Use free capacities in your production schedule to increase revenue

    April 4, 2022

    Unused resource capacities are a thorn in the side of every production scheduler because they prevent revenue. However, especially for make-to-order companies or high-mix low-volume manufacturers, it is difficult to uncover free capacities, because of the complexity of the schedule and the lack of overview.

    Well, it is difficult, but it is not impossible :-) And when you use the production scheduling software just plan it, it is even very easy. Let me show you how to do it.  

    Last month I started my series of blog posts with typical scheduling challenges of companies, producing customized products in low batch sizes, like make-to-order companies, job shops, engineering companies, etc. My first blog post was about how to squeeze an urgent job into the production schedule in a high-mix low-volume production environment and the delivery date given by the customer was an important part of the game.

    Let's now look at the production schedule from a different perspective: we want to see if any unused resources in the near future could be used for additional jobs that will ultimately bring us additional revenue. The delivery date is not the limiting factor.

    These four questions need to be answered first before thinking about possible resource utilization options:

    • The first question, of course, is what resource capacity is unused,
    • second is the time frame when it is free,
    • we then still need to know how much unused capacity is available, i.e. whether I have it available for 8 hours or only for 4 hours,
    • and finally, and this is very important, which job might need this resource. 

    All these questions can be answered by just plan it in just a few steps: 

    • With the resource view, you can quickly and easily identify unused resource and their time slots. 
    • Job templates help you to select a job that requires this type of resource
    • The automatic scheduling engine adds the new job to the schedule in the given time slot. 

    Now you want to see this use case in practice? My colleague Dave, a scheduling expert for make-to-order companies, or high-mix low-volume manufacturers gives you a live demonstration, with a detailed explanation. Enjoy watching this video 😊


    Further readings

    Free ebook: A comprehensive introduction to machine shop scheduling 

    Free ebook: 3 steps on how production scheduling improves your on-time deliveries by +30% without constant fire-fighting

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