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How should production planning work in manufacturing companies?

Production Planning

Production planning (PPS) is the task of planning and controlling production processes in industrial plants.

Main goals here are:

  • optimal use of resources
  • short lead times
  • optimal material stocks
  • consistent adherence to production dates

Production planning PPS thus forms the superordinate framework for the production control, on the basis of which the detailed planning can then be carried out. Production planning systems ensure a uniform database on which all process participants can work. In addition, the system ensures that this data is updated in real time. Thus, the production control and the detailed planning based on the PPS system can be handled.

How can production planning and detailed planning be combined with ERP?

With ERP, the viewing level is one step higher:

  • Detailed planning: Very short time horizon, limited to individual machines and work.
  • Production control: Short time horizon, for example, manages higher-ranking occupancy plans.
  • Production Planning PPS: Medium-term time horizon, has the task to increase the general production efficiency and to meet deadlines.
  • ERP: Long-term time horizon, collects data in the entire enterprise and not only in the manufacturing.

ERP systems in the company connect all departments - from purchasing through production and logistics to sales. This allows ERP to create an important database for PPS, fine-tuning and ultimately fine-planning. The system collects all the important data about incoming orders, purchases, scheduling and logistics in real time.

This information is important for PPS in the first step. If, for example, sales concludes a new framework agreement, it is the task of the PPS to ensure the basic planning of production. On the basis of further ERP data, such as planned deliveries of primary products, the production control can then start planning the actual production. Because ERP also collects information about supply bottlenecks or capacity bottlenecks in the company, fine-tuning also benefits significantly from the system.

How do production control and detailed planning fit together?

In production control, the superordinate production program is divided into small packages. The detailed planning then goes into even more detail. Dates, production periods, results, resources and responsibilities are planned down to the lowest level - the individual employee or the individual machine. In this respect, the detailed planning thus uses the "packages" tied up in the production control. However, fine planning rarely works so well in practice. In particular, the enormous amounts of data, dependencies, short-term changes or new product specifications are major planning challenges. In this respect, it is more important than ever for companies to get sound support from the software side for detailed planning:

  • The software must be able to work on the basis of real-time data.
  • It is helpful when analysing, visualizing and simulating the current situation. This allows project managers to make proactive decisions.
  • In addition, the software must be so flexible that both small-batch and mass production is possible.

The software can provide crucial help, especially in order and capacity planning. As a result, companies are significantly optimizing their production processes.

An ERP system can provide precisely that amount of flexibility in production planning. Well thought-out tools help companies react flexibly and in part, automatically to changing customer requirements. Possible delays or capacity bottlenecks are detected in good time with the software so that countermeasures can be taken quickly.

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