I sincerely believe that scheduling is the brain center that drives the operations side of a manufacturing company.

APS Scheduling

Adding a smart scheduling system to an existing ERP system may be the answer. Scheduling is where the “rubber meets the road” and implementing a good scheduling system should have an immediate and lasting impact on a company’s ability to service its clients and improve the bottom line.

A good scheduling system should deliver all the functionality missing from an ERP system. Below is a list of the basic functionality that is needed in a scheduling system.

  1. The ability to schedule more accurately at the machine level as opposed to the work center level and to assign different shifts and run speeds for each machine.

  2. The ability to schedule each machine finitely or infinitely.

  3. The ability to schedule using multiple constraints (such as tooling and operators).

  4. The ability to calculate sequence dependent setup times.

  5. The ability to schedule precisely (minutes or seconds) as opposed to time buckets (usually days or weeks).

  6. The ability to integrate easily with other systems like ERP and Shop Floor Data Collection (SFDC).

  7. The ability to sequence orders based on due date, priority or some other attribute.

  8. The ability to schedule quickly (minutes or seconds) and maintain a real-time view of the schedule.

  9. The ability to easily make changes such as adding new orders, changing priorities, adding machine downtimes or completing operations.

  10. The ability to synchronize the schedule with material constraints.

Explaining the wonders of sequencing is one of the fun things I get to do in my seminars. I have described the basics of a good scheduling system.  Now I need to prove that there is a whole new world out there to explore.  That world is the world of sequencing.

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