4 Misconceptions about Manufacturing ERP Production Scheduling

Production scheduling is a part of every manufacturing ERP system today. Most ERPs have APS or advanced production scheduling and many say that the ability to schedule the work, optimize the use of people and machinery, and intelligently insert new orders at the right time is a key reason they bought their manufacturing ERP system. Let’s take a look at some reasons production scheduling might not deliver your hopes.

Schedules Will Always Be Adhered To

People won’t follow your schedule. There are a lot of reasons for this and some are good. People will do what they did yesterday. People will cherry pick the job to work on next. People might have a better understanding of common set ups and what is the most important next job, than you do. The job your schedule says is next may not be signed off at the previous operation. This point is important. Your manufacturing ERP schedule assumes that every operation in every work center will complete as scheduled. It won’t! An effective schedule has to adapt to real life as it happens and jobs will need to be continuously rescheduled.

Finite Scheduling Will Keep You from Ever over Committing in the Future

It can help – especially after you have fine-tuned your use of finite scheduling. ERP schedules work in blocks of time. An operation within a job takes a certain block of time and the system will find an empty block of time for that operation. But jobs are scheduled one at a time based on priorities you set. The first job to schedule will take its block and the second and so on. When the system tries to schedule the hundredth job it looks for a 75 minute block of available time at a resource and might find the next block sometime next month not caring that the order is due next week. Don’t try to use finite scheduling for every resource. Find a level where only the resources that HAVE to be scheduled that way and let the rest fall where they fall.

Your Deliveries Will Always Be on Time

ERP production scheduling will help. But see above; real life will still go on so there will still be some lates. The best you can hope for is an improvement.

Scheduling Will Be One-Size-Fits-All

You cannot select one scheduling method that fits best and from there on scheduling will follow this process. You will find yourself forward scheduling a job infinitely through some operations. Then rescheduling the job for the next operations based on delivery of a component. Then rescheduling again backwards from the due date. This is all for just one job. How many jobs are in your system?

Manufacturing ERP is a powerful tool and will help your production scheduling in many ways. But it is not a one-size-fits-all tool and you will need to put in plenty of effort to get your results.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller

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