Enhanced Job Reporting For Your Visual Production Planning Software

    Martin Karlowitsch
    March 14, 2017

    The focus of our just plan it software is (and remains) on enabling small job shops and small make-to-order companies with an easy time and resource scheduling. Nevertheless, we learned that a solid level of reporting capabilities definitively cannot hurt when trying to achieve a proper scheduling. Hence, our visual production planning software already comes with a basic Job Report and a basic Task Report which both can be exported to Microsoft Excel at any time. We now enhanced the Job Report in a way that it (a) contains new metrics concerning throughput, buffer and waiting times and that it (b) allows a comparison between the current schedule and the schedule's baseline.

    Introducing new metrics: throughput, buffer & waiting time

    As of today, we enhance the Job Report of our visual production planning software by the following metrics:

    • Throughput time: Start time minus finish time. So the throughput time tells you how long it takes to complete the entire job from start to finish.
    • Buffer time: Due date minus planned finish date. The buffer time (only meaningful if your planning strategy is ASAP) is the gap that you have between the planned finish date of the job and its due date. If the buffer time is a positive figure it means that there is some slack in your schedule and that you might be able to cope with some delays. A negative buffer time tells you that this job runs late.
    • Waiting time: This is a part of the throughput time. The waiting time per job is defined as total throughput time minus total non-working time minus total runtime minus total transfer time. The waiting time tells you the total time (starting at the planned start date) that this job has to wait due to other jobs having a higher priority. 

    I am pretty confident that these metrics might help you making your job-related reporting and data crunching more meaningful. Here is a snapshot how this might look like (the sample shows a filter on the released jobs). Please also have a look where I "find" the new metrics and how I pull them into the Job Report.

    Enhanced Job Report.gif

    Introducing the baseline

    just plan it is designed to provide you with a lot of scheduling and data agility. However, we also know that there is this one "moment of truth" in which you want to nail your job's schedule - at least to have a reference point for reporting purposes. This is what we call the baseline.


    The baseline is the approved initial schedule of your job. With setting a baseline, the job should move from scheduling to execution. Hence, the baseline gives you some great information to control the job, and to measure execution.

    Update Understand Schedule Report Execute - transparent background.jpg

    We actually allow you as of now to save (all in one go) the following baseline information per job:

    • Baseline job start time
    • Baseline job finish time
    • Baseline due date
    • Baseline sequence number
    • Baseline throughput time
    • Baseline buffer time
    • Baseline waiting time

    All of the above baseline metrics are available within the enhanced Job Report. As such, you can export them to Microsoft Excel and build some meaningful reports and analytics to better manage your job shop schedule.

    Some ideas: insights you can gain from the baseline and the new metrics

    I sense that these new metrics bear some great potential to improve the insight into your job shop schedule. Here are some introductory ideas: 

    • The quality of your delivery time commitments. I got you: your customer is king and your business depends on your capability to deliver in time. Precisely, your business depends on your capability to make a prediction of the delivery time and to meet this prediction. Now compare your actual due dates with the baseline due dates. How often did you have to call the customer and agree upon a new date? I recommend tracking this difference to increase the reliability of your commitments.
    • Improving future plan data. Saving the baseline data allows you looking back and compare the initial plan to the last plan (before execution). If you compare the baseline runtime with the actual planned runtime, and the baseline throughput time with the actual planned throughput time, you have the chance to spot "regular deviations" between your initial scheduling assumptions and the current schedule. Going forward, you can use this insight to further improve your planning data.
    • Service level for Tier 1 customers. Filter your Jobs Report to just show data of your top customers. Then compare how good you managed to keep the initial promise (baseline finish time vs. current finish time). Do you see a lot of deviations here? Well, either you should take better care of Tier 1 jobs, or you should rework your list of Tier customers ;-)

    The above are just a few examples what you can achieve with the new metrics that we provide you with via the enhanced Jobs Report. I suggest that you export your job shop schedule to Excel, and play around with these metrics a bit further. They definitively have the potential to unveil new insights.

    Some words about the how

    Icon Update All Baseline.pngNow that you know which additional capabilities we just made available for you, I thought wrapping this post up with sharing how to achieve this. In the Import/Report tab you find the icon shown left. With pressing this button, you set a baseline for all jobs that did not have a baseline before. Here is a word of caution: you cannot undo this, and you can set baselines for multiple jobs only once. If you press the button, there is no way back. I strongly recommend that you press this button once in an active session - before you are about to log out of our visual production scheduling software. If you want to be 100% sure for which jobs you will set the baseline, go to the Job View and filter on all jobs without a baseline yet. They all will receive a baseline with hitting the button. When doing so, we also set a time stamp called "date when baseline was set". We show you this data - for information purposes only - in the "Manage Job Details" dialog.

    Update Baseline Context Menu.pngWell, there might be cases, in which you just want to update one already existing baseline for one dedicated job. This can be achieved by right clicking on the job in the table part of the Job View. This opens a dialog in which you can see the previous baseline and the new values as they are currently planned in your schedule. You cannot change these values in the dialog, but just confirm that you want to update the baseline accordingly.

    Last but not least, I can assure you that there is more to come (the team is working to complete a new capacity report soon) and that I will keep you posted. If you do not yet work with just plan it, why not giving it a try? It is free for 30 days and provides you with a plethora of visual production planning capabilities.

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