Every entrepreneur, no matter how small or big, encounters problems that are everyday in business – suppliers delay transport, machines break down, delivered materials deviate from the expected quality, and the clients themselves often change their minds, literally in the last moment. How to effectively manage the production of an enterprise in the face of the above and hundreds of other difficulties? Of course, thanks to the right tools and conscious planning of production.
Production planning is to determine the quantity of goods to be produced at a specific date, also taking into account the production method and the real ability to produce production in a timely fashion. As part of production planning, the production of these products is broken down in a way that will secure the achievement of the sales target, taking into account the behavior of certain standards in customer service, and the level of profit and productivity. This means that production planning is an extremely broad issue, covering the planning of the production potential needed to produce the assumed quantities of products in the adopted time periods. This assumption also follows the fact that each verification of production plans is a comparison of the size of the planned production assumed at a specific time with the production potential that is available in the same period. This approach allows you to check the reality of the prepared production plans.
W praktyce In practice, planning is the basic function of managing a production company,which is important – planning takes place at all levels of the company. Its fundamental goals include satisfying the client’s needs and meeting the requirements in terms of the ordered assortment, its properties, order size and delivery time.
Production schedule – the basis for production control
It is an element of production planning, which keeps within the deadlines and the size of batches of specific products to be produced in a given time interval. This is an extremely important element because it affects decisions related to the production and supply of materials. The goals of the production schedule are very simple and at the same time crucial for the operation of the company. It is about: efficient use of resources – people and machines, securing the standard of customer service, optimization of production costs, working out the maximum profit with the least capital involvement.
Types of production planning
It turns out that the issue of production planning can be considered at various levels, hence the division of types of planning takes place.
Taking into account the scope of production planning, interdepartmental (intercellular) planning, intra-departmental (intracellular) planning and general planning are distinguished. The latter type is the key in the context of this article, because it refers to the planning of production size, type of assortment and deadlines.
There are still several types of production planning, systematized due to the hierarchy in the planning process and the perspective of time, and this is what distinguishes:
Operational planning, or planning one-off projects
Tactical planning means preparing production and all issues that have a direct impact on it – eg marketing, product research and development, product distribution, financial flow.
Strategic planning, which focuses on the implementation of the company’s mission and the achievement of strategic goals, therefore also takes into account changes in the environment, and is built on the basis of economic and marketing research, and analysis of the demand for a given product.
The production plan must include:
– planned products, specifically their specificity and possible division into production teams;
– dates, i.e. the start and end date of the production process for each of the planned products;
– detailed activities that make up the production process, including the indication of their duration.
We specify several phases of the production process, thanks to which we can smoothly run throughout the production planning process:
1. Initial research, mainly marketing, aimed at determining the demand for a given product.
2. Structural preparation of production, i.e. creation of precise product plans, and finally also its prototype.
3. Technological preparation of production, that is, designing service of technological processes.
4. Organizational preparation of production is a stage combining the effects of the work of structural and technological preparation. It includes work on the organization of work of production cells, production scheduling, and even the deployment of work stations or employee training.
5. Preparing the start-up of production, i.e. all the work needed to start the production, first the start-up batch, until the level of parameters appropriate for the stable production of a particular product is achieved.
6. Preparation of product operation, which includes the development of product distribution systems and customer service as well as technical service.
7. Preparing the liquidation of production – concerns work leading to the exclusion of the product from production, the release of production capacity, as well as ecological protection, including recycling.
However, as is often the case with complex issues, we meet with different specifications of production planning, and so another division includes the specification of up to ten stages:
1.Selecting all information regarding the demand, i.e. market analysis and marketing research, also based on the previous history of orders.
2. Obtaining information about the warehouse stock of the company, necessary to plan the procurement of materials for the production of a specific product.
3. Analysis of the time and quantity of materials used to make a product, its effect is reports on labor intensity and material consumption.
4. Placing an order for the necessary materials so that they are ready when the production starts.
5. Determining all staffing needs in order to protect employees to operate machinery and the production process.
6. Specifying how long it will take to complete the order, which allows you to set realistic deadlines for the execution of the orders.
7. Creation of a very detailed production plan – based on the data and materials collected so far.
8. Updating the plan, which takes into account the existing stops or deviations from the planned production.
9. Detailed production control to determine possible deviations from the plan.
10.Information of other employees about production, because the flow of information, both during production planning and during its production, is fundamental.
Both classifications of production planning stages are quite exhaustive, require a reliable approach and intensive work.
Tools for production planning
The production planning process is extremely demanding and laborious, but in the era of high level of development of artificial intelligence and advanced statistical methods, it is worthwhile to involve professional IT tools in the whole process. They will reduce the risk of error, speed up the process and, if necessary, allow for its efficient modification – eg in response to delayed delivery or downtime caused by a machine failure.
Production planning methods – the basis for the success of any enterprise
Unfortunately, production plans often change, and the process of adapting to such variable conditions is burdensome even for the best managers. What is the key to success? The flexibility of the chosen solution and the positive opinions of other users should be taken into account. However, the final choice of the most suitable tool for production planning should be adapted to the system requirements of the given enterprise and to the assumed goals.
Examples of production planning goals:
– maximum use of production capacities;;
– reducing the number of production stops;
– reduction of the amount of materials that have not been used in production;
– shortening the reporting time;
– ensuring production continuity;
– reduction of losses (eg loss of raw materials or energy during production).
Is it worth planning?
By creating a good production plan, the company will reduce the risk of loss. Of course, when operating in the modern market, you can not be sure that, for example, suppliers will always deliver the ordered material on time. However, it is certainly possible to ensure that an alternative action plan is in place, just in case of a delay in deliveries or machine breakdowns. Such a plan is an absolute necessity, but at the same time, thanks to modern technologies and intelligent systems that support not only production planning, but also management, it does not have to be complicated and time-consuming to be effective.