How Cortinas México improved their bottleneck management with visual production scheduling

    May 12, 2021

    Just plan it is a visual production scheduling software, specially designed for small high-mix low-volume manufacturers. Learn from our customer Cortinas México what challenges they had in their specific production process and how they benefit from our software today.

    About Cortinas

    Cortinas México is located in Mexico and their business is to produce rolling doors made of aluminum, steel and other materials for the building industry. In the last decade, Cortinas México continued to manufacture safety curtains, metallic curtains, roll-up curtains and at the same time, developing innovative products such as Aluvista curtains made of polycarbonate to protect the die-cuts from wind, dust, and rain.

    Scheduling without just plan it

    Before they started working with just plan it, they scheduled their production with a Gantt chart that was built in Excel. As a kind of scheduling work-around they divided the manufacturing facility into manufacturing areas, calculated an average capacity per area (as an area-specific unit of measure, allocated jobs to these areas accordingly. Hence, Cortinas México had to consider the area-specific unit of measures when assigning jobs to the manufacturing areas.

    This created a lot of issues: First, there was no universal measuring unit in the process. Second, scheduling with Excel was slow. Third this methodology was inexact as it oversimplified their production process.

    Consequently, Cortinas México was not able to calculate reliable due dates for their jobs. Hence, they started to search for an external production scheduling application to help deliver on time and to schedule faster and more accurately.

    Reasons for selecting just plan it

    One reason why they decided to choose just plan it is that the software also works with resource groups, which is equal to their manufacturing areas. A big plus is also, that there is only one universal measuring unit across all separate areas. Additionally, this unit of measure is minutes, which makes scheduling much more accurate. Jeronimo Alvarez, Senior Director Manufacturing at Cortinas México, says:

    just plan it gives us a much more exact finish date for our jobs.

    Learning just plan it

    Cortinas México participated in the individual on-boarding program to learn just plan it, and to make sure they use it according to their specific needs. Hence, they had a weekly meeting with a scheduling expert who led them through the process. Jeronimo Alvarez summarizes:

    The on-boarding was great.

    Benefits of using just plan it

    One obvious improvement of using just plan it for production scheduling is the ability to get much more exact finish dates. This helps Cortinas México with their communication with their clients.

    A second effect is, that they have now a clear idea of how things are going on in the shop floor. This is due to the constant feedback that they get via the “operator client” from the operators on the shop floor.

    The third improvement that Cortinas México achieved is a much better handling of bottleneck as Jeronimo explains:

    Thanks to jpi we are also able to measure the productivity of each area and draw conclusions from the data it gives us. From there we have been able to reassign certain people to other areas and we have discovered bottlenecks that we didn't know were so important.

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