Production Planning has been into existence since mankind realize the need for “Plans” to grow. What started as serious brainstorming by business experts is a software’s job today. Planning becomes the spine of a production job to establish the grade of the output.
Planning brings in certainty to the objectives of a production cycle. Today, businesses rely on Production Planning software to work in conjunction with the enterprise system ahead for carrying out the plans. Moreover, it reduces the coupling issues between planning and execution, for example, the timeless misses, man-hours for a particular task and work.
Production Planning Software is being utilized to plan the below stages of any production cycle:
- Product scheduling
- Product dispatch
- Product inspection
- Quality management
- Supply management
- Equipment management
- Inventory management
It is a technology-driven solution that answers the basic questions of a production cycle. Right from what to produce, in what quantity to produce and when all is handled using a production planning software.
But the real question is this: do all the Production Planning Software offer the same degree of precision?
An ideal Production Planning Software is the one that lowers production cost and optimize available resources like employees, equipment and raw material.
The market is brimming with Production Planning Software. And you need to pick the one that does the magic for your organization. Before you buy any software, the expectations must be set according to what you want it to do.
Do you want it to utilize the resources more effectively, monitor the flow, estimate resources, optimize the inventory, improve productivity or reduce the production costs further?
This is just the tip of an iceberg. An insider knows what a Production Planning Software is capable of achieving if it has the right feature set.
How to Decide the Features of a Production Planning Software?
An advanced Production Planning Software must work in communion with the existing production process and streamline the existing process 100% in FMCG or manufacturing companies. An ERP Software, made up of multiple modules, can be called its features to handle tasks. Let us have a look at what modules or features make the Production Planning Software suitable:
Let us start by unveiling the top layers. Any software becomes very usable and adds to the product only when it has an intuitive graphical user interface. Not only does that simplify the use of the software, but it also makes navigation easy.
A software with a good interface ensures the user has access to all the data like inventory, raw material, resources and more at a glance so that the plans can be altered and executed seamlessly.
With ERP and such software in place, the entire ecosystem of the production cycle is data-driven. As the data moves from one stage to another, the system proceeds ahead. Output data of one step becomes input to the next step and that is why aggregation of data is a vital feature to keep the production cycle going on.
Key Performance Indicators
Planning is a never-ending process. A production process once planned cannot be left to itself as there are lots of external factors impacting it. To keep a close eye on whether the process is working as per the plan, Key performance parameters are gathered to analyze the cycle.
Also known as KPIs, these factors can be deliveries met or not, inventory quantity met or not, use of equipment optimal or not and many more of the like. Any deviation can lead to a havoc. KPI measurement makes it easy for the production cycle execute the way it is desired.
The most vital aspect of any production process is meeting the timeline. Raw material acquisition timeline, delivery timeline, inventory preparation timelines and more are directly relatable to the plans.A software that indicates the timelines and the misses that could happen as per the state of the production is much important for the production to work as per the plan.
During planning the timelines are the most important landmarks that are created and are required to be checked timely.
Cloud or on-premise models
Software, as a service, is garnering a lot of traction in the market. With this flexibility, it brings in the production planning software on the cloud, making it easy for the production cycle owners to scale up the operations and increases production volumes.
A lot of customer engagement is involved in a production cycle. The planning cannot be completed without knowing the customer, his demand volumes, his delivery timelines and more.
Having a Customer Relations Management(CRM) in the planning tool ensures the planning team is always sure about the output and that will drive it in the right direction.
Inventory Management and Sales
The inventory production rate and sales cycle must always be in synchronization and it is a major contributor to the efficiency of the production cycle.
A planning software helps maintain a balance between the two by integrating the data coming in and ensuring the sales targets and inventory production are in pace. Such an efficient planning ensures
Evaluating the required functionality for seamless operations is a must before you know the right feature set. Going for a feature-packed software solution, out of the features of which, you may not even utilize half is a folly as you may end up paying for something that do not value-add to your operations.
The right balance of features can be pinned down only when you know the intrinsic process and have the right technology partner to transform them into a software application. For this, you must hire custom product planning software development experts.