Manufacturing Scheduling Software for Small Business

Video transcript on how production managers can use MRPeasy manufacturing scheduling software

Learn how MRPeasy helps production managers to plan production

  1. ·         Several ways of scheduling manufacturing – either if you make-to-stock, or make-to-order
  2. ·         How to edit and update manufacturing order details
  3. ·         How to reschedule work orders

The production schedule

Let’s go to “Production planning.”

Under “Production schedule,” we see a color-coded calendar of both manufacturing orders and individual operations.

To see what each color represents, click on the “Quick help” button, which shows the individual help section for every page in MRPeasy.

With the “Choose option” button, it is possible to choose how much information is displayed on the calendar.

The production schedule can also be viewed as a Gantt chart of manufacturing orders, or a Gantt chart of workstations.

If you want to look into individual calendars of workstations, then we will find these in the “Workstations” section, together with other workstation-specific reports.

If you wish to look into a worker’s schedule, you can do that in the in the “Human resources” tab in the “Settings” section, by opening the user’s reports.

Different approaches for production scheduling

There are several different ways of planning manufacturing orders. Which ones to use depends on the specific business processes of your company.

If you make-to-stock, then you can create manufacturing orders manually, or based on low inventory alerts, or forecasts.

If you make-to-order, then, from the customer order, it’s possible to raise demand for a product, raise a manufacturing order, or even have the software automatically schedule a manufacturing order to the optimal time.

Manually creating manufacturing orders

First, let’s manually create a new manufacturing order.

We can add it by clicking “plus” in the “Manufacturing Orders” tab.

Let’s assume we want to build 100 products.

Now we are shown the start and end times of production. If we have several alternative bills of materials, then all options are displayed.

By default, the software works in a forward scheduling mode. First, it looks for the earliest possible availability time of materials; then it scans through the calendars of each required workstation to find a suitable earliest time when workstations are free, and the operations can be performed.

If we change the start date from today to a day in the future, the software will look for an earliest time for production after that date.

With the Enterprise version of MRPeasy, it is also possible to use backward scheduling, so that the software finds the latest possible time before a specified due date.

If we look into details of the schedule, then, in the “Parts” section, we will see the status of materials and an estimated availability date for parts that need to be procured.

In the “Routings” section, we see the details of all operations, including default assigned workers. Here, we can reassign the operations to someone else, and even edit the workstation. For example, we can add workstations to speed up the operation.

In any case, if we have several alternative routings, we can choose among the alternatives from here as well.

For now, let’s confirm the suggested schedule and save the order.

Creating manufacturing orders from the “critical on-hand” report

Either if you make-to-stock, or make-to-order, then – in both cases – the “Critical on-hand” report in the “Stock” section of MRPeasy shows demand for products that must be produced.

If a product’s available quantity at stock falls below the minimal stock keeping value, then the products will be listed on this shortage report.

For example, if you make-to-order, then your minimal stock keeping value could be 0 for a product. Then, if demand is raised from a customer order, your inventory will become negative, and the product will show up on the list.

To raise demand from a customer order, open it, click the “Check stock and book items” button, and click on “Book all items.” Now, available products from stock will be booked for the order, and demand will be raised for the rest.

To create a manufacturing order, simply click on the button at the end of the line in the critical on-hand report.

If you make-to-stock, then these products will become available in stock. If you make-to-order, then these products will be automatically booked to where they were needed.

Creating manufacturing orders from the customer order

If you make-to-order, then it might make sense for you to directly create manufacturing orders based on a customer order.

You can create manufacturing orders when you open the customer order and click on “Check stock and book items.”

If you click on the “Book manually” button on a product’s line, then you will be taken to the bookings page, where you can manually create a manufacturing order.

Also, from the “Check stock and book items” page, it is possible to have MRPeasy automatically generate manufacturing orders for you, if you choose the corresponding option and click on “Book all items”.

Even more, starting from the Enterprise plan, it is possible to set delivery dates to your line items and have MRPeasy use backward scheduling to automatically plan production – just in time for delivery.

Creating manufacturing orders from a forecast

Lastly, if you have materials with long lead times, it is possible to use the procurement forecasting function in MRPeasy manufacturing scheduling software to calculate material requirements and post manufacturing orders to the production schedule.

We will find this function from the “Procurement” section of MRPeasy.

It is possible to choose if the forecast should consider current inventory and planned purchases or not. If backward scheduling is available, then it is possible to schedule operations to finish just in time for the due date.

Once we calculate the forecast, we will see all details about required purchases, and we can create both manufacturing orders and purchase orders.

Manufacturing order details page and editing the details

Inside the Manufacturing order details page, which is the administrative screen for the production manager, we see all the details of orders – including the cost break-down, attached files, related customer orders, serial numbers, subcontracts and more.

If production has not yet started, then if we edit the quantity of the order, the whole order will be re-calculated and re-scheduled. If production is already in progress, then the quantity will be updated according to what the workers report.

The Materials section shows the booking and availability status of all the materials, including stock locations and availability status.

If some materials are not booked, then by clicking the “To book all parts” button, the software will try to book the available materials for this manufacturing order.

If necessary, it is possible to book extra materials, directly raise purchase orders for materials, and even add other items that were not listed on the bill of materials in the first place.

Also, you can release booked materials back to stock. If you do not want to rebook them later, you can remove demand for these by doing the return action twice.

The Operations section shows details of the planned operations, assigned workers and performed actions.

When we edit an operation, we can add another workstation, edit the planned start and finish times, add and edit workers and edit reported production times.

At the bottom of the manufacturing order, we can see alerts which MRPeasy has created, and we can also add notes, and even important flags, which will be displayed in the table of manufacturing orders.

Dynamic drag-and-drop rescheduling

If for some reason we need to reschedule an entire manufacturing order, or even an individual operation, we can do that by simply dragging and dropping it on a new date in the production schedule, or the Gantt chart.

The system takes the availability of the workstations into account and only allows dragging to an available spot. So, there’s no chance for accidental double-bookings.

The changes are instantly reflected in all charts and calendars.

Naturally, it’s not possible to drag an already started operation to a new time; however, if a mistake was made, this can be manually fixed in the manufacturing order’s details page in the Operations section.

Updating bills of materials and routings

If you update a bill of materials, or a routing, then this update is not automatically conveyed to existing manufacturing orders. If you wish to update the manufacturing orders, then after saving the bill of materials or the routing, MRPeasy will prompt you – if you wish to do that.

You will then be shown a list of manufacturing orders. The software can recalculate planned orders, which have not yet begun.

If an order is already in-progress, then you can open it up and manually update the materials or operations, since some materials might already be consumed, and some operations already finished.

This video focused on the functionality, which is designed to make the life of the production manager easy.

To learn more about the functionality of MRPeasy, please see our other videos!