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SMB Production Scheduling Blog

5 methods that innovative companies use production scheduling software

Production scheduling software is an advanced planning and scheduling approach that allows producers and manufacturers to effectively manage operations while improving the overall customer experience. Manufacturing scheduling or production planning software especially helps small make-to-order manufacturers such as job shops or machine shops to achieve their next level of company development.

Such software offers flexibility with powerful features that allows real-time scheduling throughout the manufacturing and supply chain. If you are wondering why your company needs one, we have valuable insights for you. Businesses use production scheduling techniques and related tools to organize multiple varieties of horizons. 

Some top production scheduling software benefits include improved on-time deliveries, increased throughput, and better resource utilization. The software offers numerous techniques and tools to help executives and managers. With that, we have listed down the top 5 methods that innovative companies apply when using production scheduling software.

Topics: Scheduling Best Practices

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

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

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

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: Machine shop scheduling Scheduling Best Practices

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