Production Calendar App: Benefits, Features, and Uses
Manufacturing consists of a highly complex set of processes. From production scheduling to workforce management, businesses are modernizing ineffective manual processes with digital solutions. One of the best ways to improve productivity is to implement a production calendar app.
In this article, we’ll discuss how a production calendar app can streamline manufacturing planning and scheduling, help you allocate resources to meet the growing amount of customer orders, and simplify work order management.
What is production scheduling?
Production scheduling in manufacturing helps complete orders efficiently and on time. When creating your schedule, you decide where, when, and how the product will be made, as well as which materials will be used. The point is to deliver the products on time while avoiding bottlenecks and inefficiencies. A production schedule is based on calculations about the items that will be produced. It specifies materials, locations, timelines, and other production details.
The main goal of production scheduling is to sequence production tasks, allocate resources and maximize their use, adapt to changing customer demand, and deliver products on time.
What is production scheduling software?
Production scheduling software is a tool that helps to plan and schedule production activities. It uses advanced mathematical algorithms to analyze and calculate optimal production schedules. Production scheduling software generates an accurate model of the manufacturing environment that includes up-to-date information about necessary resources such as people, equipment, raw materials, as well as incoming components from suppliers.
The primary goal of production planning software is to streamline tasks, create effective production workflows, and optimize resource allocation. In the end, this helps to create a manufacturing production schedule that boosts productivity and allows you to complete tasks on time.
Benefits of production scheduling software
High-quality scheduling software for manufacturing provides your business with multiple benefits.
Manual scheduling on spreadsheets is both time-consuming and prone to errors. Production schedule software generates schedules automatically based on customer orders and demand forecasts. It can assign tasks based on available resources without additional effort from the scheduler. And if demand suddenly changes, you can quickly adjust and optimize the schedule.
If you can produce more in a shorter timeframe, you can manage higher demand. If you can take on more work, you can process a greater number of sales. Ultimately, efficient manufacturing production scheduling will contribute to larger revenues.
Fewer inventory mistakes
Production scheduling software decreases human error because it relies on automation and precise data. Some solutions can factor in sales orders, inventory levels, and current schedules to generate optimal schedules with minimal imperfections.
As a consequence, you get the exact amount of materials for each cycle and avoid understocking and overstocking. This helps you create a smooth and error-resistant workflow.
Manufacturing scheduling software is great as a communication tool. Your production scheduling system can be a unified communication platform that conveys information in a comprehensible format usable across the organization. A high-quality planning and scheduling system with visual scheduling and other tools can make the manufacturing plans understandable for each and every department. Besides, instantly accessible information guarantees that no machinery will be double-booked.
Better customer satisfaction
Clear understanding of timings and responsibilities reduces bottlenecks and delays. When you meet promises, keep customers informed, and deliver products on time, they become more satisfied with your services. This increases the likelihood of repeat purchases and helps to spread positive word-of-mouth about your service.
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Main features of a production calendar app
Production calendar app is usually a part of a comprehensive production scheduling or ERP scheduling software. Here are the key features you should look for.
Manufacturing order generation
This is the very basic feature, but its quality and precision can vary depending on the concrete solution. Good systems can allow you to flexibly convert, plan, and even generate manufacturing orders from a critical stock level notification. You can quickly calculate material requirements, book items from stock, and get accurate estimates of production costs and lead times when processing new orders.
Production schedule generation
Many apps allow you to manage your production planning schedule through calendars or dynamic Gantt charts. Gantt charts display in a single chart both human and nonhuman resources, along with associated costs. You can also easily reschedule production activities if priorities change or materials are delayed. Later, you could set a baseline to monitor planned schedules against actual progress in real-time. This will help you identify anomalies and reallocate resources as needed.
Production planning and control software can help you create unique workflows. Automated workflows may include various triggers for status and attendee’ changes. You can also use quality control features like task approval settings. Some apps let you assign an authorized person to inspect and approve work before it progresses in the production process.
Manufacturing capacity planning software can help you improve workforce management. It might simplify the onboarding process and help you easily document workers' skills and availability, particularly details like PTO and vacation. It might also provide real-time insights into the progress of each worker's tasks and cover payrolls. You may also be able to visualize workforce allocation on graphs to identify overallocation. This will help you balance the workflow and boost productivity of every team member.
Scenario planning helps you anticipate and deal with various unexpected situations during the production process. For instance, if there is a disruption on the production line, software for production planning and control can evaluate the repercussions, and help you quickly re-optimize the schedule to adapt to the new circumstances. It might also automatically adjust if the arrival of materials is delayed, which helps you maintain workflow continuity.
If your manufacturing scheduler has a dashboard, you can monitor customer, manufacturing, and purchase orders, as well as critical stock levels, sales performance, and more. Plus, workers might be able to report shop floor activities through tablets or smartphones. As a result, you can gain valuable information about specific equipment, worker performance, supplier relationships, material consumption, and other key metrics.
Learn how Conexwest successfully optimized operations with ProjectBoard.
- Greater process control
- Increased revenue
- Reduced wastes (asset misuse, workforce downtime)
- Effective human resource allocation
Download our PDF guide and gain insights from Conexwest's success story.
Production scheduler vs. production planner: the difference
Manufacturing planning and scheduling are related but different concepts.
Manufacturing planning sets the overall direction of production. Usually, you have to develop a manufacturing plan before deciding on concrete schedules. When planning production, you think about equipment, resources, and workforce you will need to achieve your production goals. Manufacturing planning is a part of your medium- and long-term business strategy. It is a complex process that inevitably involves human decision-making.
In contrast, factory scheduling is a more reactive process that addresses real-time production needs. A schedule tells the manufacturer when and what goods have to be produced, and details instructions for production. Generally speaking, scheduling is easier to automate, which is why production schedulers are among the most popular mobile apps for manufacturing industry.
Case study: Production Calendar App
ProjectBoard.io is an advanced production calendar and work order management software that we developed for Conexwest, a shipping container manufacturer. At its core is the project board, which is accompanied by a mobile app.
ProjectBoard has the following features:
Production calendar. The main dashboard displays all tasks and each worker's planned activities in a production calendar. Managers can initiate tasks and assign them to available workers with the relevant skills. This overview helps to plan production schedules and track task progress.
Worker Check-In and Task Execution. Workers can easily check in at their workplace by scanning a QR code with the mobile app. The app then presents the assigned tasks for the day. As workers start doing their job, they mark progress and indicate breaks. Managers can later analyze each worker's performance and overall progress.
Human Resource Management: You can add workers to the system and specify details such as skills, hourly rates, contact information, location, and working hours.
Inventory Management: The app includes some features of manufacturing inventory management software, which allow you to manage and track inventory within the system.
Timesheets and Reporting: You can use timesheets and detailed reporting features to get insights into operations and boost productivity.
Overall, the production calendar in ProjectBoard helped to improve production planning, task execution, and operational efficiency.
In conclusion, effective production planning and scheduling is the foundation for a profitable manufacturing business. A production calendar app can help you automate tasks and optimize schedules, ultimately driving better efficiency and growth. High-quality manufacturing production software will make sure that your products are delivered on time and will leave your customers satisfied.
If you want to start your manufacturing digital transformation, don’t hesitate to reach out to Apiko. We have experience in manufacturing workforce management app development, production calendar development, and more!