Production planning manages everything needed to run your manufacturing operations, from workers and materials to schedules and equipment, and everything in between. Your manufacturing operations and business success rely on efficient, effective planning to better achieve and maintain profitability.

Rootstock Cloud ERP automates this process with a capacity planning workbench and a material requirements planning (MRP) engine to coordinate when purchased items are required, parts are available, sales order details, shipping requirements and dates, and more. And, with Rootstock being built on the Salesforce Platform, your process is fueled directly with demand signals from your CRM, field service, and eCommerce solutions to ”feed the demand machine” and ensure everyone has up-to-the-moment data.

What is Production Planning?

Production planning and production control is how manufacturers manage the production of products to fulfill customer orders. It requires knowing what needs to be manufactured, how much, and by which date so production can be scheduled, resources applied, and materials and equipment allocated — while keeping in mind capacity, skills, and time constraints, competing customer and maintenance demands, and more.

Production planning is a manufacturer’s way of managing internal resources to meet customer demand. But, doing so effectively requires that detailed data on raw materials, bill of materials, inventory levels, and production schedules are readily available to prepare a workable manufacturing production schedule.

Key Challenges in Production Planning

With so many variables, production planning is a complex and critical function for manufacturers. Manufacturing production planners typically encounter a few key challenges during the process:

Resource allocation and optimization

Workers, time, equipment, materials, and supplies, among others, are all finite resources. Production plans must consider how to allocate those resources in ways that take into account supply chain risks, disrupted operations due to changes, or produce excess product that may go obsolete before it can be shipped.

Suboptimal lead times

Production plans rely on data visibility to minimize lead times and give manufacturers more flexibility to improve customer satisfaction. Shorter lead times can reduce carrying costs, improve cash flow, enable business agility, improve productivity, reduce waste, and more.

Lack of coordination across manufacturing operations

Production planning is a balancing act across many different teams, from those procuring incoming supplies to those delivering finished products. Better coordination gives manufacturers more production control for flexibility, speed, and agility when creating production plans.

Manufacturing Objectives for Production Control

Enhancing any production planning effort will lead to optimized resources and schedules that can meet production demand. Developing an optimal production plan ensures an efficient production schedule that readies the right resources when they are required. This includes maintaining optimal inventory levels to ensure materials are available without excess inventory that increases carrying costs.

Better production planning also increases the productivity of internal resources to avoid idle equipment and workers. Having the right workers with the right skills available at the right time is also a key component of planning, so production schedules must ensure workers with the appropriate skills are assigned to specific processes.

Aligning every involved team – sales, purchasing, operations, and customer service, etc. – brings more coordination for better results.

What are the Benefits of Production Planning?

Having the ability to conduct efficient production planning provides many benefits to manufacturers. Today’s manufacturers can’t achieve these benefits, however, when working with spreadsheets and paper-based processes. Modern planning requires a digitized system such as Manufacturing ERP with strong production planning and control. With such a system in place, manufacturers can begin working towards benefits such as:

  • Increased manufacturing capacity

  • Reduced inventory costs

  • More on-time/in-full deliveries

  • Just-in-time procurement of materials

  • Streamlined production processes

  • Minimal waste

  • And many, many more

Strategies for Enhancing Production Efficiency

Efficient production control requires manufacturers to use advanced planning and scheduling tools, the ability to implement demand forecasting techniques, and robust inventory management and optimization techniques. These systems also add automation, collaboration, advanced analytics, and other capabilities that accelerate workflows to give production managers more time, and highlight improvement opportunities.

>>Learn more about how to choose the right capacity planning strategy.

Modern Cloud ERP Systems provide a connected and integrated platform manufacturers can use to improve raw materials and finished goods routing, resource scheduling, order dispatching, quality inspections, and ultimately improved production control.

Discover Rootstock’s Innovative Solutions

Rootstock Manufacturing ERP Software automates your planning process with enhanced scheduling visibility, end-to-end shop floor control with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop capacity planning workbench.

Additionally, Rootstock gives you a 360° view looking both inside and outside of your facility to increase scheduling visibility so productivity and agility can be enhanced, and you can quickly respond to changing demand signals to fulfill orders faster.

Rootstock ERP for Production Planning Gives You:

  • Deep visibility into production plans so you can monitor capacity, address production bottlenecks, eliminate over- or under-production, and connect materials availability with scheduled work orders.
  • Shorter production lead times with detailed control over production modes across orders, tracking and management of work orders from planning to shipment, and dynamic adjustments to routings in real-time.
  • Higher quality and compliance levels with complete traceability, comprehensive inspection audit trails and histories, and less waste and rework.

To learn more about Rootstock’s production control capabilities, watch the short, eight-minute Rootstock Production Planning webinette today.