Production scheduling in the food sector

The food, food and beverage industry and those of related processes have particular challenges with regard to production. Demand is an extremely important factor in production scheduling, which is why there are many aspects of demand that can affect operational planning.

Demand is influenced by variables of all kinds that contribute to the variation in the amount of product consumed; these include, for example, seasonality, sales promotions by competitors or even changes in national average income.
Food companies may have difficulty stocking their shelves simply because of the variability in demand and the perishability of products.
Planning and control may therefore seem almost impossible for the food and beverage industry, where consumers often decide how much product is really needed at the last minute.
In this industry, moreover, production can never stop, which is a challenge for many production planning teams when they have to forecast demand.

Challenges in planning food production

Some of the main challenges of planning and scheduling regarding the production of food and beverages are:
  • Recognition of bottlenecks, which limit production capacity;
  • Scheduled maintenance;
  • High number of daily shipments;
  • Compliance with customer delivery times;
  • Cleaning of machinery, which hampers production capacity;
  • Availability of reusable resources, which interrupts the production flow.
The challenges just mentioned limit production facilities from reaching their potential and thus make them lose what is perhaps the most critical of all goals: revenue. This aspect has led more than one operations manager to wonder how to increase productivity and then come to the conclusion that planning without tools that provide real-time feedback only allows you to contemplate lost productivity, in retrospect.

How to create a production plan in a food company?

So how should a food production or processing facility develop an operational plan?
A starting point could be to evaluate the planning and programming systems used and the limits of your ERP system. In these areas, outdated and obsolete systems can lead to operational inefficiencies and frustration for operators.
The implementation of an advanced production planning and scheduling system can give an incredible amount of information about future production scenarios and the performance of the production department. APS software, as an extension/add-on to ERP management, can be a winning strategy to meet customer expectations.

APS and production scheduling

Growing markets and increasing product complexity have made planning tools a necessity for resource planning. In fact, the use of APS solutions allows for greater productivity and production efficiency. These tools allow companies to have up-to-date data on the operation of the facility, as well as providing visibility and feedback that allows them to promptly correct the production flow, avoiding problems and seizing opportunities.
Advanced production planning and scheduling systems are the right solution for food planners and operations managers who want a complete and up-to-date operational plan for manufacturing production.

CyberPlan and production planning in the food sector

Numerous companies plan their food production on a daily basis with CyberPlan. In fact, the APS solution is used by the famous agri-food company Trevalli Cooperlat to manage campaigns and promotions (a critical aspect for companies in the food sector) in the most efficient way possible. Morato Pane, one of the world’s leading players in the baking market, also wanted to improve the tools and methods used to schedule production, adopting Cybertec’s CyberPlan solution. Through the APS, Morato Pane now has the opportunity to carry out simulations as well as an immediate and unambiguous vision of the production situation. Finally, Morato Pane shortened the data processing time and obtained the possibility to carry out the MRP calculation several times a day.

Increases the quality of work in the production planning department

Today you can improve the methods and systems used for planning and scheduling the production department. The solutions available today allow your company to increase business competitiveness and your staff to dedicate themselves to high added value activities by improving performance indicators. To see a concrete example of how CyberPlan helped a food company achieve its goals in more detail, request the free brochure.

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