Human resources planning

The Settings -> Human resources -> Planning page shows the number of users required for each department in each day if planning is done by departments. For example:

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
Department 1 10 12 8 10
Department 2 10 10 10 9

This allows understanding how to allocate workers when the production is constrained by the number of available skilled workers.

Jump to:

  1. What is a department?
  2. How to plan works by departments? How to assign operations to departments?
  3. How to report production operations using the departments?
  4. How to plan human resources when production is constrained by skilled workers?
  5. How to optimize production scheduling when workers' availability is constrained or unreliable?
  6. How to assign default departments to operations or work stations?

How to plan human resources in production?

When scheduling production, then the order of priorities is almost always the following:

  • First priority: availability of materials.
  • Second priority: availability of work stations capacity.
  • Third priority: availability of workers.

Why so? Because:

  1. Material availability is difficult or impossible to negotiate. If you do not have it, you cannot make the product.
  2. Many machines' and work stations' equipment is much more expensive and the uptime is more valuable (i.e. productive) than labor hours. Hence these assets should be loaded as much as possible.
  3. The workers resource can be most easily rescheduled, workers could be negotiated, possibly re-assigned to another department or re-trained. Or when needed, extra shifts could be introduced.

This means that:

  1. It is more important to schedule optimal loading for work stations and try to fill the departments for each day.
  2. As a second option, reschedule the manufacturing orders when available workers cannot be gathered.
  3. If this happens constantly, some work stations might need to be closed to prevent the issue.

Because of this, in MRPEasy by default, the production scheduling:

  1. first looks for material availability (based on the BOM),
  2. then schedules work station's capacity (based on the Routing),
  3. and then assigns the default workers from the Routing or the work stations' details to the operation (without considering workers' capacity).

It might feel comfortable trying to schedule workers as 'work stations' in higher priority than work stations, but in reality, this will yield poorer effectiveness, productivity and work station loading, which will directly and negatively affect the lead time of the products, customer satisfaction, and revenue. The primary focus needs to be to perform works in an optimal tight schedule, and negotiating workers availability before rescheduling the orders.

How to optimize production scheduling, if there's not a constant number of required skilled workers?

Re-scheduling is always a headache, so it's better to avoid it, if possible. The answer in many cases is to keep open an optimal amount of work stations in the software for scheduling, which would correspond to the average number of skilled workers available. 

Then your capacity planning and lead time estimation will be in broad terms accurate, likely within a few days accuracy.

Technically this means that you might schedule only 5 work stations of Welders for each day,

  • but on some days 2 welders will show up, and you will fall behind schedule these days;
  • and on other days 8 welders will show up, and you will catch up these days.

How to do that, read tips from here: What is a work station type?