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SMB Production Scheduling Blog

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

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 production scheduling software no longer is a “big guys only” game

A couple of years ago, a production scheduling software had been far out of reach for small and medium business (hereinafter called SMB) manufacturers. The offered on-premise software at that time was too costly and too complex for SMB. A real game changer in the world of SMB manufacturers is cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (hereinafter called SaaS). This blog post introduces the new forms of software aided production scheduling and discusses its major opportunities for small manufacturers.

Topics: Machine shop scheduling Job Shop Scheduling

10 technology trends for SMB manufacturers in 2018 (infograph)

 Time flies and we are already almost two full months into 2018. Nevertheless, it is not too late to take a look into the top 10 technology trends that can make a difference in your SMB manufacturing in 2018. In 2017 we were introduced to IIOT, 3D printing, automation, an increase of e-commerce, cyber security and emerging market. It is in this year, however, that these trends will find their consolidation and thus change the manufacturing landscape for good.

Topics: Machine shop scheduling

Top 10 things customers like about just plan it

just plan it is an easy time and resource scheduling software for job shops and small make-to-order manufacturers. With some success stories behind it, could there be a better way to talk about the software than with the users themselves? Here are the top 10 things our customers like the most from their experience working with our job shop scheduling software. As we love visuals, we made this post up as an infograph.

Topics: Machine shop scheduling Job Shop Scheduling

3 Cool Customer-Focused Color Schemes for Enhanced Job Shop Scheduling

Our job shop scheduling software just plan it gives you the ability to create as many color schemes as you like. I sense that these color schemes can be truly helpful when trying to figure out certain situations on your shop floor faster. However, I also have the impression that color schemes are kind of "hidden champions" within the feature spectrum of our job shop scheduling software. Hence, I decided to kick off a blog series in which I share with you a couple of color schemes that really can help you improving your job shop scheduling. This first post within this series deals with customer-oriented color schemes. I will always discuss

  • why the respective color scheme is relevant
  • show you a schedule before and after applying it
  • provide guidance how to build it
  • recommend colors to use

Topics: Machine shop scheduling Scheduling Best Practices

3 Characteristics of Great Machine Shop Scheduling Firms

What makes some machine shops great and others just average?

The question is not new but constantly asked.

When it comes to machine shops and small job shops, the landscape is one of constant change. Still, certain characteristics often reoccur across successful shops and start to solidify themselves as the foundational cornerstones for ongoing success.This post seeks to identify these cornerstones and articulate them insofar as to scratch the surface in terms of what they mean to ongoing growth and longevity.
Topics: Machine shop scheduling

Infograph: How Job Shop Manufacturing Software Helps With Boss Orders

Ever ran into a day where your orders are tightly scheduled, the entire shop floor seems "on fire" and you somehow managed to fit all jobs in your schedule.  

You are giving yourself a pat in the back for sorting all jobsout when the phone rings and your newly acquired joy falls to the ground as you read the name on the income call. It’s your #1 customer. Hoping it is not a call for a last minute urgent job, you pick up but you are in no luck today and that is exactly what it is. Here is an infograph showing you how a job shop manufacturing software can help you cope with this "boss order".

Topics: Machine shop scheduling Scheduling Best Practices

The Visual Element in Job Shop Scheduling

The visual component has always played a key role in communication. Introducing images has proven to lead to a faster understanding, as reading an image is in everyone´s reach and takes less time than reading a text. If collecting data in spreadsheets leads to a long trail of paper work, maybe it is time to look for a smarter solution. If the conversation is about efficiency, why not go visual?

Topics: Machine shop scheduling Scheduling Best Practices

3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts of Manufacturing Scheduling in a Small Job Shop

The beauty of a product-centric business model is that it can take you anywhere that your product is needed. For visual scheduling this means we go where the time-centric and resource-oriented planning data goes, we go where customers need visual schedules; hence in a word (and with a geographical meaning), we go everywhere.

This broadness on a global scale has afforded us at NETRONIC the opportunity to collaborate with dozens of small job shops all around the world, helping them to build and use a visual manufacturing schedule. Here are some of the do's and don'ts we've learned along the way.

Topics: Machine shop scheduling Scheduling Best Practices