Time Management in Manufacturing: Optimizing Production and Delivery Schedules


  Time Management in Manufacturing: Optimizing Production and Delivery Schedules

Time Management in Manufacturing: Optimizing Production and Delivery Schedules
The key to time management in manufacturing is ensuring that the required resources are on hand when needed. Supply planning is a crucial step for anyone who wishes to keep their schedule, as it aligns these resources with what is needed at specific times. Some companies opt to manage their production schedules through batch scheduling while others use capacity utilization reports — but both approaches have their drawbacks and should be implemented carefully. This paper addresses the pros and cons of each method with regards to optimizing the delivery process, including discussion about how certain variables can affect your results.

The backbone of manufacturing is the production schedule, which details when a product or service will be delivered to the customer. With this schedule in place, all other operations can be planned and executed in accordance with it. For example, if a company is planning to deliver a batch of products on a certain date, then it will need to ensure that all materials are available for the manufacturing process to start and that any components from suppliers have arrived at least two days prior to that date. As such, sourcing these materials at optimal times is essential for time management in manufacturing.
A study by Cappo (n.d.a) reports that the top critical times for receiving materials include those which are most critical in the manufacturing process. These include when different components for a product need to be combined, when the first run of the product is being made, and when a partially finished product is just about ready to be taken apart and reused.
Fulfilling delivery schedules is also important for planning efficiency. It is much more efficient to produce goods in smaller batches at once and then split them into smaller units than to produce larger ones and then give them out one at a time; splitting production into smaller quantities also reduces inventory levels. Thus, optimal planning is a crucial part of time management in manufacturing.
Adequate planning is even more essential for companies which have to compete with many other suppliers within the same industry. Even if a supplier is able to deliver on time, they may not have the competitive advantage of other suppliers who are better able to meet the market demand. As such, a company has to plan aggressively in order to keep ahead of its competitors' schedules; otherwise it will lose customers and be unable to achieve its own targets.
A supplier's ability to effectively manage their production and delivery schedules can be determined by how well they utilize their resources. However, the likelihood that this will be achieved is dependent on several factors. The first of these is whether the manufacturing process can be interrupted at times when it is not required for production; if it cannot, then the supplier may have to abandon certain orders as they will not be able to meet their target delivery dates. Another factor which can effect a supplier's ability to deliver on time is outsourcing; although outsourcing may make sense from a cost-saving point of view, the fact that other companies are involved in carrying out the work means that there will be more opportunities for delays to occur and thus lengthen delivery schedules.
Another important factor for suppliers is how their demand and supply forecasts compare with each other. Supply planning is a crucial part of manufacturing where decisions must be made about how much of certain components to order and on what dates, and how these components are to be supplied. In the event that there is a discrepancy between the demand for a certain product and what materials are available, then the supplier will most likely have to delay delivery.
After all, if a company has not planned effectively, then the result may well be that they are unable to fulfill their delivery commitments at all.

In order to ensure that the production process does not get bogged down with unnecessary steps, it is important that the company uses a combination of batch scheduling and capacity utilization reports, in addition to being very thorough with their sourcing.

Batch scheduling is a technique which is used during the manufacturing process to determine when specific products are to be produced. This schedule takes into account that a particular production item may have several different batches, and production times can be adjusted accordingly. This means that this system does not have any major disadvantages; however, many have considered batch scheduling in conjunction with capacity utilization reports as being somewhat less effective than other techniques (Cappo n.d.).

Capacity utilization reports are used to assess how well a company is using their resources. By dividing available capacity into different categories, such as new products and running products, it is possible to determine if they are using their resources effectively. This is important in terms of time management in manufacturing as being able to plan effectively for future capacity can lead to better results.
The drawbacks of both batch scheduling and capacity utilization reports are that there are too many variables within each system for them to be completely effective. For example, discrepancies between demand and supply can lead to production problems which affect delivery schedules, and manufacturing materials outside the normal season may increase costs beyond the budgeted levels for the project.

Determining the best time to purchase raw materials can be difficult in manufacturing. Although it may cost more to purchase raw materials at a certain time, the business may effectively use their money by purchasing them before the predicted seasonal increase. For example, if there is a known seasonal trend which shows that prices for certain raw materials will increase in order to fill supply shortfalls during peak demand periods, then companies can stock up on these resources before the price hike occurs. This allows businesses to achieve two things: firstly, they can effectively purchase different types of raw materials in bulk; secondly they can make sure that they have enough stock of all components so their factories do not have to stop or slow down at peak times.

The amount of money a company can save through bulk purchasing is dependent on many factors which include the commodity price, cost per unit and the quantity of each unit. However, the more effective a company becomes at managing their own resources, the closer they will be able to imitate this practice. A more effective understanding of bulk purchasing will also lead to a reduction in costs as there are no storage or delivery costs involved. Therefore, a company can achieve better results over time by ensuring that they have the correct tools and systems in place for making better decisions about their raw materials.


Due to the ever-changing nature of the manufacturing industry, companies must make sure that they are prepared for potential changes in demand and supply. It may not always be possible to achieve optimal scheduling due to unforeseen circumstances, but it is important that companies ensure they can switch their plans when necessary.

Cappo, Vince; Schwandt, Paul M (2004) Manufacturing Management: Strategy, Technology and Operations. Prentice Hall

Kotler, Philip; Armstrong, Gary (2001) Principles of Marketing (8th ed.). South-Western College Publishing

Marketing Research Group; CRM Corporation (1979) Demand Forecasting. Frederick Publications

Segal, Jonathan P.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post