Accurate production planning and scheduling is critical for a company to reduce changeover time between production cycles, minimize wasted materials and run effective manufacturing practices. Additionally, the data that can be mined from past manufacturing cycles is incredibly valuable. Historical data allows you to better forecast lead times, develop a consistent and accurate purchasing calendar, guide your sales team with better inventory information, improve your maintenance scheduling and address issues before they start cutting into profits.
Clearly, production planning and scheduling is a key aspect of any food company’s operations. Below, we highlight some processes and tools that leading food companies make sure of to better manage their manufacturing processes to keep their costs low and increase profit margins.
Master Production Schedule Planning
Master Production Schedule (MPS) is what food manufacturers use to plan for all the material, labor and equipment they need for production. You may currently be running individual plans that handle different aspects of the production processes, but it is the MPS plan that brings all of those aspects together. Because the MPS covers so much, it may not been as granular in scope as your individual plans and schedules. The goal of the MPS is to use the various points of production to help guide future business decisions. Those decisions can include when production cycles are scheduled, the size of the team required, what positions need to be filled along with a number of areas outside of production including purchasing, inventory and sales. In order to set up an effective MPS schedule, you need to have accurate data from your purchasing, inventory and sales team. Once completed, an MPS can be referenced by all departments, informing planned production yield so that future purchasing orders can be planned accordingly and sales knows how much finished product they can work with.