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Master Scheduling
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Master schedulers in those companies that campaign products for process reasons often spend a great deal of time aligning and realigning campaigns, and orders or batches within campaigns, to deal with the needs of their customers and to utilize their capacities. It is difficult in many systems to make these moves without a lot of manual effort. Campaign planning often requires a more distant look into the future than planning individual orders. This often causes these planners to firm orders far out in the horizon, which also increases the mainte­nance burden. Some of the advanced planning and ex­ecution systems do a good job of campaign planning, but many of the traditional ERP systems do not.



Without some system logic to support campaign plan­ning, the effort to manage the long horizons and many detailed orders may discourage planners from using the formal master scheduling system. It is not unusual to find that campaigned products are managed on spreadsheets, thereby depriving other system users of the information about the campaigns. This weakens their ability to use system information for forecasting, budgeting, and to track status of these orders through manufacturing.



Many companies have added logic in their master sched­uling systems to handle campaigns, trains, product clus­ters, super-batches, etc. This logic separates the orders for the individual products or batches, but allows schedulers to plan and reschedule the whole campaign as if it were a single order. By incorporating this logic into the standard planning logic, the system can be trained to create planned orders for campaigns instead of firm planned orders. The computer can manage these when they are beyond the time fences. If this is unac­ceptable for some reason, or if the time fences are very long, at least the whole campaign, instead of individual orders, can be managed by the planners.

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 14

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