How We Chose the Best Production Scheduling Software
Production scheduling is a key process used to manage manufacturing. Important elements include scheduling production, arranging raw materials, identifying workflows, and optimizing production processes. While most often applied in high-volume manufacturing, it's equally relevant to small manufacturers and jobbing shops. We evaluated each production scheduling software solution on three criteria: production scheduling features, integrations with related systems, and reporting capabilities.
Production Scheduling Features
We recommend that production scheduling software include automated scheduling and capacity planning capabilities. Capacity planning refers to the process for determining theoretical and actual manufacturing capacity, a crucial step in production scheduling. Additionally, we look for an ability to perform what-if analysis to determine the most efficient way to schedule production.
The software should have pre-built integrations with other software used together with production scheduling to minimize manual input and reduce errors. These include accounting systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP), raw materials purchasing, engineering change management, quality, logistics, and sales.
Detailed reporting is crucial for success. There should be a combination of online reporting supplemented by printed schedules for use on the shop floor and with management. These include the production plan, routing information, resource requirements, and material pick lists, as well as order fulfillment, reworks, and analytics.