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Production Planning Checklist


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Production Planning Checklist Development and implementation of production planning strategies require at least common understanding of this process and its stages. Read the following Production Planning Checklist to learn more on this point.

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  1. Production Planning Process: Definition and Goal.
    • Production planning is an activity of scheduling and planning production in all aspects, from requirements setting to product delivery. The process allows creating a logical plan for work to be performed by computers, machines and workers. Although the process of activities is almost exclusively seen in manufacturing environments, some of the basics and methods are frequently used by service-oriented organizations.
    • Goal simply consists in maintaining the manufacturing workflow with minimal downtime and few bottlenecks. The main concern of the goal is to understand the nature of the process, find any bottlenecks in manufacturing, reduce work-in-process inventories, achieve optimal scheduling, use optimal forecasting techniques, and polish inventory control methods.
  2. Stages of Production Planning Process.
    • Scheduling. At this phase, managers need to determine how many working hours are required to produce a product. Automated manufacturing planning software will help plan the require amount of productive time and track which human resources and machines will be allocated to tasks. A production schedule should be developed considering availability of workers and inventories.
    • Prioritization. The stage involves setting priorities for tasks according to the needs of your organization. During the manufacturing process, priorities can be changed if business conditions are changed. For example, a confectionery plant, which produces cakes for Easter, assigns a higher priority to preparing Easter cakes during the Easter season, while reducing priorities for other non-seasonal products that are sold more steadily throughout the whole year.
    • Managing Changes. This stage engages managers in accounting for unforeseen consequences that may slow or even interrupt production. While progressing, the production process goes through various changes, and one of the key responsibilities of production planning managers is to adequately respond to any change occurred. Changes refer to employee absences, equipment failure, interruptions to work, strikes.
    • Reporting. At this stage, managers use software to make decisions on the production process by reviewing reports. Such reports include KPIs and metrics and allow tracking any delays and incomplete production procedures. For example, managers can read daily reports to check if one particular type of production tasks is behind or on schedule. Reports help schedule overtime, so that workers will be assigned to performing overdue tasks.
  3. Production Planning Methods.
    • Methods allow companies to undertake highly efficient processes with low costs. Manufacturing software systems are used to implement such methods. Several methods are listed below.
    • Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). This method of production planning uses computers to create virtual models to undertake the manufacturing process. CIM involves development of electronic forms and spreadsheets that help planners estimate the production time and receive more accurate information about the production process.
    • Just-In-Time (JIT). It is the method of transferring information via computerized systems from sellers to manufacturers in real-time manner, allowing planners to carry out procedure in a highly sensitive collaborative environment. Manufacturers can communicate with sellers to settle some critical issues immediately through using computer software. JIT method is great because your company can reduce inventory on-hand by decreasing fixed costs for warehousing.
    • Lean Manufacturing Method (LMM). It is one of the most effective techniques in terms of lowered waste reduction. The method allows managers to focus on tracking any bottlenecks or inefficient allocation of manufacturing resources. A bottleneck occurs when the production workflow becomes too overloaded and there is no choice for workers but to allow some of their tasks and jobs to be idle or postponed. The method allows you to identify and eliminate inefficiencies in personnel management and process management, so that your manufacturing company will use its capital only in production purposes.

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