SMB Production Scheduling Blog

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

Product update: Execute Mode refined plus 3 usability enhancements

We are rolling out a new version of our job shop scheduling software to all customers and trial users. In this update, we enhanced the Execute Mode that we released a month ago. Operators can now also report the "remaining time from now" and leave a textual message on a task. In addition to this, we also added three features that increase the usability of our production scheduling software.

Topics: Product news

Two awards for our job shop scheduling software

Our easy time and resource scheduling software for SMB manufacturers recently got recognized with two renowned German awards. just plan it, the leading job shop scheduling software, was ranked as one of the best vertical solutions within the "Innovationspreis IT for SMBs" (innovation award IT for SMBs). Second, the software is also rated as "Best of Industrie", which marks it as a leading solution for manufacturing industries.  

Topics: Product news

Top 9 tips for SMBs: job shop scheduling software buying guide

In this blog post, I address the arduous task of going through the different options SMB owners find themselves when considering to purchase a scheduling software for their job shop. It’s not only important that the software is the right fit but that you also feel confident and informed during all the stages of your decision process. In order to help you through this search and evaluation "jungle", I have written an eBook with a lot of tips and tricks that will make your buying journey easier.

Topics: Machine shop scheduling Job Shop Scheduling

Enhancements of our job shop scheduling software

As of today we have rolled out a new version of our job shop scheduling software to all active accounts. This means to all customers and trial users. Of course, the highlight is the new Execute Mode, which I covered in an extra blog post. With today's shipment, we decided to add some further extras (besides the usual bug fixing) on top of the Execute Mode. The extras are the integration of a support chat box into the application, enhancements of the job and task report, and more Excel upload power.

Topics: Product news

Execute Mode: Job shop scheduling meets manufacturing execution

In my last blog post in January, I spoke about our roadmap. I informed you that we put some obvious things on hold to spend some time and energy on the not so obvious facets of building and running a product like just plan it. Now, I am excited to share the general availability of a long awaited (obvious) functionality: we call it the Execute Mode. The Execute Mode is available for all PRO and ENTERPRISE customers (click to compare the pricing plans).

On the list of ideas we got from all our customers and users, the capability introduced with the Execute Mode is the - by far - most prominent feature request. It enables you to easily integrate information from the shopfloor into your schedule and empowers you to keep your schedule current in a straightforward way. With the Execute Mode, job shop scheduling meets manufacturing execution.

This blog post is meant to be an introduction into the Execute Mode. It is not the core documentation of it. Within the blog post, I reference a lot of additional learning and enablement material.

Topics: Product news

15 requirements that need to be part of your production scheduling process

This is a guest blog post provided by Ivanka Menken. She is a serial entrepreneur and the owner and Co-Founder of The Art of Service since 2000.  Ivanka specialises in creating organisations that manage their services in a sustainable and customer driven manner. Recently, Ivanka co-authored the book Production Process Scheduling Self Assessment. This blog post is an excerpt from this book and sheds a light on 15 requirements that need to be part of your production scheduling process.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices

Why idle capacities are nothing to freak out about

Having a proper scheduling system in place is essential for any kind of manufacturing process to continuously plan and track the production status. As manufacturing processes are wide ranged as well as company sizes there are various options to choose of: One can opt for complex algorithms that aim to optimize a production line or for a more simple, straight-forward scheduling software that mainly aims at adding transparency. Some small manufacturers might even use paper or a whiteboard as a scheduling tool, others further hire experts or try to implement lean techniques or TOC tools. But, what works for one manufacturer can be counterproductive for another and vice versa. Therefore, the very first step for any manufacturing company is to identify its characteristics, goals and distinct features. Focusing on job shops, this blog post introduces some important insights for HMLV (high-mix low-volume) manufacturers and explains why ignoring them leads to inferior performance.

Topics: Job Shop Scheduling

Why using lean principles to improve high-mix low-volume facilities is not the first step to make

In order to constantly improve operations and to do justice to a constant thrive for perfection in production processes, lean manufacturing techniques are used in countless production plants worldwide. As most manufacturing philosophies, lean principles generally aim to aid low-mix high-volume (LMHV) manufacturers.

However, at the other end of the spectrum, there are high-mix low-volume (HMLV) manufacturers that differ significantly in numerous criteria, such as product variety, production volume, equipment, scheduling tools etc. Being aware of this significant diversity, one might question the applicability of lean principles for small manufacturers like job shops. This blog post presents the lean principles and investigates its relevance for HMLV manufacturers.

Topics: Job Shop Scheduling