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SMB Production Scheduling Blog

Elmar Karlowitsch

Elmar Karlowitsch

Elmar is Managing Director of NETRONIC - The Gantt Solutions Company. He decided to join the company mid of 2015. Since then, he is driven to strengthen the companies' solution focus. just plan it is his most recent "weapon" in his continued fight against a kind of misuse of Microsoft Excel as scheduling tool.

Recent Posts by Elmar Karlowitsch:

Performance improved, housekeeping, next step of workflow for routines

With finishing the next development sprint and publishing a new just plan it version we continued the ongoing improvement process of our production scheduling software. This time the improvement of performance was put into the focus of the development team. But we did also some „housekeeping“ and made the next step in regards of “workflow for routines”. Hereinafter I give an overview over all news that come along with the new release.

Topics: Product news

The vicious circle of getting SMB production scheduling started

Scheduling in a high mix low volume environment is challenging in many ways. The high volatility of planning data due to ongoing and unforeseeable changes of the planning situation is not only a core characteristic of that business sector but also one main reason why scheduling is so critical.

To better clarify what I mean let's have a look at the „natural order of things“ concerning SMB production scheduling from the very beginning of a SMBs historical timeline.

Topics: Job Shop Scheduling

Housekeeping and first step of workflow for routines (product update)

With finishing our current development sprint and publishing a new just plan it version the continuous improvement process of our production scheduling software took the next step. This time we essentially focused on „housekeeping“. But in addition we included some little new enhancements that are meant to be first a step of new subject areas for future advanced enhancements. Hereinafter I give an overview over all news that come along with the new release.

Topics: Product news

New module „Advanced Scheduling II“ & further scheduling enhancements

The continuous improvement process of our job shop scheduling software took the next step: the new version of just plan it has just been rolled out. And this time, we are coming up with a real blast! Since we started just plan it back in 2016, there was one feature that has been required most and that many manufacturers thought of as indispensable. This to assign two resources to one task.

After understanding your needs it took us quite a while to implement this mighty feature as it – among other things – necessitated to redesign our automatic scheduling engine. But I'm super excited to announce that the new module „Advanced Scheduling II“ is available now. Furthermore, we published several new additional useful functions which are eligible for all customers of the Base Plans (Starter & Full).

Hereinafter I give an overview of all new functionality and features that come along with the new release.

Topics: Product news

7 tips how to meet scheduling targets in a high-mix low-volume shop

The vast majority of all manufacturing companies worldwide are small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). E.g. according to NAM, more than 98% of all American manufacturers have less than 500 employees. As a lot of these small companies master its technical challenges pretty well they steadily grow, or they even become "hidden champions".

At tipping point to grow most job shop manufacturers, by experience, come to the conclusion that scheduling with Excel (or any other homegrown system) does not make any sense anymore. They see the need to take scheduling to the next level. When they do not act fast on this insight and when their customers continue to request more and more deliveries, improper scheduling even prevents these companies from further growth. Reason is: they fully lose their insight of what is going on at the shop-floor, they fully drain off their scheduling targets and lose the ability to make reliable deliver time commitments.

Reaching this point – and many SMBs out there do – running an appropriate scheduling tool becomes crucial. Concerning the scheduling targets there is pretty much unity as more than 95% state: "reliable delivery commitments", "maximization of throughput", and "optimization of capacity utilization".

Topics: Machine shop scheduling Scheduling Best Practices Job Shop Scheduling

Product update: Enhanced Execute & Reporting Module functionality

The monthly update of our job shop scheduling software has just been rolled out a couple of days ago. But we couldn't resist to add another two goodies shortly thereafter and further enhanced the Execute and Reporting Module functionality. In this blog I briefly explain what we did and how it will help you.

Topics: Product news

A critical factor of successful production scheduling: „establish a routine“

There are many approaches of production scheduling and there are many critical factors overall. But if you want to boil it down then - in my eyes - you end up in the challenge of establishing a routine of a regular scheduling process. What does that imply? Let´s have a closer look to the single components to consider.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices Job Shop Scheduling

Product update: New User Management functionality and further enhanced Execute & Report Module

The monthly update of our job shop scheduling software has just been rolled out. This time, we've added several new useful functions which are eligible for all customers (and trial users) of the base plans (FREE, Starter & Full) and the two modules Execute Mode and Reporting.

Topics: Product news

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

New Resource Scheduling Capability: Extended XLS Upload

Here comes the next major enhancement of our just plan it software to achieve an easy time and resource scheduling for SMB manufacturers. This time we significantly enhanced the xls upload facilities (especially) for our ENTERPRISE users. This post illustrates the operating mode of this new functionality and furthermore points out three other additional features of the new release  

Topics: Product news