What is production planning? What are the objectives of production planning and control? How to make a production plan?
Many of you might have come across these questions as a manufacturer. Some of you might have got to know about it, some of you might have not. So let’s have a look at one of the most important aspects of manufacturing or production process; Production Planning.
Planning is the key process in any manufacturing process. A properly and precisely planned schedule helps the manufacturers understand the situation in a better manner and helps them in creating a timely delivery of the orders. Production planning is a term that covers all the aspects of manufacturing, be it workforce, requirements of raw materials, costs, time management or any other aspect. Its purpose is to arrange the resources ingeniously to reach the full potential of the manufacturing process.
Different companies use different strategies for creating their production plan. But every production plan has six basic principles that play a pivotal role in the entire production process. Well, in this article, we are going to discuss these basic principles and how they can help in bringing out the best of your entire production process.
The six basic principles of Production Planning are:
- Customer Demand
Customer demand is the first principle of production planning. One must know what quantity of the product must be manufactured for the customer. The production should be planned in a way so that the requirements of the customer are met evenly, considering the market demand rates. Also, the manufacturer should be ready to comply with the variations in demand of the targeted customer and should be able to efficiently manage the production process during this period. The entire focus of this is to give a forecast to the manufacturer about the multiple situations that may arise during the production process.
Raw materials must be available in adequate quantity with the manufacturer to ensure the timely and complete production of the client’s orders and demands. A clever and efficient production planner keeps the minimum materials required in his store as his inventory. People responsible for designing the entire production plan should be able to evaluate the amount of materials that will be required in the production of the product for its timely delivery.
Though many times, planners arrange for the precise and timely delivery of goods, one should design the production process taking into account that the production might have to be stopped due to unmanageable circumstances.
The production planner considers the capabilities of the equipment used to produce the output. The actual capabilities of the equipment can be predicted by considering the previous production rates and combining it with the safety factors that are required. Basic stability of equipment comprising of availability (A), performance (P) and quality (Q) parameters can be determined by Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
In case, the capacity requirements are more than the production capacity of the machines, the manufacturer must consider the market, either for acquisition or for the leasing of the required machinery.
Manpower planning is also the key elements of production planning. The estimation of the amount of workforce required to complete the production process on time is one of the most important forecasts the planner must make. It also includes the requirement of workers to do overtime or laying them off to assure the variations that might fall upon in the midway of the production process. One must also keep in mind that the competence of workforce should match the capabilities of the machinery to achieve the highest efficiency during production. Manpower planning can make use of previous projects’ data to calculate the capabilities of the workforce.
Effective production planning makes sure that the processes used for the output continue to operate efficiently and safely. It takes care of the facts that a new process does not affect the ongoing production processes. It also keeps a check on the processes and assists them with any requirements ranging from labor to resources. Often the normal operation of a process requires occasional testing and adjustments. This ensures that the new operation has a floor ready to roll when the process starts.
Including this principle in production, planning is very important. Keeping this on the list puts controls on various platforms that detects the problems or any obstacles that might arise at any moment during the manufacturing process. Verification of inventory, use of qualified suppliers and personnel, standardization wherever possible and regular tests of products and processes can help the manufacturer in containing the defects and delays. It also allows the people responsible for production planning take a holistic approach towards the problems and deploy precise corrective measures to minimize the damage and bring the production back on track. Such inclusion of controls can really prove to be beneficial to the producers.
At Faber Infinite, we assist our clients in designing the production plan and work day and night to provide the best possible alternatives on the unavoidable issues. We created a solution module for one of our clients encompassing order receipt process, capacity booking, production of dispatches and even installations at the client sites. It also consisted of a provision to calculate the delivery performance by measuring OnTime InFull ratio (OTIF) and also highlighting the reasons for failure, if any.
The production planning solution was designed to cater all the issues related to production and hiccups in the planning process. The overall benefit to the client can be summarized as captured below:
From the above reports, it is very clear that –
- Overall production planning can be made simpler and easy to manage.
- Proper, logical and achievable delivery date can be promised to the customer.
- Backlogs in orders can be easily avoided.
- Delay in delivery can be put aside during the production processes.
Thus an effective production plan can help the manufacturing process to exploit its full potential.
Written & Compiled by Faber Kishlay Krishna & Faber Mayuri Pandya