How visual production scheduling enables you to manage rush orders

Posted by Ute Gillet on Dec 14, 2020 2:45:00 PM

Does the following sound familiar to you? An important customer calls and places a very urgent order - a so-called "boss order" - which needs to be squeezed in.

If yes, the key questions and problems arising from this are also more than familiar to you: "What will be the impact on the overall schedule? Will it be possible at all or will my nice and smooth schedule which I had until a minute ago will become completely shot up? Will all the other customers will be angry?"

In this situation, your head will be spinning and, let's be honest, the ERP system you're using, mostly leaves you "standing in the rain".

If you are only too familiar with everything I described so far, and your ERP system is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central,  I really recommend you read this post where I present a possible solution in the form of our Visual Advanced Production Scheduler (VAPS)  -  the only available finite capacity scheduler which is built in such a way that it fully integrates with the manufacturing module of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Use case "Squeeze in rush order"

Squeeze in urgent order with VAPS  - stop watch

Squeezing in a rush job and the question about the impact on the overall schedule is one of the day-to-day challenges Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is no real help with.

Here visual production scheduling with the VAPS comes into play - it lets you add your order to the plan easily by drag-and-drop, shows you which existing orders will get affected by this so that they might be late by a visual alert. Moreover, it lets you minimize the cycle time of your rush job.

Let me show you all of this using the below described use case.

>> Want to test the VAPS? Get it from AppSource. It is rated with 5 stars. <<

Create rush order

  • First of all, let's create an order that is to be our "boss order" and because it's a boss order, it gets colored in red:

Create new rush order in VAPS

Update simulation

After the order was created, you'll have to update your simulation:

Update simualtion in VAPS

Switch color mode

In order to see the order colored in read, you might have to switch the color mode to "Production Order View"

Switch color mode in VAPS

Now your plan shows the new order in red on the standby resource. 

Show new order in VAPS


Add the order to the plan

For squeezing in the order, look for a gap in the plan and drag it from the standby resource to the desired resource. In the gif below, I also applied alternative routing to find the earliest available slot on the other machines:

And by the way: if there is no gap, just squeeze it in at the point of time when you want to start the boss order. All other orders on that machine center are automatically pushed out by the finite capacity scheduler that comes with the VAPS.

drag rush order to the plan in VAPS

Reduce cycle time of your (rush) order

After the order was squeezed in, you can see that there is a time gap between the end of the first operation and the beginning of the second one. If you want to accelerate things, you can use the "Schedule successors" option that will bring forward all elements of the production order from the marked operation onward. It is the function that we built to reduce the cycle time of a particular order. Hence, this is a must-have for squeezing in and pushing through rush orders.

Minimize time gaps between operations of one order in vaps
Recognize late orders

As you can see now, your rush order was brought forward, but this went at the expense of other production orders, which the VAPS indicates by a red dot:

late orders in vaps indicate by red dot

For an even better overview, switch on the Progress View and directly recognize the orders that are late now that we have squeezed in the boss order by their red color.


progress view in vaps shows late orders


Fill idle times on machines

Back in the Production Order View, you'll see that our dragging has led to some idle times on the machines which you can fix by the "Fill idle times "option:

fill idle times on machines in vaps

The decision is yours to make

Now you will have to decide whether the customer is really so important that you'll squeeze in their order and possibly annoy the other customers. Good thing with the VAPS is that you're still working in a simulation and no harm is done until you publish this simulation. So you can play around with different scenarios and find the one that suits you best -  and I'm sure the tools and features described above will help you with this.


The VAPS makes more of your ERP

I hope that our little use case has vividly shown how visual production scheduling can help you to boost your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central by giving it new powers and additional scheduling capabilities. Try it out for free :

>> Want to test the VAPS? Get it from AppSource. It is rated with 5 stars. <<

Want to know more?

Watch video

Want to see all this "live" in a video? Then watch our recorded webinar "Supercharge your Business Central with an integrated finite capacity scheduler". The link directly leads you to the start of the use case. My tip: watch the whole webinar - everything shown there is interesting ;-).


Free eBook

Read more about the VAPS and get your free copy of our comprehensive eBook:

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Topics: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, production planning