Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Key Components of a Manufacturing Production Plan

If you’re in the business of manufacturing a product then you need to develop a thorough production plan. That applies to everything from making “widgets” to sandwiches. The type of effective production plan depends on your business model. It will help if you can hone in on what type of manufacturing production will be most beneficial to your business. Based on that answer, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about inventory, material purchases and transportation. Consider which of these production plan strategies apply to your business:

The Demand Matching Strategy

This type of manufacturing applies to a company who is only making a product to exactly match the demand for that product. A restaurant only makes a single meal when a customer orders that meal. They have all the ingredients on hand for the meal but don’t go into “production” until the order is placed.

The Level Production Strategy

In this plan, a company will make an average number of products to match a projected demand for those projects. This is a consistent approach based on tangible order numbers. If that restaurant sells an average of two dozen chicken dinners every night then it makes sense for them to prep two dozen chicken dinners every night in anticipation of the orders.

The Stock Making Strategy

This strategy involves making product before a customer would place an order. The benefit of this plan is the ability to make a master production schedule that will determine a specific set of goals per manufacturing run. You’re going to make 100 widgets every day to meet any anticipated demand over the year.

Once you have settled on the type of manufacturing strategy you’ll be adopting, you should plan out a production schedule. Don’t guess as how much time or labor would be involved in making a product. You should conduct test runs of the manufacturing process to get a baseline for those facts. That will help you estimate what a typical run of a product will cost in terms of time and work force.

The test run can also help you develop a schedule for ordering supplies. If it takes a single day to create a product and you plan on having a consistent five day run then you can figure out how much materials you need on hand to complete an order. It all comes down to a matter of organization and scheduling. Don’t leave anything to guesswork.