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How to remain efficient as a production planner
Written by Trevor Wood on 10th July 2017
For any manufacturing enterprise, production planning always takes the centre stage. In fact, no manufacturing process can be made successful without the implementation of an efficient production plan.

So how do you, as a production planner, ensure that everything goes as planned and that the company’s objectives are achieved? It is important in this case to review the basic aspects that are involved so that you are able to carry out your functions as expected.
Production Planning Defined
Production planning is an administrative process in a manufacturing business that entails the coordination of various activities towards the efficient creation of finished products within the specified schedule.
The emphasis is in the process because the planning does not stop when the manufacturing has started. The planning continues to serve its purpose while the production is going on.
In the scheduling phase, the plan becomes more detailed as a daily schedule is set for the kind of and number of products to be manufactured. Meanwhile, in the coordination phase, a comparison between actual product output and scheduled product output is made so that necessary adjustments in the plans and schedules can be implemented.
As a production planner, you are tasked to make sure that raw materials, manpower, equipment, and other essential items are available, sufficient, and ready for production.
The general goal is for you to be able to forecast and translate demand into a plan that optimally meets company objectives in terms of maximising profits while maintaining customer satisfaction. Specifically, time spent and costs should be kept to a minimum; resources effectively utilised, and work efficiency achieved.
Basic Principles to Live By
There are basic principles that you need to live by as a production planner. These principles can be classified based on their functions and the effect they have on certain production elements.
Optimum Forecasting
The use of dependable forecasts is top priority for production planners in the proper allocation of resources and controlling the resulting output.
The principle of forecasting demands that you should be able to meet your production targets as efficiently as possible while being flexible enough to respond to demand variations as they arise.
Based on the projected sales information shared by sales and marketing, you can arrive at the right capacity estimates or how much to produce. These forecasts typically include a target and possible demand variations.
Through production planning, the capacity estimates are meant to satisfy the sales requirements.
Manpower Planning
The labour force is crucial to production planning as they will be responsible for the implementation of the plan. However, you need to make sure that you are able to arrive at an accurate estimate as to the number of workers that will be required to complete the tasks and hit the target.
As needed, these employees can be required for an overtime or discharged accordingly. From historical data, a time allowance has to be allocated for absences or employee turnover.
Those who perform at their best are rewarded and motivated through compensation increase and other incentives. For efficiency purposes, manpower capacity has to be a good match with the capacity of the equipment that they will use. Training must be provided as needed. The principle of manpower planning is rooted in the maximal and efficient use of labour.
Materials Availability
The raw materials needed for production have to be ready and on hand. As a production planner, your role is to ensure that minimum materials are kept as a standard inventory. You should also be able to evaluate the quantity of materials needed, order lead time, supplier delivery time, and supply reliability.
The most crucial aspect to this principle is the balance between just-in-time supply and materials availability to ensure that production is never disrupted at any time.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness
After manpower and materials are in place, you, as the production planner, have to check on the availability, performance, and quality of the equipment to be used for output production. It is recommended through this principle that you consider the equipment’s historic output then apply a safety factor to predict its actual capabilities. When capacity requirement does not match with equipment capabilities, then you must study the cost and viability of getting an additional equipment or resort to reducing forecasts.
Processes Evaluation
Production planning is continually applied along the way and processes have to be evaluated if they are still operating safely and efficiently. This calls for periodic testing and consequent adjustments. The principle is for you to see to it that the production processes are constantly updated and that the resources are properly allocated. In case a new process has to be implemented, it has to be tested for efficiency and has to be ready in time for the planned production run.
Controls Implementation
As a planner, you likewise take charge of implementing controls that help prevent and detect the occurrence of any glitch in the production process. The controls that you can set up include inventory verification, standardisation, regular output testing, and employment of qualified staff and suppliers. When a problem does occur though, you have to be quick to apply the corrective actions needed to bring back production to its efficient level.
Towards Being Production-Planning-Efficient
Being efficient in your function as a production planner takes a lot of work, monitoring, and maintenance. But the one thing that can help you stay on track is to think about the customers who will be benefiting from all your efforts beyond the production floor.
For one, you have to see to it that they do receive high quality, reasonably-priced products; specifically those that produce superior customer satisfaction. Speed is likewise essential in that you have to be able to meet customer demands quickly as they come and deliver products on the dot. Remember that customer demands do change and your flexibility is called for at this juncture.
All these can be achieved when you are able to ensure the steady flow of the production process and after that, you will be well on your way towards becoming an efficient production planner.
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About Oakfield
Oakfield are the UK distributors of Visual Planning, developed by Stilog I.S.T. in Paris, France.

We have an impressive list of clients including Astra Zeneca, BP, EBRD, GL Events, Govia, Great Western, Southeastern and many more.

About Author: Trevor Wood

With experience of retail, manufacturing, telecomms and software development, Trevor has a wide range of knowledge to help your business understand the key planning and scheduling issues.
Archives
How to remain efficient as a production planner
Written by Trevor Wood on 10th July 2017
For any manufacturing enterprise, production planning always takes the centre stage. In fact, no manufacturing process can be made successful without the implementation of an efficient production plan.

