World class manufacturing factories are a rarity by definition. But there is one thing that all of these operations have in common: a joined up and effective planning function.
Planning is the “brain” of the manufacturing organism. It allocates the resources, sets the priorities, and coordinates each of the constituent parts to ensure they work together efficiently. If a factory has a disjointed planning process, you can be certain it’s not maximizing its full potential somewhere in the process.
Fixing a malfunctioning planning department can seem like a colossal undertaking. But it needn’t be so daunting. Planning is not black magic and no challenge is too great to overcome. Like many large problems, the solution may be lots and lots of simple fixes.
This is why whenever we take a look at planning department, we always carry out our Planning Audit. A simple but thorough RAG (Red, Amber, Green) audit: we overlay a best practice model onto the existing planning function that highlights a department’s strengths and weaknesses.
In breaking down the planning function into smaller pieces, we are better able to prioritise issues and help create a plan to start making incremental improvements, that together, will strengthen the entire planning function.
Some of the areas covered in the planning audit:
We have experience in working with all the major planning systems, and we have expertise in connecting data and bridging gaps between one system and another. One of the biggest time-sinks in planning is often the handling of data.
Alongside bespoke solutions built for specific client needs, we also have a full suite of sophisticated planning systems, including:
- Forecast demand planning
- Finite scheduling for single or multi-process manufacturing processes
- Shop floor data capture (performance, plan attainment, plan adherence, changeovers, waste, downtime, labour etc.)
- A fully customisable KPI data capture suite
- Full reporting suite with the ability to drill down to line/SKU level to identify top-loss issues
- Daily dashboard to view site performance against target
So whether it be a standards review, reducing changeovers, linking existing data-sources, improving communication channels, or an entire “belt and braces” planning system, we have a wealth of experience in working alongside planning teams in achieving lasting results.