👉 1st White Paper on the digitization of plant operational management 👈
September 28, 2023

How does schedule management impact industrial productivity?

In the world of industry, scheduling is more than just a simple organization of work. It's a cornerstone that supports the entire edifice of productivity and operational efficiency. To ignore the importance of planning is to run the risk of seeing this edifice collapse under the weight of inefficiencies and unforeseen costs. Let's take a closer look at the repercussions of ineffective planning and the fundamental link between sound planning and productivity.

schedule management

The crucial importance of schedule management in industry

  • The repercussions of ineffective planning: When planning fails, the effects are felt at every level of the company. From missed production deadlines to compromised customer commitments, the consequences extend far beyond the plant's walls, undermining customer confidence and the company's brand image.
  • The link between planning and productivity: Effective planning is synonymous with optimum productivity. It ensures that resources are used strategically, minimizing downtime and maximizing output. Good planning is the conductor that harmonizes all industrial operations to create a symphony of productivity.

Scheduling in an industrial environment is more than just a necessity; it's strategic. It represents a thoughtful approach to orchestrating human and material resources, aimed at maximizing efficiency and minimizing costs. Let's delve into the hidden costs of poor planning and the benefits of optimized management.

The hidden costs of poor planning

  • Wasted time: a silent enemy: Time is a precious and irretrievable resource. In industry, every hour lost due to inadequate planning can translate into significant financial losses. From production delays to unexpected overtime, wasted time is a hidden cost that weighs heavily on company finances.
  • Impact on the production line: When every minute counts: A production line interrupted or slowed down by poor planning is a money pit. Delays not only generate direct costs, but also affect product quality, customer satisfaction and, ultimately, the company's profitability.
ROI factory planning software

The benefits of optimized planning

  • Increased productivity: The secret of skilful management: Effective planning translates into optimum use of resources, reduced downtime and a significant increase in productivity. It's the art of doing more with less, while maintaining high production quality.
  • Reducing operational costs: Saving through efficiency: Good scheduling reduces the costs associated with overtime, unscheduled machine maintenance and emergency management. By planning strategically, the company can make substantial savings, thereby increasing its profit margin.

In conclusion, schedule management in industry is not just a question of logistics; it is a fundamental strategy for ensuring maximum productivity and effective cost management. Optimized planning is the lifeblood of a successful, competitive industrial enterprise.

In the relentless quest for industrial excellence, optimal scheduling is a crucial lever. This section explores the integration of advanced digital tools and best practices that transform planning from a daunting task into a strategic opportunity to increase efficiency and flexibility.

schedule management

Digital tools: the modern allies of planning

  • Beyond Excel: the era of specialized software: The transition from Excel-based scheduling to specialized software marks a significant evolution. Not only do these tools offer greater ease of use and customization, they also bring unprecedented accuracy and data integration. Features such as real-time tracking, predictive analysis and integration of different operational variables enable more dynamic and accurate planning.

  • Automation and AI: the quiet revolution: The integration of artificial intelligence and automation into scheduling management is silently transforming the industry. These technologies can analyze massive amounts of data to optimize schedules, forecast resource requirements and even anticipate potential problems. They free managers from repetitive tasks, enabling them to concentrate on strategic decisions. As demonstrated by Mercateam 's automatic scheduling, which lets you add the right person, with the right skills, to the right job, with a single click.

Best practices for effective planning

  • Real-time planning: adapting to the unexpected: In a constantly changing industrial environment, the ability to rapidly adapt schedules to unforeseen changes is essential. Real-time planning provides this flexibility, enabling companies to respond effectively to emergencies, supply chain delays or equipment breakdowns, minimizing disruption and associated costs.

  • Flexibility and adaptability: The keys to a dynamic industry: Modern industry demands unprecedented flexibility and adaptability in scheduling management. This implies the ability to rapidly reconfigure schedules, redeploy resources according to changing priorities, and maintain smooth production despite market fluctuations. What's more, training employees to multi-task and using versatile machines can greatly contribute to this flexibility, enabling companies to remain competitive and responsive.

By adopting these advanced digital tools and best practices, industrial companies can take a significant step towards schedule management that doesn't just keep pace, but anticipates and adapts to tomorrow's challenges. In this way, optimized scheduling becomes a driving force for innovation and competitiveness in modern industry.

To illustrate the concrete impact of optimized scheduling management, let's explore two case studies where theory and strategy are translated into tangible results. These examples from Groupe Seb and LISI Aerospace demonstrate how adopting new approaches to planning can turn challenges into opportunities for growth and improvement.

