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Master Scheduling
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Lean Manufacturing Articles

7. TWO-LEVEL MASTER SCHEDULES
Problem

If there are so many final configurations that it is im­possible to forecast accurately at that level, it may be better to forecast at a semi-finished level that has fewer choices that can be converted to many different end items. This been recognized as an issue in assemble-to-order products for a long time and has been the source of much of the logic behind product configurators. There are also many companies that offer a wide variety of end items made from a smaller number of semi-fin­ished items that do not need a configurator because they are not assemblies. They may offer already configured end items in a catalog, but not wish to stock them. They also want to keep inventories of the semi-finished items flexible and minimized.

Implications

Stocking all the catalog items would require significant safety stocks to achieve high levels of customer service. Total inventories would be high because the semi-fin­ished items would be included in all of the finished item inventories. Producing only to order would not satisfy the customers' expected lead-times. Customer service would be negatively affected by the company's ability to forecast each of the end items.

Solution

 

Two-level master scheduling allows a company to fore­cast at the semi-finished level, but still retain already configured end items. The end items are initially planned for no demand and no supply orders. The semi-finished items are planned to satisfy their forecasts with lot-sized master scheduled orders. When orders are entered for the end items, master schedules are created to drive the finishing processes. These master schedules drive com­ponent demands to the semi-finished master schedule level and consume the semi-finished forecasts. Available-to-promise (ATP) information is captured by checking the semi-finished ATP and adding on the finishing lead-times.

To Be Continued

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

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 14


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