Production planning and scheduling for manufacturing

Production planning and scheduling for manufacturing is an essential step to increase efficiency and accuracy in the manufacturing process. In order to reach the stage of advanced manufacturing, one must have proper knowledge of production planning and scheduling. 

Aditya Kumar
Jul 24, 2024    |     7 mins read

 After all, what is the ultimate goal of any organisation? It is to maximise efficiency and deliver high quality products and services. As of today's date, as the competition in the manufacturing industry is increasing, every manufacturer or organisation is willing to go beyond its traditional ways in order to stay ahead in the rat's race. 

A lot of things need to be kept in mind in a production unit. Production planning and scheduling for manufacturing is one of the foremost things to be considered. Along with that, a keen eye must be kept on supply chain management, inventory control and so on. In a manufacturing unit, the operations become complex as the manufacturers try to increase efficiency. Hence, production planning becomes essential. Also, product orders usually come with a deadline. When the clock is ticking and the number of products to be manufactured is huge, production scheduling comes into picture. 

In this blog, we have made an attempt to make you aware of the tactics and strategies of production planning and scheduling in manufacturing. We have also tried to briefly provide you with ways in which you can allocate the resources in order to produce maximum efficiency and at the same time, produce the best products under a budget. Read till the end to gain complete knowledge. 

What is production planning?

In a manufacturing unit, production planning is one of the most important steps that needs to be conducted before a manufacturer dives in the manufacturing process. The first step in production planning involves tactical and calculated decision making of in what manner every further step will be taken. In production planning, production strategy and plan is clearly laid out. How raw materials and resources will be allocated to produce best results in a cost effective manner is also thought of during production planning. Further, best ways to meet the demands of the  customers is laid out during production planning.  

In order to get ahead in the competition, production planning becomes very important. The strategic planning considering the market demand and the demand of the customers, making the best and efficient use of the resources, the manufacturer can get an edge in the vast competition. It will not be wrong to say that production planning acts as the foundational structure of manufacturing and business plan of action. Production planning is also important as it influences other dimensions of business as well. Fo instance,

  • Production Scheduling

  • Capacity planning

  • Raw materials and inventory planning

  • Supply chain management

  • Production time

Listed below are the objectives and goals of production planning:

  1. Laying out goals and objectives of production.

  2. Generating ways of meeting customer demands and market demands

  3. Allocating resources efficiently to maximise production

  4. Determining what to type products need to be produced and in what quantities.

  5. Identification of resources required from production, for instance, labour, captial, raw materials, equipments and machinery etc

Types of Production Planning

There are different types of production planning designed for different demands and requirements. 

  • Batch Production Method

This type of production planning works when products need to be manufactured in group, rather than individually. Large scale production of goods can be efficiently done using batch production method.

  • Flow Method

If you want speed in production, flow method of production planning can be used. Once the production work starts, it does not stop until all the products and goods are produced. It is a continuous process designed to minimise time. 

  • Job Method

This method is usually chosen when a single product need to be manufactured. In this method, a unique production strategy is created. It is a great method of production planning when customers infuse a lot of customizations on thier products.

What is Production Scheduling?

Production Scheduling is another crucial amd essential process in a manufacturing unit. As the name suggests, one can guess that production that production scheduling has something to do with making a timetable. Production scheduling refers to making a thorough and extensive timeline of the production activities. Through production scheduling, every activity can be held on specified time and order. This will help minimise wastage of time and efforts and help deliver the products or services to the customers on time. Through production scheduling, the workers in a manufacturing unit can undertake every task and activity as per the schedule. Production scheduling takes into account various factors like availability of equipment and machinery, whether labour is available at the given point of time, availability of raw materials and inventory etc. Using these informations, efficient outcome can be generated through product scheduling. 

Proper coordination, timely delivery of products, minimum wastage of time, maximum utilisation of raw materials can be guaranteed by production scheduling. Not only does it save time, production scheduling also helps save costs and help the process to be carried out in organised manner. 

Key objectives and goals of Production Scheduling:

  1. Making a timeline, mentioning the order of activities to be taken place in a production unit

  2. Keeping in mind that the goal is to minimise wastage of time and maximise efficiency.

  3. Assigning different resources to different tasks. For instance, labour, machinery etc.

  4. Making sure that the finished products, goods and services are delivered to customer on time.

  5. Making about changes in the coarse of action in order to meet customer demands

Why is Production Planning and Scheduling for manufacturing important?

Production planning and scheduling is a vital part of manufacturing process. Production planning caters the needs of the bigger picture, deciding the business strategy of the organisation. On the other hand, production scheduling looks after the short term goals i  a production unit, for instance, maintaining a smooth process in an organised and timely manner. Both, production planning and production scheduling is utmost important in a production unit. Let's look why are they important.

  • Coordinating-

In any production unit, coordination between decision makers, workers, machinery and others is important in order to ensure smooth working. Efficient communication across the organisation would help create a sync amongst the workers and increase cooperation, thus ensuring maximum results

  • Meeting demands-

Proper production planning amd scheduling for manufacturing is important to meet the demands of the customers as well as demands of the market. When planning and scheduling is done efficiently, timely delivery of services is ensured. This also helps reduce wastage of time

  • Budget/Cost control-

Efficient production planning and scheduling helps the manufacturers stay in budget limit and help avoid wastage of money, overproduction leading to wastage of raw materials and inventory, and maximising cost savings.

  • Improved decision making-

When production planning and scheduling is done in a proper manner, better decisions in the favour of manufacturer comes forward. 

Common Production Planning and Scheduling mistakes

  1. Not anticipating risks- Manufacturers who do not anticipate risks and do not allocate an alternative risk management strategy may face sudden crisis. 

  2. Not going beyond planning behind the screen- Instead of solely depending on softwares and tools whir planning, one must go through the manufacturing process physically as well, in order to gain assurity and minimise wastage

Stages of Product Planning and Scheduling

  1. Demand Forecasting/ Capacity Planning - In this step, future customer demand is apprehended using the historical data and market needs. Data like those given below are required for demand forecasting-

    • National Tax regulations

    • Local Tax regulations

    • Advancement in technology

    • Present trends in manufacturing industry

    • Sales performance in the past

  2. Inventory planning - Planning and procurement of raw materials and inventory is next step in production planning and scheduling. The raw materials required for the production is identified, the quantities in which they are required is determined, and then steps are taken to procure those raw materials. Inventory planning is essential is order to minimise wastage and save costs

  3. Production Scheduling - A timeline of the orders and sequences in which the activities of production will take place is made beforehand to ensure smooth workflow in an organised and timely manner. 

  4. Montitoring - Production monitoring and control is next important step. It includes collecting real data, analysing the performances, making adjustments and customizations, and controlling the quality of the production.

  5. Master Production Schedule (MPS) - MPS is the tool which will tell you the detail of the number of products you will be needed to produce in a given period of time. 

Conclusion

Production planning and scheduling in manufacturing is an essential process in any manufacturing unit. Not only does it help bring out efficicent results, it also helps minimise wastage and control costs of production. While production planning acts as a foundational structure of manufacturing by ensuring proper planning of activities and analysing business strategy, production scheduling helps to keep the production activity of the right track. Together, both helps to meet the demands of the customers efficiently. So if you are a manufacturer and willing to know more about the tips and strategies of manufacturing, keep reading Procuzy for you best interests!

FaQs

Q) Can I use Excel for production planning?

  1. Yes, however you may face problems using excel for planning. Instead, using Procuzy ERP software would be better.