October 9, 2023

Industrial scheduling: 5 tips to optimize your time

In the industrial sector, planning is often perceived as an administrative burden rather than a strategic element. However, well thought-out planning can be the key determinant of the success or failure of an industrial enterprise. In a context where time, a non-renewable resource, is vital, it is crucial to optimize time management to improve productivity.

schedule management - assignment planning

Planning management is more than just organization. It is at the heart of industrial performance, and has a direct impact on many essential aspects of the business. From the point of view of productivity to that of the supply chain, effective planning is the cornerstone of successful operations.

Impact on productivity

Poor planning can have a negative impact on productivity.

Production delaysThey can have a domino effect throughout the company.
Over- or under-utilization of resourcesWithout proper planning, you can end up with unused machines or premature wear due to overuse.
Decline in qualityPoor planning can put pressure on teams, which can affect the quality of the final product.
Cost increasesDelays and errors can lead to overtime and additional material costs, increasing production costs.

Importance for the supply chain

Planning is not limited to production; it is intrinsically linked to the supply chain. Effective planning enables :

Better coordination with suppliersPrecise planning enables you to communicate your requirements in real time to your suppliers, improving coordination and reducing delays.
Optimizing stock levelsGood planning management helps you maintain optimal stock levels, avoiding the costs associated with overstocking or out-of-stock situations.
Improving customer satisfactionSmooth, on-time production has a direct impact on customer satisfaction, which can be a major competitive advantage.
Agility in the face of the unexpectedSolid planning gives you the flexibility to react quickly to market changes or unforeseen events.

Adopt efficient planning software

In the digital age, it's essential to equip yourself with efficient digital tools to stay competitive. Planning software offers a multitude of advantages, including :

Task automationScheduling software automates repetitive tasks, freeing up time for more strategic activities.
Real-time visualizationThese tools offer interactive dashboards that let you track progress in real time.
Flexibility and adaptabilityThese solutions are often modular and can be tailored to your company's specific needs.
Integration with other systemsMost planning software can be integrated with other systems such as ERP or quality management systems.

Set up relevant KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential for measuring the effectiveness of your planning management. Here are some KPIs to consider:

Resource utilization rateMeasures the percentage of resources used in relation to total capacity.
Production timeThe number of hours or days required to complete a production cycle for a product or batch.
Synthetic rate of return (SRR)An indicator that combines equipment availability, operational performance and product quality to assess overall efficiency.
Cost priceThe total cost associated with producing a product, including direct costs such as materials and labor, as well as indirect costs such as equipment depreciation.
Versatility ratePlant agility is becoming essential. Versatility and multi-skilling are essential to ensure quality and safety.
Error-free assignment rateThe percentage of successful staff assignments, with the right person with the right skills assigned to the right job without errors or delays.
Number of skills assignedThe total number of distinct skills assigned to employees in the plant.
Number of authorizations grantedThe total number of authorizations or certifications granted to employees to perform certain tasks or use certain equipment.
Rate of trained employeesThe percentage of employees who have received adequate training to perform their respective tasks.
schedule management - assignment planning

Use Lean to eliminate waste

Lean is a proven approach to optimizing processes and eliminating waste. Here's how Lean can help:

Benefits of LeanExplanations
Identifying wasteLean helps you identify the seven types of waste in your production process.
Continuous improvement (Kaizen)Lean encourages a culture of continuous improvement in which every team member is involved.
StandardizationLean standardizes best practices, making it easier to train and integrate new employees.

Prioritize tasks with the Eisenhower matrix

The Eisenhower matrix is a simple but effective decision-making tool. It helps you classify tasks into four categories:

Urgent and importantTo be done immediately.
Important, but not urgentTo be planned.
Urgent, but not importantTo delegate.
Neither urgent nor importantEliminate.

Integrate planning into an overall strategy

Planning should not be an isolated activity, but integrated into the company's overall strategy. Here's why:

Alignment with corporate objectivesEffective planning must be aligned with the company's long-term objectives.
Taking external constraints into accountPlanning must take into account external factors such as market fluctuations or regulatory changes.
Periodic reviewThe planning strategy needs to be reviewed and updated regularly to adapt to internal and external changes.

Selecting an industrial planning management tool is a strategic decision that can have a significant impact on your company's performance. With a multitude of solutions available on the market, how can you be sure you're making the right choice? In this section, we'll look at the essential selection criteria and give a brief introduction to Mercateam, which stands out for its advanced features.

Assignment planning / Team planning / Planning management - Mercateam

Selection criteria

Before making a decision, it's crucial to consider several factors that can influence the tool's effectiveness. Here are a few criteria to consider:

FeaturesThe tool must offer functionalities such as resource planning, real-time tracking, and integration with other systems.
CostThe cost should include the purchase price, as well as installation, training and maintenance costs.
Support and Customer ServiceGood technical support and responsive customer service are essential.
ScalabilityThe tool must be able to adapt to your company's growth.
Data securityThe tool must comply with current data security regulations.
Ergonomics and ease of useAn easy-to-use, intuitive tool will reduce training time and increase user adoption.

Mercateam: Specializing in industrial know-how management, Mercateam offers a complete solution for planning management. Its functionalities include skills management, planning, training, work instructions, and strategic workforce planning.

Assignment planning / Team planning / Planning management - Mercateam

What sets Mercateam apart?

Mercateam offers a complete solution that goes beyond simple scheduling management. With features such as skills management and training, it enables a holistic approach to industrial know-how management. Adaptable, Mercateam was created with and for manufacturers, ensuring a hassle-free user experience.

In short, choosing the right scheduling tool depends on a number of factors, including functionality, cost and level of support. Mercateam stands out as a complete solution that can meet the most demanding industrial scheduling needs.

Industrial scheduling is not an easy task, but with the right strategies and tools, it can become a key success factor for your company. By taking a proactive approach and implementing the tips and tricks presented in this article, you can dramatically improve your planning management and increase your company's productivity and profitability.

Optimize your industrial planning now!