Well-executed production planning leads to balanced inventory quantities, reduced waste, happy employees, on time customer delivery and higher profit margins. In an ideal world, the entire process from receipt of raw materials through each workflow path of production, would be predictable, if only you could just stick to what works. In reality, the production manager’s job is easier, and he will be more successful, when he’s prepared with a tool to streamline the process. SOS Inventory is just such a tool and an exceptional adjunct to every manager’s production plan.
Setting a Strategy in Place
How your team approaches production planning depends on the way your products are manufactured. SOS Inventory functions as production planning software, designed to manage them all:
Discrete or batch manufacturing – this method involves the assembly of parts to create units of products.
Process manufacturing – Products made using recipes or formulas such as food items or medications use process manufacturing. The raw materials are altered in production and cannot be returned to inventory.
Mass production – This approach entails the creation of large quantities of products, accomplished through assembly lines and automated processes.
Flow method – Items that move continuously from workflow station to workflow station without stopping follow a flow method. There must be checks in place to assure quality and bottleneck elimination.
Job method or Just-in-time – Products that require customization such as vehicles or computers are completed to customer specifications as orders come in. Inventory levels are kept at minimums and a variety of materials may be used for different product options.
Inventory Production Schedule
Setting the master production schedule in motion is an essential piece of the production planning process responsible for reliable customer delivery. With SOS Inventory, each stage of production can be organized to include a bill of materials and be assigned to an employee. As each stage is completed, the product is moved to the next designated step with all actions tracked, costs updated as the product is altered, and inventory quantities updated.
Success is measured not only by on time delivery but by product quality and improvements in the process. SOS Inventory can facilitate in these respects, as well, by providing detailed information about performance in up to fifty different types of reports. Analyze material and labor costs to your heart’s desire with customizable reports that can break down any area to determine if your team is meeting standards. Identify waste, bottlenecks, or overages to create strategies for improvement. Where labor costs seem higher than they should be, machines may require repair, or the workflow station layout might require rearranging. Deep diving into the data at any stage of production allows your team to make those assessments.
SOS Inventory helps production managers avoid pitfalls like stockouts by automating the ordering process at predetermined reorder points. SOS Inventory will help determine the right amount to keep in stock to ensure production never comes to a standstill.
SOS can provide any type of support your team needs from DIY to fully guided implementation with round the clock, prompt replies to inventory scheduling and other software questions.
Software for Production Planning and Inventory Management
Production planning and inventory management go hand in hand in reaching your company’s goal to optimize inventory to meet demand without shortages or overages. Informed planning will stage the work activities and responsibilities of workers to complete their phase of production on time, within budget and to certain standards to meet quality goals.
Production sequencing is a big part of the picture, but the production floor does not operate on its own; it must confer with other departments to understand how products are performing, what future strategies are and where improvements can be made.
In simplified terms, the planner may achieve these goals by:
- Understanding future product demand through historical sales and customer feedback.
- Assess production options to meet those goals. Determine what changes you must make to meet new goals.
- Make changes to production processes to make improvements. Identify bottlenecks (broken equipment, inefficient workstation layout, etc.) and work to reduce them.
- Oversee and manage processes.
- Make changes to improve performance.
When you combine careful planning and great inventory software, production planning is easier, scalable and works efficiently to identify areas for improvement. Gain valuable insight and unbeatable functionality with an easy-to-use interface. Sign up for a free trial of SOS Inventory today.