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Industry 4.0 20.01.22

How to improve your production planning ?

The importance of production planning

Production planning is an essential step in the optimization of a company’s performance. In particular, it will enable the forecasting of the month’s income, provide a realistic delivery date for customers and optimise human and material resources.

Industrial planning is the heart of the production process. It is a complex task with direct consequences for the entire process. Therefore, it should be carefully considered.

In this article, we will provide some tips on how to improve your production planning.

4 tips for better production planning

  1. Predicting the number of orders

Planning is not an immediate plan of the production processes. It must be prepared by the production planner. It is a matter of predicting the expected demands in order to define an expected number of orders. This necessarily involves studying the company’s market.

This stage is very important because it allows an optimal management of production costs.


  1. Implement better stock management

To ensure that the production line is supplied, you must set up a rigorous inventory system. The visibility and traceability of stocks allows you to optimise production planning.

To track inventory and even work in progress, the use of production planning management software can be very useful.


  1. Plan production in line with the availability of your resources

The challenge in this step is to understand the capacity of your material and human resources. When planning your production, you should aim to maximise your operational capacity. However, many companies make the mistake of trying to exceed it or of not leaving enough margin in the production process to deal with potential unforeseen events.

For this step, it can be interesting to carry out a Gemba Walk to interact directly with your workers and find out their limits.


  1. Give importance to the maintenance steps

As machines are at the heart of the production process, their maintenance should be considered very carefully. A maintenance plan should be drawn up for them before the start of the season.

It may also be appropriate to use predictive maintenance to carry out a risk factor analysis to anticipate possible machine failures. This avoids costs and repair times that could have been saved.


The key elements of production

When drawing up the production plan, focus on the key elements of production, so that production is uninterrupted.

This includes ordering the necessary raw materials and the potential purchase of equipment.

Before starting production, try to eliminate as many bottleneck items as possible, which can severely limit production.

In addition, once your production plan has been drawn up, make sure that it is flexible enough to cope with any changes in orders that may occur.

The importance of communicating your production plan

You should also pay special attention to the communication of your plan. An optimal understanding of your teams is essential to improve the performance of the production line.

Similarly, your production planning can include resource acquisition and training sessions for your teams. Human capital management is indeed as important as equipment management!

Written by Emma Guignard

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