How we finally figured out that production scheduling was broken

Posted by Martin Karlowitsch on May 20, 2019 11:23:00 AM

"Believe me Martin, this won't work." He did not give me any chance to answer or ask why. But he emphasized his point: "I have been in production scheduling the past 25 years."

Then he shared his lessons learned: "No factory is like the other. Each manufacturer has its own processes. Hence, they all manage and schedule in a different manner. Production scheduling only works if you customize it. It needs to support the individual manufacturer's processes. This is common sense and you should trust me."

Well, this was not what I wanted to hear.

For almost two years, I had been making a consistent observation. This observation made me think I had a smart idea for a brand new product. Or even a new product category. I had been noodling on this idea for quite a while. Finally, I was confident enough to discuss it. And I dared to ask a recognized industry expert for feedback. 

"But my discussions with many small make-to-order manufacturers speak a different language. They want something simple, something visual and … ", was my attempt to make my point again.

He didn't let me finish my thought. He was so convinced that I was on a completely wrong track, that he interrupted me again.

 

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Production scheduling for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials

Posted by Ute Gillet on Jan 17, 2019 10:16:21 AM

Are you (or your customers) a small or mid-size make-to-order manufacturer? Do you use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central as your ERP system or are you thinking about using it? In both cases you might have already noticed that while the manufacturing module of Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium is quite a bit oversized for your purposes, the Essentials package lacks essential production planning functionality matching the requirements of your business. So far, you haven't found a satisfying solution to this problem?

So let me help you further by showing you how easily this dilemma can be solved by using our cloud-based software just plan it for visual production scheduling tailored especially towards small and mid-size make-to-order manufacturers.

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What is Good Scheduling? An Interview with Mercurius IT’s Lee Cridland

Posted by Jake Hostetler on May 17, 2018 2:32:00 PM

In this post, Mercurius IT’s Operations Director, Lee Cridland, speaks to NETRONIC about his experiences of production and project task scheduling at Siemens and job scheduling at Mercurius IT, as well as provides insights into what good scheduling looks like.

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Synchronous Scheduling Gantt Chart - "GPS" for Production Planning

Posted by Markus Hammers on Sep 29, 2015 3:00:00 AM

For our manufacturing end customers (especially, for small and mid sized production companies) we often develop visual scheduling applications that are exactly tailored to the individual and specific production planning requirements. When specifying these requirements, we very often realize that a great deal of added value is created by linking operative production planning to the real-time events on the shop-floor. In other words: by equipping dynamic planning with dynamic updating, such as a GPS for cars that informs us about the distance to move and the expected arrival time.  We call this the synchronous scheduling Gantt chart.

This blog post gives you an idea about the principle of a synchronous Gantt diagram that could be compared to a GPS for production planning.

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Why Planners Benefit From Visual Scheduling That Allows Grey Areas

Posted by Martin Karlowitsch on Feb 23, 2015 2:30:00 PM

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,

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4 Facts Why SMB Manufacturers Need Visual Production Scheduling

Posted by Martin Karlowitsch on Feb 2, 2015 2:30:00 PM

"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.

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Production Scheduling Challenges: How A Gantt Chart Can Contribute

Posted by Martin Karlowitsch on Apr 3, 2014 3:30:06 PM

Modern manufacturing companies must manage, coordinate, and synchronize numerous activities to perform operations successfully in today’s competitive global marketplace. The scheduling challenges that they face make it extremely difficult for even advanced algorithmic based systems to actually meet and solve every situation that can affect the throughput rates, supply chain maintenance, and quality control procedures which are required for ideal efficiency and maximum profitability.

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8 Compelling Reasons for Visual Production Scheduling

Posted by Martin Karlowitsch on Feb 24, 2014 12:15:02 PM

To remain profitable and ensure company sustainability despite constant fluctuations in today’s global marketplace, discrete manufacturers and distributors must constantly strive to improve efficiency in every area of operation, applying lean strategies through the introduction of innovative procedural tools.

Yet production and logistic administrators understand that even the most advanced ERP, MES, MRP or APS systems lack the ability to prevent the occasional supply chain snafu, and resist short term changes to algorithmic scheduling that are sometimes necessary to achieve precision performance.

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