Planning & Scheduling Workshop

Here’s the Question:

Basic concepts about planning and scheduling are very efficiently taught through APICS. You can learn the mechanics of using software tools from the vendors. Where do you learn how to take the concepts, apply business strategies and set up the tools so that they help you automate the desired supply chain processes?


The SCS Solution:

    1. A course has been designed to paint a picture of how planning and scheduling should work together.
    2. Three distinct processes will be described, laying the foundation of how models can be built for each process. The objective of each process will discussed.
    3. Then the components of planning / scheduling models are identified – constraints and variables.
    4. The techniques and methods of scheduling are presented with a demonstration of how models are built.
    5. An overview a supply chain tools is given. This is basically a consumers report on the available technologies.
    6. Finally the theory of building an organization around the supply chain will insure that the planning process will operate at peak efficiency and return on assets becomes the focal point of the entire company.





Section I. Planning Opportunities

Section II. Planning Concepts

Section III. Scheduling Concepts


Section IV. Constraints/Variables

Validation of Course Objectives

Section V. Participant defined Scheduling Challenges


Section VI. Model Building Demonstration

Section VII. Scheduling Methods


Section VIII. Tools

Section IX. Organization

Section X. Final Assessments

Course Description:

Section I. Planning Opportunities shows the correlation between customer service and the cost of that service level. This lays the ground work for keeping the participants focused on the dual objective of providing the highest customer service level possible and maximizing profits.

Right off, ideas are presented that they can take back to their organizations aimed at reducing operating costs. These fall into the categories of physical changes to the supply chain and improvements to information flow for decision making.

Developing planning and scheduling processes is a technology. At times it is very sophisticated. The basic concepts of the technology are presented but repeatedly it is shown how these concepts are interdependent. Another critical success factor is the attitude of the team. Having a common vision, a similar idea on how a business should be run is presented as a motivation for change and supported with a comprehensive list of contrasting attitudes.

The backbone that supports a company is its policies and procedures, but many critical ones dealing with material and information flow are completely absent in some organizations. The top policies and procedures needed to make a coherent team operate efficiently and that are necessary for an MRP II system to be used appropriately are discussed. These too are not isolated, rather it will be shown how they are dependent on and integral to business strategies.

Section II. Planning Concepts deals with the most important issues in medium to long term planning, asset management. It will be described why Sales and Operational Planning is important in managing resources. Also it will be shown what are the critical parts of this process and how to set up a Sales & Operational Planning process. ABC Costing, ABC product mix analysis, Supply Chain Analysis, performance measures, etc. will be discussed.

Customer Service Strategies: Make-to-stock; Make-to-Assemble; and Make-to-Order can be applied differently to individual products. It will be illustrated when to pick which strategy and how to systematically apply them with the systems.

Section III. Scheduling Concepts is the central theme of this workshop but scheduling is very dependent on all the other sections discussed in this workshop. The greatest detail is discussed in this section.

Scheduling has two major parts, dynamic data and static data. Its all talked about - forecasting, distribution strategies, inventory accuracy, information timing, frequency of redoing the schedule, safety stocks, lead-times - and other manufacturing constraints, and the variables that the scheduler has available to them to generate a feasible and cost effective schedule.

Section IV. Scheduling Constraints are deep drilled further. It will be discussed how to apply constraints to the process of generating a scheduling. This goes well beyond what a spreadsheet can do. The bottom line is, if your organization does not tangibly and dynamically deal with all asset constraints then you will not effectively manage your assets.

All major constraints found in the process industry will be discussed and later it will be shown how they can be represented (modeled) in state-of-the-art computer tools. Constraints reviewed will be sequence preferences, inventory storage, capacity, raw material availability, operation coordination, etc.

Scheduling Variables are also discussed in depth. Classical variables like start times, batch sizing, run length and shifts (variable capacity) will be discussed. But - also controlling demand will be put into perspective as a necessary weapon in today's competitive world.

Section V. Participant defined Scheduling Challenges is an opportunity for the participants to describe their unique planning or scheduling problems. Solutions will be discussed and with a few, sample models will be built and presented the next day.

Section VI. The Model Building Demonstration will be exciting because it will show how to bring it all together. Things that couldn't be done before in spreadsheets and in MRP systems can now be done, simply.

Learn how to use the power of plots and graphs to identify opportunities that you couldn't see with tables of numbers. This demonstration will reinforce your visualization of what the concepts previously discussed meant.

Section VII. Scheduling Methods discusses the unique problems found in the process industry - alternate raw materials, manufacturing sourcing, variable rate runs, co-product and by-product manufacturing, reflux and recycle, maximizing capacity utilization. This is where technology really gets important. We discuss how to schedule these operations. Add to that offgrade; yield losses; rampup and rampdown; changeover, curing and QC times - the problem can get very complex. They do not always require complex solutions. We deal in the real, practical world. It will be shown how to make the solutions maintainable and cost-effective.

Does MRP, JIT and Kanban fit the process industry? It will be shown how and where they fits.

Section VIII. Tools facilitate concepts, ideas and the processes discussed above but they have to be used for the right jobs. The tools that can return the greatest value will be identified. How they should be used to support integrated planning and scheduling processes will be portrayed. The tools covered will be Statistical Forecasting, Distribution Resource Planning (DRP) and optimization, production finite capacity scheduling (FCS) simulation and optimization, Bar coding, EDI, computerized process control, process information systems, shop floor control, and Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

Section IX. Regardless of the cause, the Organization will change. Will the change better support the goal of improved customer service, at lower costs? An organizational structure will be presented (and explained) that supports an empowered team which manages the supply chain for greatest return on assets. This will not be a theory. I have seen it work and the results are dramatic.

Section X. The Final Assessment will summarize the entire session and return the participants back to the starting objectives. As time permits individual problems can be explored.

Supply Chain Systems, Inc.


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