SMB Production Scheduling Blog

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

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

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