Q: What is production planning?
A: Production planning refers to the process by which manufacturers allocate resources — including raw materials, employees, and production capacity — to meet the requirements of incoming work orders.
Q: Why are production planning and scheduling important?
A: Production planning and scheduling are essential to ensuring proper resource allocation, completing work on time, and meeting customer commitments.
Q: What are the main things to consider when scheduling production?
A: When scheduling production, it’s important to consider raw materials, available inventory, production capacity, employee skill levels, forecasted demand, and due dates, as well as other variables that can crop up during a job.
Q: Why is Excel and other spreadsheet-based software insufficient for production planning and scheduling?
A: Although Excel and other manual forms of shop floor scheduling are affordable and pose a relatively low barrier to entry, using spreadsheets for production planning and scheduling is labor intensive and error prone. Excel and other spreadsheet-based software do not offer true dynamic capacity management, meaning manual schedules quickly become outdated. By comparison, PFM uses dynamic capacity management, so your employees can trust that all schedules are up to date and accurate.
Q: Why is QuickBooks insufficient for production planning and scheduling?
A: Although QuickBooks Enterprise for Manufacturing & Wholesale is a popular production scheduling software solution, it doesn’t enable you to convert raw material levels into finished product stock. Additionally, QuickBooks is unable to account for variability on the shop floor — such as workers calling out sick, machinery breaking down, and so on — the same way that PFM does.