investment period” ramp down and often scheduling tools disappear on the Q.T. So it is not only necessary to find the right tool, it is even more critical to use this in the appropriate way. This blog deals with the three critical factors that determine the success of production scheduling when using a scheduling tool.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices Job Shop Scheduling

Which production scheduling approach is the best for your manufacturing business?

Whether one tries to manage a large production company, a small job shop or simply one’s own working day, having a plan is of utmost importance. In fact, whenever different activities have to be allocated to certain resources under several constraints, a schedule is a necessity. Certainly, there is not the one scheduling approach that outperforms any other under all circumstances; A simple calendar might be suitable for a student trying to schedule his day, a small manufacturer might use improvised scheduling tools like Microsoft Excel or a whiteboard, whereas large production firms make use of scheduling algorithms that can optimize complex production plans. In short, scheduling challenges have a broad variety that can be handled efficiently in different ways: from simple analogue timetables to heavy software packages. This post provides guidance in terms of which scheduling approach is suitable for which kind of manufacturer.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices Job Shop Scheduling

What is job shop scheduling?

We reviewed the performance of our website in 2018, and also analyzed the traction we got for the various types of content we produced. Moreover, we also talked with some of our customers and users and asked them what topics they are interested in and what they want us to cover (more).

There is a clear evidence: in general folks like our product-related information as it helps them make better use of just plan it and it keeps them current. However, in 2018 they missed general-purpose information that relates with their industry and with the general issue of production scheduling and job shop scheduling

Hence, here is our new year's resolution for 2019: we will continue to update you on what is happening in terms of new functions and features. In 2019, this will be complemented by us writing much more on general production scheduling and job shop scheduling questions. This post is meant to be the first of a post series dealing with all facets of job shop scheduling.

Topics: Job Shop Scheduling

just plan it 365: production scheduling for Dynamics 365 Business Central

Last week Friday, we received a short message which made us super excited. It came from Microsoft and said: "Congratulations! Your offer 'just plan it 365' has been successfully published and is available publicly." What does this mean? Well, it means that we developed an "app" which we call just plan it 365 and that this app got validated and published on the Microsoft AppSource. With this app we achieve a direct integration between just plan it and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Hence, this app brings an easy and visual production scheduling to any Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central customer.

Product update: pause a task

The last, but not least product update of the year finally rounds up what we introduced earlier this year as Execute Mode. Operators (and also planners acting as operators) now can also pause an already started task. We call this "set on hold". With this new functionality, an operator can virtually split a task into a part that is already done and into a part that needs to get scheduled again (and hence executed at a later point of time). When setting a task on hold, users of a PRO plan can specify the remaining runtime, while users of an ENTERPRISE plan can specify the remaining quantity. 

Topics: Product news

Product update: operator client and refined impact of job status

With the September product update, which we just rolled out to all user accounts, we finally close the loop that we had in mind when releasing the Execute Mode for the first time. From now on, operators working on the shopfloor can provide shopfloor information via any kind of mobile device (PC, tablet, smartphone). When operators log in, they no longer see the visual schedule. Instead, they see a list of jobs and tasks scheduled for their resources and can act on them accordingly.

In addition to this, we refined the impact that the job status (released, ordered, planned) has on the job shop scheduling process. Going forward, the job status will have no more influence on the job's priority (sequence number).

Topics: Product news

Product update: Two new scheduling functions and further enhanced Execute Mode

The monthly update of our job shop scheduling software has just been rolled out into all user accounts. This time, we've added two new scheduling functions and further enhanced the Execute Mode. All new functionalities are eligible for all customers (and trial users) of the Pro and Enterprise plan.

With respect to scheduling, users are now enabled to split a task with the thus created sub tasks being automatically scheduled. In addition to this, you can now specify an integer capacity level for a resource: a resource with a capacity level of 2 will complete a task in half of the time than a resource with a capacity level of 1.

When working with the Execute Mode, we now made it easier to set back the planning start and to bulk reject feedback data set by your operators. Last but not least, a couple of bugs have been fixed.

Topics: Product news

Infographic: Top 9 tips on buying job shop scheduling software

Choosing the right visual scheduler for your job shop might sometimes seem like a challenging task, as there a multiple options in the market. Knowing which one is the right fit for your company comes from a long process of research and product comparison. As asking the right questions is also an art in itself, here is an infographic that will provide some insight on what you should be focusing on.

Topics: Job Shop Scheduling

Product update: Operator role, enhanced Execute Mode, new Resource View & more

We just shipped the monthly update of our easy time and resource scheduling software. With the update, we further enhanced the Execute Mode by first introducing the role of the operator who is just tasked with setting data from the shopfloor. Second, we also made it easier for an operator to identify and select the resource that he is supposed to set the data for. In addition to this, we also created a new view for scheduling purposes: it is named the Resource View and just looks at resources without showing the resource groups (as consequence we had to rename the view which had been called Resource View so far). Last but not least, we made a change to the overall menu structure. We know that this might cause an initial confusion, but are confident that this is the right move (in the long run): we re-arranged the main navigation to follow our approach of what we call the visual scheduling cycle: update, understand, schedule, report, execute.

Topics: Product news