The schedule is the core around which all company activities revolve operationally. It’s what drives Purchasing to buy raw materials. It’s what Manufacturing builds to. It’s also what Accounting can use to determine and analyze cash flow. Everyone in the enterprise in some fashion is tied to the build schedule. Even maintenance needs the schedule to see where it can plan to take down a machine for repair and refurbishment.
Here are the ramifications of putting together a schedule that is unachievable.
Excess raw materials purchased
Due dates missed to customer
Excessive expediting due to unrealistic schedule
Poor cash flow because of money tied up in extra inventory
Extra overtime to meet schedule
Organizational stress and burnout
Quality levels will suffer due to pressure to meet a schedule
Maintenance schedules can get pushed out
You name it, it will happen. Because what’s happening is we overload the schedule and now we have to cram a month and a half worth of work into a month’s time. I worked for a company that took order after order after order without regard to whether or not it was capable of meeting the demand. We ended up with a three shift operation that was working 24x7 and darn near ended up with a union being certified because the employees had had enough of the constant pressure. I’m not saying having a union is good or bad but it’s a given, employees as human beings WILL find a way to deal with the incessant pressure.
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Chuck Nemer is a trainer/consultant with 40 years of experience in Supply Chain Management, Lean, Leadership, and APICS. He currently works with approximately 50 universities and 3000 students annually in supporting the use and play of the simulations in the classroom. Within those 40 years, he has taught, and continues to teach, professional certification classes for APICS, professional development seminars and programs on his own, and on behalf of colleges in their outreach programs to local and regional manufacturing firms.
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