Who is Bill Gaw?
And why should we listen to him?

Lean Enterprise Articles
 Lean Manufacturing Principles and Techniques 

World Class Manufacturing
An 8-Training Module
Continuous Improvement Program

Increase the effectiveness of your
Lean Manufacturing Training Program

Lean Manufacturing Simulation Game 

Master Production Schedule

Part 3 of 4

privacy policy

Contact Us

 To review our training 
 options, click on 
  the links below: 

e-Training Packages:

Lean Manufacturing

Performance Management

Quality Mgmt. System

Inventory Management

Lean Six Sigma

Strategic Planning

     Other Options:   

Continuous Improvement Program

Continuous Improvement Program

Continuous Improvement Process

Thinking Outside 
the Box Principles 

Lean Manufacturing
Certification Program

Kaizen Blitz/Events

1-Day, On-site

5-Day On-site
Manufacturing Survey
and Action Plan

Customer Wants Earlier Delivery

"Reschedule our order" is something that few manufactur­ing companies want to hear. Although these events may cause disruption and other unwanted problems, they are better than one of the alternatives, that of "cancel our order." So, how does the master scheduler handle these requests in light of satisfying the customer while keeping a stable schedule.

The first thing to note about this situation is that it is a change in timing, not a change in volume. This type of change request will generally require a shift in resources and materials. An important point is to understand why the request is being made. It could be the customer needs the product. It also could be a sales representative wants the order moved up because of a sales contest, an order clerk is simply reacting to an order point being tripped, or... safety stock needs replenishment. Some of these conditions may suggest an answer of "no" is appropriate. However, many such requests do deserve positive responses.

There are five questions that need' to be answered before the master scheduler responds to such a request. The first question has already been discussed, that of whether this request is a volume or timing change. The remaining questions are to understand whether the necessary mate­rials can be secured, whether capacity is available, how much the change will cost, and whether or not the master scheduler is authorized to make the change. Most changes, especially if they occur within lead time, are disruptive to the manufacturing floor and could well affect shop person­nel morale. If the master scheduler plans to change the schedule, he or she should insure that positive results occur.

Moving a Manufacturing Order to an Earlier Date

Pulling work forward is not always a bad thing to do. It might be manufacturing's request to build early and may benefit the company. Maybe the pull up is required due to a bad batch being produced, a pre-ship test surfacing a quality problem, the cycle counting program uncovers an error in the inventory, or a new safety stock level which has to be established.

Changes like the one suggested may be difficult and expen­sive to implement. The five key questions must be an­swered before the master scheduler just changes the numbers. In addition to answering the five questions the master scheduler should also ask, "what happens if the schedule is not changed?"
Moving manufacturing orders up in the schedule may affect materials, capacities, and the master scheduler's credibility. Remember, manufacturing has a history of responding. As stated earlier the master scheduler and manufacturing must be flexible (to a point). How about moving a manufacturing order out; the best expediting tool is de-expediting. The last point is that before the resched­ule is made, the master scheduler must secure approval according to the company policy.

Inventory Buildup

A company in a seasonal business, planning for the large order or changing its manufacturing strategy from make-to-order to make-to-stock, may find itself facing an inven­tory build-up situation.

In this scenario the forecast is extremely important to say the least. If the master scheduler does not schedule enough product to be made, there may be no product for the customer when demanded and the order may be lost. If the master scheduler schedules too many, the company may end up with inventory that cannot be sold and it may become obsolete.

Additionally, there may be shelf-life issues that may cause the product to be scrapped. The master scheduler must analyze the entire situation and decide how important it is to stabilize the schedule by carrying inventory versus carrying capacity and the risk of losing the business versus the cost of carrying product in a finished state.

Companies faced with this situation should look into its design, both product and process, to determine if some­thing can be done to shorten the lead time required to produce the product so it doesn't have to build to a finished goods state.

To be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 02


To stay current on manufacturing competitive knowledge, please subscribe to our weekly bulletin, "Manufacturing. Basics and Best Practices (MBBP)."  Simply fill in the below form and click on the " subscribe button." 

We'll also send you our Special Report, "6-Change Initiatives for Personal and Company Success."  

All at no cost of course. 

First Name:
Your E-Mail:

 Your personal information will never 
be disclosed to any third party.

privacy policy

Here's what one of our subscribers said about the MBBP Bulletin:

"Great articles. Thanks for the insights. I often share portions of your articles with my staff and they too enjoy them and fine aspects where they can integrate points into their individual areas of responsibilities. Thanks again."

               Kerry B. Stephenson. President. KALCO Lighting, LLC

Lean Manufacturing Menu

Balanced Scorecard Training    Lean Manufacturing Implementation
Overview of Six Sigma    Inventory Reduction Techniques
Strategic Tactical Planning   Total Quality Management
Articles and MBBP Archives    Lean Management Training
Strategic Planning Training  Lean Six Sigma Training
Performance Management Training    Kaizen Training
Thinking Outside the Box Principles  Kaizen Blitz 
Lean Manufacturing Certification Program

Lean Manufacturing Improvement  Performance Management Improvement
ISO 9000:2000 Improvement  Continuous Process Improvement
Value Steam Mapping Improvement  Strategic Planning Improvement
Supply Chain Management Improvement

"Back to Basics" Training for anyone ... anywhere ... anytime

Business Basics, LLC
6003 Dassia Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
West Coast: 760-945-5596

© 2001-2007 Business Basics, LLC