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How to improve the efficiency of production planning for SME

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As soon as the business goes to the execution of individualized customer orders, it becomes important to fulfill orders of large number customers timely and in full volume. Since customer requirements frequently change and some orders canceled manufacturers need time to adjust their production programs based on the current situation.

  • Functional decisions

To ensure compliance of production plans to the current set of orders manufacturers have to carry out rescheduling often. Such conditions require high speed of computations of the operational planning system.

Production planning systems are becoming more flexible, reconfigurable, with a high level of automation of basic tasks. It is required that planning systems consider not only the load of production equipment (work centers), but other resources. In order to execute customized orders in most cost-effective way, it is necessary to reduce the lot size of the production. At the same time, you have to keep the efficiency of the manufacturing equipment. To fulfill placed orders timely it is necessary to ensure not only the availability of production capacities, but also materials. This requires the integration of production planning system with logistics planning of direct and reverse flows.

  • Technological decisions

From a technological point of view, the modern trend is to move to cloud computing and to provide software as a service (SaaS).

Being offered as SaaS, programs will work from the first minute, as opposed to big proprietary software systems that require installation, customization, and long implementation with lots of consultation, which makes them extremely costly for smaller companies.

Being cloud-based, on the other hand, provides high availability and security – in the case of professional data centers, servers and software are always up to date, eliminating the need for a company to maintain own servers and system administrator. Data center’s professionals are responsible for safety and availability of the data of production planning system. Server hardware and software is always kept in optimum condition, which provides high-speed access to data from anywhere in the world.

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