SMB Production Scheduling Blog

Is production scheduling the golden key to working capital management?

Regardless of the industry, size, or production characteristics of a company, working capital management is an essential practice in running a business smoothly. Working capital management is the strategy used to manage current liabilities and current assets. Efficient working capital management ensures that the company holds enough liquidity to meet short-term expenses and debt. Without sufficient cash available, the company risks not being able to meet expenses quickly. At the same time, holding more working capital is costly. Therefore, it is crucial for any business to balance its working capital efficiently.

Having a proper production scheduling system in place ensures visibility and clarity over current and future production processes. Consequently, it reduces the level of uncertainty and reports directly into working capital management. Is production scheduling the key to efficient working capital management? Also, does it hold for more volatile production environments like HMLV (high-mix, low-volume) businesses? Let's dig deeper into the components of working capital management and the role of production scheduling.

Topics: Job Shop Scheduling

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

The basics of visual job shop scheduling

In the my blog posts about 'what is job shop scheduling' and why it is important, I made the point that having a proper job shop scheduling tool in place is essential. Let’s add a subtle, but extremely valuable, element to that: Visual job shop scheduling. As mentioned already, one benefit of job shop scheduling is gaining transparency and visibility over a production. Including a focus on visuals, this aspect is taken to another level.

Topics: Job Shop Scheduling

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

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

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

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