Production Planning Activities
Production planning focuses on the planning and daily management of production activities. This includes ensuring all necessary supplies are in stock, planning work in process, and handling rework. Production planning also involves managing the human resources needed to build a product.
The supply chain involves all materials, equipment, support services and sub-assemblies necessary to build a product. Production planning activities for supply chain include ordering manufacturing materials such as adhesives and cleaning supplies, ordering replacement raw materials, and tools needed for manufacturing.
Production planners often work closely with the engineering department because production planners build the engineer’s design. Production planning often has the responsibility of distributing updated drawings and change notices to the shop floor. Production planning may involve reporting nonconforming product and frequently occurring manufacturing problems to engineering. Production planners may report difficulties in assembling the product to engineering for design review. Production planners are kept up to date about parts becoming obsolete and their identified substitutes.
Work in Process (WIP) is all product in the process of being built. Production planning activities related to WIP include distributing kits to the shop floor and planning the assembly of work in process kits. WIP must be prioritized so that those items closest to completion are finished first and rush jobs are identified as such. Production planning activities are aimed at building product as it is needed to minimize both work in process and product sitting on the shelf waiting to be shipped.
Production planning activities also involve employee scheduling and creating work load plans. It is necessary to balance the amount of work given to employees to prevent WIP back logs while minimizing idle time. WIP must also be planned based on customer orders. Production planners may also have responsibility for planning equipment down times and maintenance to minimize lost production time.
Rework is the term used for all product that must be reworked to be made acceptable for shipment. Rework involves troubleshooting units that fail quality tests before shipment and then repairing them so that they can be sold. Rework can also include repairing units damaged by transport to the customer. Rework may include returned defective product.