Whiteboard Scheduling Software for Manufacturing. Replace Excel spreadsheets

Planning on a whiteboard is what this simple image below shows. Three simple operations in the manufacturing schedule typical of what is shown on your planning whiteboard in your office…… with one important difference in that your planning whiteboard cannot maintain links between the operations as shown in the image. If you want to change the date of one operation by hand by moving a card or a magnetic strip, then you have to remember to change all the operations in the job.
With our whiteboard software these operations are linked automatically and if you move one then all of them are moved for you to the new date, whilst maintaining the start and finish end times in each of the successor and predecessor operations.
whiteboard software jobs
An article about Factory Planning and Promised Delivery Dates
Production Scheduling Software - ASAP is not a delivery date!!

We have a lot of funny ways to describe when jobs must be delivered. Hot jobs, very hot, rush jobs, priority, top priority, must haves. Some delivery dates look like “Oct 22 must have”. The most popular term however must be ASAP. How vague is that? It looks like you might be doing the right thing but not necessarily knowing what the right thing is. Seasoned scheduling and planning pros know you can never be late with an ASAP job!

ASAP - so do you spell it out as A-S-A-P or consider it to be one word like assap. Does it mean make this priority over everything else for the same date or something else? Anybody can say asap. Lets put the accent on the first syllable - that makes you sound really knowledgeable and important - or does it? You can sound very smart and know nothing at all. At the end of the day its mostly a great way of sounding as if you are doing the right thing without knowing what the right thing is!!

Any order that’s in a factory production planning and production scheduling system without a delivery date we know is a hidden time bomb ready to explode at any moment. Customers are told when they are chasing this type of job that it didn't have a specific date so why are they chasing it - leads to unhappy customers? of course it does and the worst thing of all is that nobody wins at this game. When a customer calls and says “where is my job” if its an ASAP job then the production scheduler says "it didn't have a date" and this leads to customer dissatisfaction.

Delivery on time is a very serious business.
Every job in a proper production scheduling system is required at a specific time...... The board of directors must have their reports. A mining company must have a wheel bearing for a hundred tonne truck refurbished on time. The warehouse must have stock replenishment for plumbing fittings so it can service its customers. Our CEO takes off at 10 am and needs the paperwork on time. Will we miss the truck that takes our product to the port for a specific containerized shipment. Will we miss the courier that was told to get here at a specific time.

We can get really specific with deliveries from the date required to both the time and date required within an intelligent production scheduling system. So as you can see in these examples we are precise, but lets get really accurate and get down to partial deliveries - and the management of partial quantities, stock draw offs and times and dates.

Every job on the planning white board in the production scheduling planning system needs a delivery date.
Customers have their businesses to plan that may hinge upon our products and services. Non performance in this area can have a chain reaction and cost downstream businesses serious cash. A large proportion of customers who change suppliers cite poor delivery performance as their reason for doing so. Many companies do not have adequate planning and scheduling systems, whiteboards or software, or these systems have not been implemented fully maybe due to their "over complex" nature. They do not know what the capacity of their plant is and instruct their sales people to get every order they can. Sales accept every request for delivery date the customers wants. This gives the production scheduling staff no choice but to accept, and under management pressure try to keep everyone satisfied. You cannot get "a quart in to a pint pot" so somewhere upon the line something breaks.

A culture of "so what" develops as production scheduling staff know they can never succeed as long as management makes promises they can't deliver upon. Worse than this is that the management tells the sales force to get every job they can and for production to manufacture every job they get from sales.

The Business Case
Production Scheduling solutions whether manual planning boards or sophisticated software provide the tools to manufacturing planning professionals to get the job done. The factory has its capacity quantified and customers are given accurate delivery dates. Production Scheduling solutions empower factory staff to achieve on the basis of knowledge and are not given unrealistic targets.

However the business case is always based on an overall view of the enterprise and if communication between departments or computer systems is not working effectively then the business case just will not stack up.
Justification of the implementation of a comprehensive production scheduling tool can be in the Customer Service area alone.
Visibility is given to customer service and sales but with manufacturing feeding back accurate information that can be made visible across the whole enterprise. Money can be made, money can be saved, investments in factory assets can be made and modelled on the back of accurate information from the scheduling tools available.
So this is the business case - operational success in implementing these systems in the manufacturing area leads to broad benefits across the whole enterprise leading to customer satisfaction and and most importantly customer retention.

Introduction to Production Scheduling Software and Production Planning Software
Keyvak provides a fantastic software tool for those of you not yet geared up for an Advanced Production Scheduling Software system with the immense resource required from your business for successful implementation. Take a look at our product called Plan/Ezy, essentially an out-of-the-box production scheduler that's easy and fast to install and use. It has the look and feel of an electronic whiteboard so fits in to the culture of your business fast.