Pharmaceutical products are sensitive goods having to conform to the highest quality standards. During production, quality and required standards are under constant control and of course, the supplier products must also meet these requirements.
Read in this blogpost how by using the VPS, our Gantt add-in for production planning with Dynamics NAV, the Danish company pK Chemicals A/S, a global leader in producing Dextran, Dextran derivate, and Fine Chemicals for the pharmaceutical, medical, and cosmetic industry, improved delivery times with NAV by making production data more transparent thus gaining a better coordination process.
Highest product quality standard at pK Chemicals A/S
To be accepted as supplier for the pharmaceutical, medical, and cosmetic industry, companies have to produce to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), a set of rules for quality assurance in this industry.
Controlling implies intensive interdepartmental planning
pK Chemicals A/S applies two steps for controlling the adherence to standards. A laboratory testing the quality (QC = Quality Control) releases further processing. In addition, a final inspection (QA = Quality Assurance) at the end of the production makes sure that every product leaving the company corresponds to the defined quality standard. Naturally, these controls will increase the interdepartmental planning and coordination effort needed between production, laboratory, final inspection and sales. The staff members in the different departments have to know which product is to be produced for which customer, when it will be handed over to quality control and when final inspection releases the delivery. Only then can sales inform the customer about delivery.
Planning with Excel and verbal agreements don‘t work
For a long time, pK Chemicals A/S used Excel for their planning. In addition, the employees verbally kept each other informed about orders pending and those waiting to be processed. To Henrik Størling, CFO at pK Chemicals A/S, it was crystal clear this kind of planning was no basis for reliable delivery promises :
“We could not inform our customers about the exact delivery dates, and we used way too much time internally to inform each other. Too often we missed to inform each other, which often resulted in problems with keeping the delivery date.”
Visual overview for more transparency
When the company established Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Henrik Størling wanted production data to become more transparent for gaining a better coordination process. He was looking for a way of visualizing the data of the pending orders and their processing steps in a large overview. He wanted every department to see when each individual product would be handed over to them for processing. Since Microsoft Dynamics NAV doesn’t offer data visualization, Henrik came across NETRONIC‘s Gantt chart add-ins. The Visual Production Scheduler easily made the wish for overview come true.
In the picture below QA receives 4 orders for handling on Friday July 7th. On the planning board they can see that they have to finish their work on Monday 10th.
Visualization exposes risk factors
The planning table not only brought about the desired transparency for the departments. Henrik realized that
“the production was much more complex than believed. When making routings for all products we discovered, that this knowledge was on a few employees, which is a risk factor for our company.”
Consequent data maintenance becomes a challenge
Only if each staff member keeps updating the current data in NAV reliably, the desired transparency between the departments can really be gained and the VPS will reflect the current production status. This rethinking process was way more difficult than Henrik had expected:
“It has been quite a big job to make sure that everybody updates the production plan in NAV. It has taken almost half a year to training employees internally and to let them understand, that they MUST update every day.”
But the effort has been worthwhile. Now coordination between the departments runs smoothly and Henrik stated happily:
“Our KPI for deliver on time to customers has increased dramatically.”
Visual Production Scheduler used in production planning
pk Chemicals A/S does not only use the VPS for interaction between the departments Production, QC, QA and Sale, but also for production planning. Two criteria make the planning challenging: the production line comprises several machines, all depending on each other. Before a new production can start, all machines have to be cleaned.
“We use routings in NAV to handle this, but the VPS for the visual overview”
says Henrik. Here the main function of the VPS is to avoid double booking of machines.
The picture below shows the production process of DSM-A on multiple machines. Red parts in the capacity curve below the Gantt chart indicate a resource overload at QC.
- Watch some introductory videos on the VPS
- Read about the 3 most loved features of the Visual Production Scheduler for Microsoft Dynamics NAV
- Download our ebook about visual scheduling for Microsoft Dynamics NAV: