Hansen Product Ltd is an established manufacturing company in New Zealand. The company is a prominent manufacturer of pipe fittings and valves commonly used in agricultural, horticultural, marine, engineering, commercial and domestic markets. To ensure that the company remains competitive and develops further to international markets, the company employs the production scheduling and control in its planning and production process. Time is precious in this completive and dynamic business world. This call for effective management of time and resources to ensure the maximization of both the utility and economies of scale associated with planning. In this regard, Production process is not left out in this daunting task of planning. Planning in production process demand a strategic design of an effective production schedule which not only minimize time but also spell out in detail all the processes involved in the entire production process of a given product such as pipe fittings in the case of Hansen. Most companies have well designed business strategies but fail to have a well organized production schedule.
These in most cases pose a great challenge to the effective operation of the companies. It therefore calls for an organized and effective production scheduling which not only promote efficiency in the production process but also significantly reduce the cost of production in a company. This will ensure that Hansen Product Ltd Company is actively competitive; thus, enjoy the economies of scale. This paper takes a critical analysis of production scheduling and its impact in the development of Hansen product Ltd Company in New Zealand. According to Camillus, (1986), “Production scheduling involves allocation of facilities, materials requirement planning and employee scheduling based on available resources and subject to constraints.” Camillus, (1986), further illustrates that,
Production schedules typically consist of machine loading charts, workforce rosters and materials requisition sheets. They also specify the items to be produced and the quantities to be produced. Shop floor managers thus have a complete picture of what they have to achieve and the resources available.
Production planning and Production scheduling in Hansen Product Ltd
Production planning is a process which requires a critical analysis of several production factors and processes. In this case, production schedule is a longer process which needs a considerable period for an ultimate quality of the strategic production plan. According to Roubellat, (2008), “It is appropriate production technology and an effective production plan that helps businesses produce quality products at acceptable costs. Production technology covers a vast range of specific processes as well as incidentals like engineering and operating procedures.”In Hansen Company, the production of pipes, pipe fittings and valves requires the application of production planning and production scheduling technique. In this case, the company actively uses these techniques in its production technique.
Production Scheduling and Control
Production scheduling according to Roubellat (2008), “is a short-term exercise with detailed schedules for individual machines. Original schedules might have to be revised based on scheduling constraints. For example, required machines might not be available or required materials might still be in transit.”Toward this, he planning manager is tasked to with the duty of ensuring that all the factors affecting production are carefully catered for in the reparation of the production schedule.
According to Roubellat (2008), Production control focuses on the application of the plan which results from the production planning. Computerized techniques, such as material requirements planning and optimized production technology, combine elements of planning and control. Production control is a crucial process in Hansen Product Ltd Company and it goes hand in hand with both planning and production scheduling.
Production Scheduling Benefits
Hansen Product has over the years developed and increased its production level and this development could be attributed to the use of appropriate technology which involves the use of production scheduling and control in the production process in the company.
Production scheduling has got a number of benefits to the company:
- Promotes and enhance the decision of whether delivery commitments can be met in due time with a given level of available resources
- Enables maintenance of production machines with minimal impact on production activities in Hansen Product Company.
- It gives shop floor supervisors with specific instructions on the operation and therefore helps them start on the work straightaway without time wastage. In this case, the production process is efficient.
- Production scheduling provides managers in a company or organization specific targets to check whether performance is up to standard and is within time frame.
- It is a great incentive to efficiency this is because it enhances uninterrupted production thus reducing funds locked up as work-in-progress thereby promote competiveness of a company and in turn boost its profitability in the market.
- It promotes throughputs and maximum utilization of machine and worker capacities in a production company.
Before the arrival of scheduling software, production scheduling was quite difficult since it entailed manual process which was full of human error. Technological l progress and innovations in computer has made it easy as compared to old day. However, new constraints and challenges have emerged.
- Accurate data and information required for proper scheduling is often not available, this make the process to either delay or less accurate. In this case, forecasting becomes difficult in the production process a times.
- Sudden changes to plans and schedules is a frequent enough occurrence
- Production Scheduling still needs human inputs that cannot be automated; it cannot therefore work without the skills and efforts of human being.
- System problems can impact on schedule preparation, which must be done without fail
- Planning and Organizational problems can impact on how good the production schedules turn out to be and on the other hand it affects how bad the schedule comes out. Towards this, it is affected by so many external variables.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
According to Camillus, (1986),
ERP (enterprise resource planning) is an industry term for the broad set of activities that helps a business manages the important parts of its business. The information made available through an ERP system provides visibility for key performance indicators (KPIs) required for meeting corporate objectives. ERP software applications can be used to manage product planning, parts purchasing, inventories, interacting with suppliers, providing customer service, and tracking orders. ERP can also include application modules for the finance and human resources aspects of a business
Hansen Product Ltd Company has improved its competiveness and production integrity through the application of ERP and new production technologies. These strategies are meant to increase the production capacity of the company.
Benefits of ERP in Production and non-production
Production process in Hansen Product Company requires high level of planning. In this process of planning, the application of ERP has come in handy since it has not only increased efficiency but also improved time management in the company both in production and non-production
Relationship between production and non- production
Production process and non-production process in the company are interlinked since each activity directly affects the other. For instance, a delay in production affects the availability of the product which in turn affects distribution and management. In this case, the activities are directly related in the company.