Digital Transformation and Planning Optimization at Groupe Seb

The Challenge of Agility in a Changing Industrial Context: Groupe Seb, a global leader in the small domestic equipment sector, was faced with a strategic imperative: to increase its agility and versatility in the face of a constantly evolving industry. With a presence in nearly 150 countries and a rich history of innovation, the group needed to overcome the complexity of multi-site management, hampered by outdated, manual processes.

Concrete results: Time savings and improved efficiency: By teaming up with Mercateam, a specialist in the digitization of industrial processes, Groupe Seb has succeeded in digitally transforming and semi-automating its scheduling management. This collaboration has standardized processes between different sites and optimized skills management, a crucial aspect for the group. The Mercateam tool introduced a common repository, enabling better anticipation of training needs and more effective skills management.

The result has been a 30% reduction in the time spent managing schedules and a better allocation of human resources, contributing to a significant improvement in operational efficiency. The group was also able to replace 35 Excel, Word and PowerPoint files with the Mercateam tool, and fully digitize 5 processes, reinforcing the harmonization of skills monitoring and multi-skilling at the Tournus and Rumilly sites.

Impact and future prospects: Mercateam's digitalization drive has harmonized processes across the Group, significantly reduced the administrative workload, effectively combated absenteeism and improved preparation for future training, with a total of 13 courses launched. These advances were made possible thanks to a 100% digitized multi-skills matrix, covering 569 skills assigned to 166 employees, and optimized Job and Skills Planning (GPEC) thanks to centralized and standardized data. Guillaume Hanoteau, the Group's Production Director, also praised the success of Mercateam's rapid deployment, initially scheduled to take a month and a half.

Skills Management Challenges at Lisi Aerospace :

LISI Aerospace, a major player in the aerospace industry since 1977, operating in 9 countries and supplying essential components to all the world's aircraft, was facing challenges in skills management and planning. The need for a more flexible and dynamic solution was crucial to meet the sector's stringent safety and quality standards.

Transformation towards greater responsiveness and agility: The integration of the Mercateam tool marked a turning point for LISI Aerospace, which reinvented its operational management. Digitalization has facilitated communication between the field and human resources, offering real-time monitoring of skills and training. This development has increased versatility within the plant by 20%, and doubled the company's capacity for reactivity and agility, essential in particular during the health crisis.

Notable Advances and Impacts of Mercateam Deployment:

  • Time savings and risk reduction: Preparation for training audits has been considerably accelerated, and day-to-day management of absenteeism has been simplified, helping to reduce the health and safety risks associated with high-risk equipment.
  • Improved Communication and Training: Communication between support and the field has improved significantly, enabling Human Resources to plan training more efficiently and manage skills more effectively.
  • Optimized scheduling: Mercateam's digitalized scheduling facilitated rapid and accurate assignments, taking into account absenteeism and employee skills, thus improving versatility and team involvement.

Concrete results and future prospects:

  • Significant improvement in the working environment: The atmosphere in the field has improved considerably, reflecting a 20% increase in versatility within the plant.
  • Doubled capacity for responsiveness and agility: The ability to respond rapidly to challenges, particularly those posed by the health crisis, has been doubled.
  • Reduced preparation and training time: Audit preparation time was cut by a factor of three, and training time was reduced by a factor of four thanks to a customized workflow.

These case studies highlight how leading companies in their fields have adopted innovative approaches to scheduling management to overcome specific challenges. They demonstrate the importance of innovative planning to remain competitive and efficient in the ever-changing industrial landscape.

Summary and Reflection

  • Scheduling: A pillar of industrial productivity: Our journey through the various facets of scheduling reveals that it is much more than simply the organization of time and resources. It's a crucial element that directly influences a company's productivity, efficiency and, ultimately, profitability. Well-executed, strategic planning is a powerful lever for steering the industry towards success, by aligning human and material resources with business objectives.

Key points to remember

  • Digitization, automation and real-time monitoring: the essentials: If there's one lesson to be learned from our analysis, it's the vital importance of digitization and automation in modern scheduling management. The era of manual, reactive planning is over. Today, advanced digital tools, automation and real-time tracking systems are essential to remain competitive in today's fast-paced, ever-changing industrial environment. These technologies are not just enablers; they are transformers that are redefining the way industry works, bringing unrivalled precision, efficiency and adaptability.