So how do you, as a production planner, ensure that everything goes as planned and that the company’s objectives are achieved? It is important in this case to review the basic aspects that are involved so that you are able to carry out your functions as expected.
Production Planning Defined
Production planning is an administrative process in a manufacturing business that entails the coordination of various activities towards the efficient creation of finished products within the specified schedule.
The emphasis is in the process because the planning does not stop when the manufacturing has started. The planning continues to serve its purpose while the production is going on.
In the scheduling phase, the plan becomes more detailed as a daily schedule is set for the kind of and number of products to be manufactured. Meanwhile, in the coordination phase, a comparison between actual product output and scheduled product output is made so that necessary adjustments in the plans and schedules can be implemented.
As a production planner, you are tasked to make sure that raw materials, manpower, equipment, and other essential items are available, sufficient, and ready for production.
The general goal is for you to be able to forecast and translate demand into a plan that optimally meets company objectives in terms of maximising profits while maintaining customer satisfaction. Specifically, time spent and costs should be kept to a minimum; resources effectively utilised, and work efficiency achieved.
Basic Principles to Live By
There are basic principles that you need to live by as a production planner. These principles can be classified based on their functions and the effect they have on certain production elements.
Optimum Forecasting
The use of dependable forecasts is top priority for production planners in the proper allocation of resources and controlling the resulting output.
The principle of forecasting demands that you should be able to meet your production targets as efficiently as possible while being flexible enough to respond to demand variations as they arise.
Based on the projected sales information shared by sales and marketing, you can arrive at the right capacity estimates or how much to produce. These forecasts typically include a target and possible demand variations.
Through production planning, the capacity estimates are meant to satisfy the sales requirements.
Manpower Planning
The labour force is crucial to production planning as they will be responsible for the implementation of the plan. However, you need to make sure that you are able to arrive at an accurate estimate as to the number of workers that will be required to complete the tasks and hit the target.
As needed, these employees can be required for an overtime or discharged accordingly. From historical data, a time allowance has to be allocated for absences or employee turnover.
Those who perform at their best are rewarded and motivated through compensation increase and other incentives. For efficiency purposes, manpower capacity has to be a good match with the capacity of the equipment that they will use. Training must be provided as needed. The principle of manpower planning is rooted in the maximal and efficient use of labour.
Materials Availability
The raw materials needed for production have to be ready and on hand. As a production planner, your role is to ensure that minimum materials are kept as a standard inventory. You should also be able to evaluate the quantity of materials needed, order lead time, supplier delivery time, and supply reliability.
The most crucial aspect to this principle is the balance between just-in-time supply and materials availability to ensure that production is never disrupted at any time.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness
After manpower and materials are in place, you, as the production planner, have to check on the availability, performance, and quality of the equipment to be used for output production. It is recommended through this principle that you consider the equipment’s historic output then apply a safety factor to predict its actual capabilities. When capacity requirement does not match with equipment capabilities, then you must study the cost and viability of getting an additional equipment or resort to reducing forecasts.
Processes Evaluation
Production planning is continually applied along the way and processes have to be evaluated if they are still operating safely and efficiently. This calls for periodic testing and consequent adjustments. The principle is for you to see to it that the production processes are constantly updated and that the resources are properly allocated. In case a new process has to be implemented, it has to be tested for efficiency and has to be ready in time for the planned production run.
Controls Implementation
As a planner, you likewise take charge of implementing controls that help prevent and detect the occurrence of any glitch in the production process. The controls that you can set up include inventory verification, standardisation, regular output testing, and employment of qualified staff and suppliers. When a problem does occur though, you have to be quick to apply the corrective actions needed to bring back production to its efficient level.
Towards Being Production-Planning-Efficient
Being efficient in your function as a production planner takes a lot of work, monitoring, and maintenance. But the one thing that can help you stay on track is to think about the customers who will be benefiting from all your efforts beyond the production floor.
For one, you have to see to it that they do receive high quality, reasonably-priced products; specifically those that produce superior customer satisfaction. Speed is likewise essential in that you have to be able to meet customer demands quickly as they come and deliver products on the dot. Remember that customer demands do change and your flexibility is called for at this juncture.
All these can be achieved when you are able to ensure the steady flow of the production process and after that, you will be well on your way towards becoming an efficient production planner.
About Oakfield
Oakfield are the UK distributors of Visual Planning, developed by Stilog I.S.T. in Paris, France.

We have an impressive list of clients including Astra Zeneca, BP, EBRD, GL Events, Govia, Great Western, Southeastern and many more.

About Author: Trevor Wood

With experience of retail, manufacturing, telecomms and software development, Trevor has a wide range of knowledge to help your business understand the key planning and scheduling issues.
Archives
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Contact Us
01547 33 00 69
The Oak Works, Hopton Heath, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 0QD
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Go to Members Area Here.
Contact Us
01547 33 00 69
The Oak Works, Hopton Heath, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 0QD
Go to Members Area Here.
Get Started - Now
Start your Free Trial Now
Contact Us
01547 33 00 69
The Oak Works, Hopton Heath, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 0QD
Member Area
Go to Members Area Here.
Contact Us
01547 33 00 69
The Oak Works, Hopton Heath, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 0QD
Go to Members Area Here.