In a manufacturing environment, in order to meet customers’ needs to maintain our competitive advantage ; market positioning, and also give an accurate and relatively certain forecast of our business, we use operations planning to calculate and schedule our medium ; long term production activities(aggregate planning) and short term production activities, such as detailed work plan for individuals and /or collective production resources, for instance, in manufacturing environment, machines, labour ,departments(operations scheduling. ) In manufacturing companies, the medium ; long term is usually static comparing to short term (more dynamic).
It is difficult to compensate short term mistakes, which may lose customers loyalties, lose market share. Internally speaking, it will make chaos in different departments and their plans will be re-scheduled. In order to avoid this, we need different information when giving operations planning for a batch production in the organisation. Cause production control can only act upon the information that it receives. (Muhlemann, 1992, production and operations planning), so more precise information we can get, more flexible and reliable we can schedule production.
In a manufacturing environment, short-term planning, which in essence establishes priorities with respect to some criterion measuring performance are quite crucial. The company is either machine limited or labour limited, Such information on labour as working time, labour efficiency and information on equipment (machines) as no. of them, their output and setting times are quite significant. The more accurate they are, the more flexibility we’re able to acquire. Particularly the shorter the term is, the more details we need with the aim of monitoring the process and coordinating among different factors.
On the other hand, we have to be ready at any time in case the customers’ requirements change, if this happens, the more information in our hand, the more reliable solution we will provide.
- Customers may increase the quantities of goods, expected delivery timeless. Inside the company, time of maintenance of machines may alter, and we can’t assure raw material availability on hand 100%. At last, besides we can get the information from our customers and our departments. We should always observe the trend of the demand, and keep an eye on kinds of media-TV, radio and magazines (e. g.: The Economist and times) to do this, we’re able to know whether our company can meet the further demand and if it is working well currently, etc.
- Interfaces between scheduling functions and other company areas: In one company, scheduling needs to cooperate with other functions, as marketing, costing and production function, all theses functions are inter-related. Scheduling function needs other functions providing information to plan, it need cost sheet from Costing Dep, department performance from Work Study Dep. On the contrary, other functions need the feedback from scheduling functions to carry on their activities.
Production function need the Gantt Chart to have an entire view about the progress of the manufacturing and find where may be monitored in case customers change their minds. Figure 1: Scheduling other functions produce, control ; monitor Manufacturing company Customer’s orders (from) In a way, they are integrated together and rely on each other. One can’t work without others as the base. If, say, an accident happens, the staff can’t work, which will be reported to the scheduling fuctionsfunctions by personnel fuctionfunction. Then some change havechange has to make to change the schedule.
We may give a shift if needed,etc.On the other hand, from the scheduling(Gantt Chart,etc), we may find some spared time between two activities. Then maybe marketing fuction can use the information to delivery the products in advance 1 As shown in Bradford Control Game 2 Competitors also provide some information that we apparently do not know, occasionally when the methods we get the information is old and inappropriate. Clark’s Restaurant is just on the High gate near school of managment, I worked there severl weeks once as both a waitress and kitchen assistant. 4 Usually the demand (customers) are roughly the same during the weekdays, but Saturdays is more busier.