Production Planning

Planning is the drum beat of manufacturing and we're here to get the timing right

Production planning is a critical process to ensure efficient manufacturing operations. The process of production planning, when effectively deployed, aligns both material and resource requirements and enables a manufacturing operation to produce products in accordance with demand signals.

Production planning must recognise all demand signals, from external finished goods requirements down through to the intermediate components and raw materials identified within the bill of materials.

Traditionally, production planning focused solely on material requirements planning (referred to as MRP), but has now evolved to include materials and resources (referred to as MRPII). MRPII is often supported within some of the major Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms which look to advance MRPII further by integrating the planning process with other business functions, such as finance and customer service.

Clients include:

How our consultants can help your business

Whilst there are a host of ERP systems in the market with full MRPII planning and scheduling capability, many businesses still operate within legacy ERP systems without such functionality, or find that the MRPII functionality within their system does not effectively manage the nuances of their manufacturing operation.

Our supply chain consultants are able to map the required production planning and scheduling processes and build the required models, either developing standalone models utilising VBA within Microsoft Excel or, in conjunction with one of our partners, generating a database solution hosted on a server and accessible via a web browser. Typically there are three steps we will follow in developing production planning processes and tools on behalf of a client; they are:

The three steps to developing production planning tools:

Step 1: Mapping the Planning Process

The first step in developing new tools for production planning and scheduling is to map the existing processes, identify opportunities for improvement and then develop a requirements specification.

Our consultants are able to undertake a rapid assessment of the existing production planning processes, and their constraints, and present the opportunities for improvement and the specification required for supporting tools. This assessment can be performed for each level of planning – from the strategic S&OP plan, down through the tactical Rough-Cut Capacity Plan and Master Production Schedule and ultimately through to the execution of the production schedule.

Step 2: Planning Tool Specification

There are many varied requirements for planning within manufacturing operations – one size does not fit all. Whilst all businesses need to have a process to generate S&OP plans at the strategic level, and Master Production Schedules at the tactical level, at the operational level some companies find Rough-Cut Capacity Planning sufficient, whilst some will need more granularity and will require a Detailed Capacity Plan.

The choice between the types of plans required, and their granularity, is most often driven by the type of product being produced. Typically, process driven industries such as chemical production will find a Rough-Cut Capacity Plan meets their needs, whilst discrete manufacturing operations, such as car plants, will often need Detailed Capacity Plans in order to determine their resource and material requirements.

Our consultants will produce a detailed specification on the requirements of your specific manufacturing operation, from strategy down to execution. At each planning level they will provide the process frameworks required alongside the tool functionality that will be needed.

Step 3: Planning Tool Development

Once the planning processes have been mapped, and specifications for planning tools have been developed, our consultants are then able to either develop VBA based tools in-house, or work with one of our partners to develop a database solution hosted on a server and accessible via a web browser.

Where clients already have existing MRP tools within their ERP system, we are also able to work closely with the ERP provider to ensure that the correct functionality is deployed and that the system fully supports each step of the required planning process.

Latest Production Planning Insights

There are a wide range of informative articles in our Insights section covering every aspect of the supply chain, including production planning and manufacturing. Browse the selected articles below if you would like to read further information from our expert consulting team.

Contact Our Consultants Today

Our consulting team is ready to help you get production back on track.

Our consultants understand the challenges of production planning and how they can impact the wider supply chain. Contact our team today for an initial discussion on how we can help your business.

Call 0121 517 0008 or use the contact form.