No service of manufacturing industry can be productive without a well-defined production plan.
An operational planning process is important for any business, and it is a complex process that encompasses an array of activities to ensure that equipment, human resources and materials are available for the completion of projects.
An operational planning process in production planning is more like a road map to reaching your destination. It enables you to know the direction you are going as well as how long it will take to get there.
Advantages Of An Operational Planning Process
The following are some advantages of an operational planning process in effective production planning and scheduling:
• Lowers labor by enhancing process flow and eliminating wasted time.
• Lowers inventory costs by causing a reduction in the need for safety stocks as well as unnecessary work-in process inventories.
• Maximizes capacity by optimizing equipment usage.
• Uses human resources to their maximum potential.
• Greatly enhances on-time deliveries for products and services.
Main Factors In Production Planning
Effective planning centers around a sound understanding of major activities that business owners and managers should apply to the operational planning process. The following are some examples:
Forecasting market expectations
To effectively plan, you’ll need to reliably estimate your potential sales. Many organizations don’t have strong service or sales figures. They can however forecast sales based on market trends, established orders and or historical information
Sound inventory systems should be put in place as well as reliable inventory levels supplying the pipeline.
Availability of human resources and equipment
This is a time period allowed between an operational planning process to enable orders to flow within your production service or line.
Production planning allows you to manage open time, making sure that it is fully-utilized while at the same time being cautious to not cause any delays.
A plan should maximize your operational ability without exceeding it. It’s also not a wise thing to plan for full capacity without leaving room for unexpected changes and priorities which may arise.
Consistent steps and time
In general, one of the most efficient and effective means of determining your production steps to by mapping processes in the sequence they take place and incorporate the time taken to complete the work. Keep in mind that all steps don’t take place sequentially and many of them may take place simultaneously.
Communicate the plan
Once you've determined that you satisfy the criteria for beginning production, you’ll need to effectively communicate the plan to your personnel who will be involved in the implementation.
The production can be planned on databases, software or spreadsheets which normally quickens the process. However, visual representations are a preferred method for communicating operation schedules to floor personnel.
Some organizations place work orders on boards or they use computer monitors to present floor schedules. These schedules also need to be availed to employees well ahead of time and up to date.