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Introduction and challenges

We define and measure ‘industrial agility’ in three ways. Firstly, adaptability to needs, or the ability of the business to react to product/services changes in its market through manufacturing speed (reduction of its time to market). Secondly, volume reactivity or the time taken to react to an overall fall or rise in demand for a product family, and finally mix flexibility or the company’s ability to adapt to the slightest change in the product references of any item in its product mix.

Effective production planning and scheduling are critical in addressing the last two points. At a tactical level, the rough-cut capacity planning (RCCP) process, which is a vital step of the S&OP cycle, helps identify gaps in labour and machinery that contribute to appropriate recruitment and investment decisions.

Operational production planning and scheduling processes help to optimise available capacity, ensuring service levels are met with the correct levels of stock and costs.

How we can help

We support our clients in developing their production planning and scheduling skills through:

  • Segmentation of their products and services into suitable business models: make-to-order (MTO), make-to-stock (MTS), assemble-to-order (ATO), engineer-to-order (ETO) or maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO)
  • Design and implementation of tactical RCCP for S&OP implementation
  • Design and implementation of fully integrated operational planning solutions covering distribution resource planning (DRP), master production schedule (MPS), material resource planning (MRP) and detailed scheduling
  • Definition of planning horizons (frozen, ‘slushy’, open) which strike the right balance between supply constraints and commercial flexibility
  • Design and implementation of inventory management policies: safety stock calculation, re-order points, DDMRP (demand-driven MRP)
  • Identification of production bottlenecks and improvements on overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
  • Use of Lean improvement toolkits: SMED, FMECA, Six Sigma
  • Selection of the appropriate supply planning solution for an advanced planning system (APS) implementation
  • Design and implementation of global, regional and local supply planning teams with detailed roles and responsibilities and associated skills