In today’s tech-centric economy, efficiency is imperative to success in a competitive industry like manufacturing. The breadth and depth of available products and services across all industries continues to expand, putting pressure on manufacturers to closely examine every aspect of the production process and be more efficient than their competitors without sacrificing quality – this is where production planning comes into play.
Production Planning Defined
Production planning is planning the design and production of a product or service before manufacturing begins. Resource management is central – including employee activity, supply chain management and materials, and capacity considerations.
The core goal of production planning is to reduce lead time – the amount of time between when an order is placed and when delivery is made. This is especially important with just-in-time manufacturing.
When production planning is done effectively and efficiently, the factory floor runs smoothly, delivery dates are met, and customers are happy, ultimately resulting in an improved bottom line.
Types of Production Planning
Though the concept of production planning is universal, its implementation differs depending on the manufacturing type; production planning for a single item is going to be different than for mass-produced items.
Mass Production Planning
Mass production is a highly automated process suitable for manufacturers producing large quantities of identical products like clothes, household appliances, furniture, and even packaged foods.
This type of planning process originated with Henry Ford’s Model-T production line and remains a staple in manufacturing today. As a note, flow production and mass production are often used interchangeably to describe the same process. Regardless, the main focus is on large-scale, highly automated production.
Batch Production Planning
Batch production uses machinery to deliver products in “batches”, going through multiple stages before a final product is complete. Often, the machinery is switched to accommodate the different stages of production.
This type of production is often synonymous with smaller, more tailored manufacturers, likely those who create custom products.
Job Production Planning
Job production manufacturing centers on creating one item before beginning another. Though this method of manufacturing is relatively uncommon, it is used in some instances like for designer dress production.
What is Production Scheduling?
Production planning creates efficiencies within processes. At a high level, it establishes a plan of action for producing any product, whether adhering to flow or batch production. But, the real key to success is production scheduling.
The plan is absolutely imperative. Without a plan, well, manufacturers run blind. But, what happens once the plan is in place? Production scheduling comes into play. Production scheduling executes the plan by allocating resources, both human and machine, to complete any given product. It strategically allocates those resources so the products that need to get made, get made and are delivered to the customer on time.
Why Production Planning is Important
Without effective production planning, manufacturers would be running blind, with no plan.
Production planning is paramount to manufacturers, in any industry, and provides the following benefits:
- Improving efficiency and reducing waste
- Reducing lead time
- Increasing competitive advantage
Mingo Productivity software can contribute to improved productivity and help manufacturing businesses with their production planning by driving your next phase of business growth — all from a single platform.