Competitive Factory Scheduling




What are managers hired to do? Factory Scheduling gives forward visibility and allows for understanding by managers, so that they can do what they were hired to do, to manage. The shark-like "feeding frenzy" over month-end and year-end shipping schedules is over. The managers using Factory Scheduling routinely manage the chaos on the factory floor. Managers are happy, executives are happy, and owners are very happy. The investment by people, for people, provides greater than a 100% return. Customers become believers in you and your company as a supplier. Having no need to take their business elsewhere they will repeat their business with you. And any company in today's competitive marketplace that doesn't get and keep repeat business won't be in business long.

A revolution starts with an idea. That idea could be and should be "We Will Ship On Time!" The battle cry that brings forces together, whether it is "Remember the Alamo," "Remember Goliad," or "We Will Ship On Time" allows for a common focus for those martialed for the battle. Our battle in Production Management is not one climatic event, it occurs several times a day, 5, 6, or even 7 days a week, on every day of the year. Some battles we win, some we lose, but the battle cries allows us to keep focused.

How do we get our managers, executive officers, and owners to understand the merits of Factory Scheduling? For every one of us in production management, we know that our bosses and owners are unique and that no "standard" or "cookbook" technique works with them. However, let us discuss some items that could be of help to you. First, you should be totally comfortable with an understanding of your business and manufacturing environment (how Sales Order and Master Production Scheduling processes are done in your business, how Material Planning is accomplished, how the flow of work (units and dollars) into and out of Work-in-Process is accomplished, how products are shipped to customers, how invoicing of customers is accomplished, and how payments are made by your customers and processed internally). Second, understand Factory Scheduling. Review the literature. Talk to vendors, specifically those that support APICS goals and objectives. Talk to your local APICS chapter members on their experiences. Third, understand how your management and your company's business could be improved through the use of effective Factory Scheduling. Fourth, understand your boss. Identify the type of personality your boss has (Analytical, Driver, Expressive, or Amiable). Adopt a discussion style that your boss feels comfortable with. Fifth, talk to your boss. Understand his interests and concerns.

Express your own. Sixth, marry all concerns and seek a business solution fulfilling those requirements. And seventh, present to your boss a plan that has the business at heart and matches those requirements. Remember, a revolution starts with an idea. The idea that Factory Scheduling is a competitive weapon and that it can be used in your business is unquestionably a revolutionary idea.

How have companies fared using Factory Scheduling? Facts are that some have failed miserably while others in the same town or industry swear by it. The majority of failures can be traced to lack of management understanding and commitment, lack of business knowledge and the attitudes of the people, including the failure by the Factory Scheduling software to perform as required. The success stories don't normally give credit to any one specific thing. They normally indicate their success is due to their people, their attitudes and understanding throughout the business of that company's business goals and objectives, the reliability of the Factory Scheduling software to perform, and everyone's commitment to their customers.

"Business is War. Prepare to Win!" is not only a conference theme but it is a battle cry for all of us to think about and use. The history of previous battles fought, won and lost, gives us hope that the final victory will be ours. If we conduct this war as our nation has been conducting the War on Drugs, we will lose. Those of us who are prepared and use Factory Scheduling will survive. The effective use of Factory Scheduling can secure employment and to eliminate and execute the competition. Just as the Texas Revolution addressed survival, we here, are at risk.

Factory Scheduling allows you to have a competitive weapon that is being used to execute the competition. "Business is War. Prepare to Win!"


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