Typical mistakes in production planning
Typical mistakes in production planning
“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
Who hasn’t had one of those days where everything just seems to go wrong? When the day starts with you dropping the toast – on the buttered side, of course – you miss the train by a millisecond and step into a pile of dog excrement on the way to an important appointment. Who isn’t reminded of Murphy’s Law on days like these?
This may appear fatalistic at first sight – as if no matter what we do, it will go wrong anyway. However, we can also interpret it in another way, namely – the more prepared we are and the fewer opportunities we leave open for mistakes, then the less chance there is of something going wrong.
Especially in the complex process of production planning there are many traps and sources of error which can lead to problems. But in many of these cases there are ways and means of minimizing the risks they can create. Here we present five planning production challenges and how they can be avoided.
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Modern Production Planning
A lack of knowledge about the stock
The best production plan cannot work if the necessary resources are not available. Even if this appears perfectly logical at first sight, the communication between purchasing, storage and production is not standardized in many companies. On the one hand this leads to problems in production as it once again has to change its plans due to a lack of resources. On the other hand, it also frequently leads to warehouse capacity being taken up by resources which are currently not needed. Therefore, communication between all departments is vital – only then can you have a production plan which can is able to be implemented.
The parts list and work schedule are (no longer) correct
When the parts list and work schedule are incorrect, this inevitably leads to problems in the production. This is because these form the foundation on which the plan stands. If the information in them for the required material and work tools, but also the estimated set-up times and required workers’ skills differs from the real demands, the resulting production plan is doomed to failure. Therefore it is essential that this preliminary work is constantly adapted to any changes for a well-planned production.
Risk factors are not identified and considered
Theory and practice often go their separate ways. It is often the case that certain production stages actually take longer than had been planned in theory. Also, a high percentage of scrap, which has not been considered in advance, can lead to a product having to be re-produced each time. This new production order then has to be rescheduled and usually very promptly. If you monitor production for this type of data and use it to provide realistic time and material requirements for planning, you will quickly find that production planning is more realistic and thus requires less rescheduling.
Changes are not anticipated
Unscheduled changes are a challenge for any production planner and they occur whether we want them or not. For this reason it makes sense to consider any possible changes in advance and be prepared for them. All the departments involved must be well-equipped to deal with planning changes. Furthermore, having a working atmopshere in which this part of production is accepted and not regarded as an additional burden, can help to cope with any unscheduled changes.
Lack of information on future demand
Foresighted production planning means knowing what will be needed in the future. Which products will be needed more, which less? Will new products need to be added? How will these changes affect production planning? With the appropriate methods very precise forecasts can be made on the basis of historic data. And if you know exactly what is going to happen in the future, then you can apply this knowledge effectively today.
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OPTANO production – Next-level planning
With OPTANO production you can avoid mistakes like these and take your planning to the next level. By doing so you will not only benefit from the sophisticated algorithms of mathematical optimization but also from our employees’ know-how. We know what counts in production planning and where problems frequently arise. With OPTANO production you can get the very best out of your production.
If you would like to learn more about the possibilities mathematical optimization provides in production planning, simply download our factsheet “Advanced Production Planning Using Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics“.
Alternately you can contact us directly: Dr. Sven Flake would be glad to answer any questions you might have on the issue of optimal production planning.
All’s well that ends well!
Don’t worry, things really don’t go wrong all the time. The fact that we think they do is more of a psychological phenomenon than anything else. Selective perception and selective memory mean that we perceive mishaps and things that go wrong a lot more and they are more present in our memories. Therefore, the way we think sometimes isn’t all that bad – but being well prepared and avoiding potential mistakes in advance is still a good plan.
Do you already know our factsheet on the topic?
In our factsheet Advanced Production Planning we present some of the use cases of Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics in modern production planning which you can download here.
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Dr. Sven Flake
Analytics Senior Consultant