SMB Production Scheduling Blog

15 requirements that need to be part of your production scheduling process

This is a guest blog post provided by Ivanka Menken. She is a serial entrepreneur and the owner and Co-Founder of The Art of Service since 2000.  Ivanka specialises in creating organisations that manage their services in a sustainable and customer driven manner. Recently, Ivanka co-authored the book Production Process Scheduling Self Assessment. This blog post is an excerpt from this book and sheds a light on 15 requirements that need to be part of your production scheduling process.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices

How to best schedule flexible resources

Having idle resources? Feel that you need to better utilize your capaciity through better resource scheduling? Well, one word of caution before 'freaking out' about idle resources: actually having idle might be OK because, as underlined in the theory of constraints, a 100% resource usage is not always optimum. However, idle resources start to “feel wrong” if you also have jobs that run late. In this blog post we offer two resource scheduling best practices that you can apply when you work with just plan it and want to fight delayed orders while having idle resources.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices Job Shop Scheduling

What is the Difference Between ASAP and JIT Scheduling? (infographic)

Visual job shop scheduling can be a tricky thing. From time to time we meet shop owners who want to know if they should apply an ASAP or a JIT scheduling strategy. Well, there are always two answers to this. Good news is that just plan it supportds both (on entire plan and single job level). Bad news is that it depends if we recommend JIT over ASAP. So, what is the difference between ASAP and JIT scheduling? And when to apply which strategy? Here is an infograph to answer this question.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices

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: Scheduling Best Practices 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: Scheduling Best Practices Machine shop scheduling

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: Scheduling Best Practices Machine shop scheduling

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: Scheduling Best Practices Machine shop scheduling

Visual Scheduling Software and Discovering the Habit of Zoom

One of the most underrated and misunderstood aspects of visual scheduling software is the ability to either drill down or pan out quickly and effectively across large amounts of data. However, only having the ability to do something doesn't mean it's going to automatically bring value. The value comes in discovering how to use it and in making that discovery a habit.

The focus of this blog post is to break down the ways in which adjusting the resolution of your visual data effectively changes your perspective, and the amount of relevant data shown. This, in turn, unlocks the vast reservoir of value that lives within your data and unleashes your planning agility.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices

Effective Prioritizing with Visual Scheduling

As scheduling aims to determine sequences of production operations, it goes without saying that priorities must be set.

Without this simple law scheduling itself would cease to exist. This is true for both the large companies as well as for SMBs. Especially in small job shops where agility and the ability to maintain a flexible schedule are among the highest valued attributes in planning. In this type of volatile business arena, it's important to have a schedule which can be flexibly adopted and considers the set of implicit priorities the planner has constantly in mind.

This post attempts to dissect some of the challenges faced in the small job shop scheduling environment versus a large manufacturing environment and explores some of the ways in which a flexible visual scheduling can help effectively prioritize jobs and mitigate in shop issues.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices

The Critical Role of Colors in Visual Scheduling

Visualization, specifically a visual schedule, brings transparency and all your information to you quite literally in once glance. The addition of color, an intuitive part of any visual schedule, takes visualization to the next level by bringing an additional depth of intelligence.

The benefits of colors in visual scheduling are vast, almost to the point where one cannot think to have achieved the best schedule without the added support of color.

It's so basic, so fundamental, and so critical in so much of what we do that we often take it for granted. Yet color not only aesthetically enhances a visual schedule but yields the basis for understanding your visual schedule. This understanding brings with it unprecedented value in gaining transparency across your data, a transparency which results in greater agility and better informed decision-making.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices