You have a production scheduling process
The Master Production Schedule (MPS), which states what the business is going to make, is one of the most important documents required for running a manufacturing operation. Planning production and informing suppliers what they have to make and by when, is fundamental to meeting customer delivery commitments on time, in full. 
Key Issues
·         Production scheduling should be undertaken at three levels:
o     The long-term production plan- considers commitments made in the business plan and predicted product life cycles to determine future, production capacity requirements, (expand or close factories?)
o     The Master Production Schedule - determines those items that will be produced in the next planning period, allowing time for materials and components to be delivered
o     The Material Requirements plan – determines the materials and components you will need to buy this period if you are to achieve the MPS.
o     The Production plan - giving a statement of items to be delivered to customers this period
·         Planning periods are determined by the type of business, product complexity, production volumes, lead times etc
·         These periods, together with rules on the level of changes accepted within different time frames, should be negotiated and agreed with suppliers
·         Scheduling the factory is a complex task because it has to plan for new products, spare parts / service items, development units and shortages
·         Production plans must be compiled to fulfil orders to meet customer request dates, taking account of finite capacities in you and your suppliers’ factories
·         The person who administers and controls the scheduling process (production scheduler) must be well respected, have considerable product knowledge and the mental capacity to undertake risk assessments and introduce corrective actions. This person will:
o     Govern the sales volume that will be made in the period
o     Control when customers will receive delivery of their orders
o     Establish the factory work load and resources required
o     Consolidate the production schedules with the bills of materials to establish a time-based material requirements plan
o     Monitor actual production output against plan
Factors for Success      
Factors to  Avoid
1.     Plans are based, as far as possible, on factual information, not estimates
2.     Computers are used to help manipulate data, but people review and approve finite schedules
1.     Managers passing their responsibilities to a junior clerical person
2.     Relying on computer systems to create the master schedule without manual intervention and approval.
Who does this apply to?
Senior managers responsible for making on time deliveries
Realisable Benefits
On time deliveries to customers, suppliers who are aware of what they have to deliver


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