From World Class Master Scheduling: Best Practices and Lean Six Sigma Continuous Improvement


It has often been said that the most influential positions in a manufacturing operation are the plant manager and the master scheduler. That puts the master production scheduling job into perspective for some and makes the point that the master production schedule (MPS) is the score and the master scheduler the orchestra leader for the manufacturing symphony. To best start this next discussion, it is important to set the stage by examining the process within which the MPS resides in high-performance manufacturing environments. That process model is enterprise resource planning, more commonly known as ERP.

New names for ERP are invented every week by software companies or consulting firms trying to sell their wares. Some new acronyms stick and some do not. Being in the business of sorting this stuff out, I prefer to stick to the ideas I have seen add value. In the years I have been involved with process improvement, I have determined that some of these process methodologies are, in fact, legitimate. Three specifically are: (1) Class A ERP, (2) lean, and (3) Six Sigma. There are some specific goodness factors embedded in each of these approaches, and an argument can even be made that although these process models are best done concurrently, the initial focus might best be done sequentially, even if quite quickly. Because the MPS is such a major component of the ERP business model and especially important within Class A ERP performance, the emphasis at the start of this discussion is...

Products & Services
Enterprise Resource Planning Software (ERP)
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software supports the entire business process. Typically, ERP consists of modules such as marketing and sales, field service, production, inventory control, procurement, distribution, human resources (HR), etc.
Manufacturing Execution System Software (MES)
Manufacturing execution system (MES) software is used to manage and monitor work-in-process on the factory floor. MES software supports activities such as finite scheduling, workflow monitoring, and materials management.
Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence Software (EMI)
Enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) software provides real-time information about manufacturing processes. EMI software helps businesses optimize the performance of these processes and maximize yields.
Plant Management Software
Plant management software is used to manage the daily activities and long-term operations of industrial facilities.
Manufacturing Support Software
Manufacturing support software is used in shop floor, process, tool and maintenance management.

Topics of Interest

OVERVIEW Forecasting is probably the single most talked about process within the enterprise resource planning (ERP) business model. Master schedulers are involved with the demand plan forecast so...

OVERVIEW Both lean and Six Sigma are topics that get a lot of press these days, and for good reason. These two topics, along with a third, enterprise resource planning (ERP), where the master...

There is no more important topic within the Class A ERP than master scheduling. While the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process is definitely in competition within the ERP process for influence...

Distribution resource planning (DRP) is a process for the management of material requirements for distribution centres. Distribution resource planning can integrate the demands of a number of...

Master scheduling is the process of turning the top management plans into details that can be manufactured in the proper sequence to maximize both efficiency and customer service. This sounds like a...

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