We at NETRONIC pursue the mission to empower every SMB organization to gain operational agility with visual scheduling. Visual scheduling is the effective management and change of time- and resource-oriented planning data which enables faster decision making, more reliable delivery time commitments, and a better use of resources. Consequently, we offer Gantt charts for visual scheduling. In that regard, customers often ask us what we mean exactly when we speak about a "Gantt chart scheduler" and for whom this tool is appropriate. This blog post provides an answer to this question.
We recently relaunched our website. This had been a 9-months project. We did this completely on our own and did not involve any agency. In this process, I made (among others) two fundamental decisions:
- Going forward, I want to run an "exec corner" blog. In this blog, I wanna share insights from owning and running a software company.
- With the relaunch, we say good-bye to (almost) all Marketing forms. I mean, all forms that we usually put between our visitors and the content we create.
This is my first "exec corner" blog and it sheds some light on the second decision. Actually, it needed only one reason to decide that we ungate all our content.
Again this year, we as NETRONIC - The Gantt Solutions Company - but also myself personally attended both Directions EMEA and US. Now I find myself hanging around the hotel lobby, and waiting for my plane to head backwards from sunny Florida to the autum-ish Germany. While sitting here I started to think of both events, the absolutely great people I met, and the plethora of content I consumed. Sorting all these impressions, I seem to bring three major take-aways home with me, and I am pretty sure that they will play an important role in how we as a provider of visual scheduling add-ins will further develop and progress. Actually, I firmly believe that these take-aways not only impact our products, and hence I decided to share them in this blog post.
My experience from working with many SMB companies around the globe tells me that even the best (and probably most expensive) production planning model never can cope with reality: data always seems to be too imperfect to feed the “perfect” algorithm and the current production conditions seem to change too fast so that systems always seem to be ‘behind’ the shop floor reality. In that regard, a scheduling grey area should be defined as the area in which the scheduling system’s settings, configuration and model does not meet the reality and in which a human scheduler is sitting in the driver seat with the need to make agile decisions.
In this blog post I talk about how a visual scheduling approach can help the driver to navigate through the scheduling grey area,
"As we move into 2015, I believe we will see more and more small manufacturing companies start to adopt software solutions that help better plan and manage day-to-day manufacturing operations. Forty-five percent of respondents in our survey were still using pen and paper or other manual methods to manage their workflow. I see that number dropping next year." – This is the conclusion of the 2014 Manufacturing Software Buyer Report published by Victoria Adesoba, researcher at small business manufacturing software analysis group Software Advice.
I was kind of shocked by this figure: 45% of all SMB manufacturing planning processes still work on pen and paper-basis? That’s an amazing statement and it intrigued me reading the entire report and spending some thoughts on what this actually says about how software vendors support SMB manufacturing companies achieving operational excellence through better production scheduling. All in all, I found a total of four whopping figures. To me, these figures are undisputed facts why SMB manufacturers need visual production scheduling.
Does this sound familiar to you? Often, we are so busy with our day-to-day work, that we simply do not have sufficient time to follow and digest all the new content on the topics that we have to cover. So starting into 2015, we looked back into 2014 and analyzed what were the top posts about Gantt chart methodology, Gantt controls and visual scheduling in terms of page views, retweets and LinkedIn comments. These top 5 posts are summarized here with a link back to the original post - this should help you catching up with the most prominent Gantt-related content we provided last year.
As enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV helps small and medium-sized companies to better manage their accounting and finance processes, supply chain, and operations. It provides users with a real-time view of their entire business. Running a successful business depends on the ability to gain insight into business data and extract and present information in a meaningful manner. This blog post sheds some light on why charts and diagram in general are of increased importance to ERP users. It also works out the differences between "static" Business Intelligence-type of charts, and interactive visual scheduling diagrams.
A visual schedule is a proven technique to manage, handle and plan time-related, resource-oriented planning data with dependencies. A visual schedule highlights conflicts and keeps the user focused on the decision-relevant data. Hence it enables corrective actions in terms of drag & drop changes to the schedule, and lets the user (and not the system) stay in the scheduling driver seat. As such, a visual schedule can become a relevant addition to a standard Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation (you can learn more about this in a previous blog post). In this blog post, I want to spend more thinking on why visual scheduling is important for Microsoft Dynamics NAV users.