How to improve production planning

Production planning gives a company the ability to balance production capacity with demand, thereby maximizing its potential. Maintaining full control of operations and processes allows staff to work in the best possible way, obtaining satisfied customers and optimal profits. To do this, it is necessary to act on the rationalization of costs, process times and critical resources. 

How can we improve production planning? There are several elements that contribute to optimal production planning. Let’s look at them.


Understand the process steps

To improve production planning, production capacity must be measured, tracked and documented based on past performance, future needs and demand. To do this, effective planning must meet future demand and have an accurate measurement of current resources such as machinery, raw materials and personnel.

Production analyses should determine the steps to be taken, thus making it possible to outline a development path in stages, and to be consulted by key people, at relevant company levels.

The processes should be recorded in the correct order and allow both the recording of average times and the simultaneous performance of different processes.

The definition of the path identifies the entire process and the most effective techniques such as standardization, the identification of waste and inefficiencies as well as principles such as lean.

Another aspect to consider to implement production planning is to foresee important aspects before production begins in order to guarantee the performance of a regular process, such as:

  • Purchase of materials;
  • Machinery available;
  • Preparation and training of personnel;
  • Identification of problems (such as delays or machinery failures) and risk factors (such as problems with machinery or personnel) that could force rescheduling of the plan.

Identify and develop key elements

Once the production capacity and the stages of production are defined, the production plans must be carried out as efficiently as possible. This includes key resources such as personnel, raw materials, machinery, and waste and transportation management.

Usefully use the time present between the various phases so as not to waste it but to achieve the optimal use of capacities in all areas, without exceeding it. In fact, successful companies never plan at full capacity, but always leave room to use in the event of unforeseen events that inevitably occur.

Changes to processes must be documented, reviewed, shared, implemented and controlled. For example, the fluctuation of demand and market trends will inevitably cause updates to production capacity and this will probably have repercussions on aspects such as personnel, materials, machinery.


Understand the whole process

Understanding the entire business process is of paramount importance. This also concerns suppliers, other producers, distributors, and the role they play in processes.

It is essential to plan and schedule the supply chain accurately if you want to ensure maximum efficiency in financial and material management. It is necessary to collect information on similar previous experiences, specifying the times, materials and errors encountered. In cases where the risks are significant, it is good to conduct an FMEA (F ailure Mode Effect Analysis) analysis and ensure that the controls eliminate or minimize these risks. FMEA analysis, most commonly used in production and assembly activities, allows you to study and determine how to reduce potential problems within your company’s production.



Use professional software

Companies willing to improve and enhance their production planning should correctly evaluate which tools to adopt. The right software to use allows a quick identification of problems, an analysis of their consequences and the possibility of finding remedies to be implemented. As is understandable, this has a huge effect on the efficiency of the production process, however it is good that each technology, before being implemented, is carefully evaluated by an internal team made up of people responsible for the processes touched.

APS software such as CyberPlan allows manufacturing companies to have production under control, manage the phases of production planning, keep warehouses under control, communicate more efficiently within the company but not only.


Improve production planning

The production plans are different depending on the sector and also the production methods ranging from the production of individual items (ETO, MTO and ATO) to continuous, batch and mass production (MTS). What is important is that each company has a specific plan for its planning horizon and that it is solid and flexible so that it can face the inevitable changes that will occur.


Want to improve production planning?

We are available with a team of experts to let you discover how to improve the way you plan production with CyberPlan, the famous APS that allows you to manage planning and scheduling processes in an integrated way and with simulation technology. Request more information or a demo to understand its potential in your reality and see for yourself how it can support your company. 


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