Tag Archive: master scheduling

Is JIT Dead?

September 23rd, 2020

Several clients are wondering, “Is JIT Dead?”. Definitely not. But, if you are ordering just-in-time literally from China and expecting to not experience disruptions without strategic stockpiles, capacity or agility built into the picture is not smart. Listen to our video on JIT.




The bottom line is to utilize JIT concepts with an uncommon common sense approach. In essence, consider building relationships with your supply chain partners so that you can quickly manage changing conditions. Create a resilient supply chain, stay on top of changing customer demand patterns, build them into your replenishment process, develop backup sources of supply, and determine strategic inventory, capacity and/or resources to support your critical customers. Last but not least, design a SIOP (sales, inventory, operations planning) process to keep your demand and supply in alignment while improving your customer experience, profitability and cashflow.

If you are interested in an assessment of your demand planning, master scheduling, inventory replenishment and material requirements process to determine if a “smart” JIT approach would provide the win-win-win of improving the customer experience while increasing profit and cashflow, contact us.

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The Value of Demand Planning

February 13th, 2018

In supply chain circles, there are lots of exciting concepts to discuss and debate such as lean, master scheduling, theory of constraints and many more; however, we have found that our most successful clients start with the customer!  

If you concur that we are in an Amazon-impacted marketplace where the customer is king (no longer is it cash!), prioritizing demand planning is essential.  

Do you have a position focused on demand planning?  Or do you have someone who knows it is at least part of their focus?  Does anyone realize its importance?  Let’s discuss the value…

  1. Without customers, you have no company– understanding their needs and what will compel them to buy from you vs. the competition couldn’t be more important.
  2. Do you know how your forecast compares with the recent past?– Again, understanding your customers and why they are changing couldn’t be more important to positioning your business to succeed long-term.
  3. Let’s take a step back – do you have an idea of what you think you’ll sell this year?– Let’s hope so!  Imagine how hard it will be for your HR resources, your operations resources (to determine which machinery to prioritize, purchase and train on), your suppliers and more to run efficiently while serving you and your customers if everything is a surprise.
  4. Is your sales mix changing? – We’ve seen many clients who spiral into a mess not because they don’t have a forecast but because they have no idea that the product mix has changed.  Different products come with different materials, different skills, different complexity and different requirements overall.
  5. What is the timing?– We’ve also seen clients with predictable annual sales (actually incredibly predictable) yet the monthly, weekly and daily sales could be vastly different.  Operations couldn’t keep up.  The customer suffered.  Margins declined.  Timing matters!

We would venture to estimate that 99% of our clients can benefit from an increased focus on demand planning.  Why not give it a go?  If you would like an audit of your current process, please contact us.


SIOP Success is a Straight Line to People

May 26th, 2016
SIOP success

The technical aspects of SIOP still have to filter through people. Success happens when everyone in an organization is operating from a single integrated plan.

As with everything in business success, SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) success is a straight line back to people. Thus, it is the reason I started my business with the “Profit through People” brand and continue with it as one of our service lines and for our newsletter. In the last 5 years, we have completed many SIOP projects and have found the keys to delivering rapid, bottom line results – exceptional customer service, significant growth, improved margins, accelerated cash flow and high morale. These keys to success are built into our proprietary process for SIOP, 4 EXCEL, which drives exponential results.

Even though SIOP is all about aligning demand with supply and has many technical components ranging from demand planning to master scheduling to inventory strategy and cash flow planning, we have gained the most significant results by aligning ALL areas of the organization on one page – the PEOPLE! There is no coincidence that the first of the 4 E’s of EXCEL is ENGAGE.

Some of the most challenging issues we’ve faced while implementing SIOP had nothing to do with the technical components. For example:
• How do we get sales and production on the same page?
• Can R&D and production work to one integrated plan?
• How can we align our customers and suppliers on the same page?
• How can we get finance, sales and operations on the same page?
• And so on…

We find that becoming expert in culture change and collaboration is important to success. Clearly, communication is at the crux of this equation as well. If you are thinking about how to get each of these parties to see how SIOP will benefit them to align on one page, give us a call to learn more about 4 EXCEL.

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Master Scheduling Strategies to Add Value

October 16th, 2014
master scheduling, production planning

A master schedule is an integral part of your production plan and communications to your team to centralize focus.

I have yet to work with a client who couldn’t use improvement in their master planning process. Whether a company is squarely on the lean journey, traditional MRP or a combination of both, master scheduling can add value. In essence, a master schedule is a long-term plan which allows you to plan capacity, staffing, etc. Thus, I thought a few strategies for success can be a good idea:

• Think Long-term: to be effective, you need a long-term view.Thus, look out at the long-term. If you do not have sales orders in your system for 12-24 months, you should look at putting together a demand plan for your repetitive items.  Don’t worry about sporadic items except for saving x% of capacity.

• Inventory strategy: Build inventory strategy into your plan. Are there customer commitments for inventory? Do you have a sales & operations plan driving your inventory goals? Do you plan to increase or decrease inventory?

• Apply level loading techniques: Since you have a long-term view of requirements, it provides an opportunity to smooth out production. Take advantage of it!

• Consider lot sizes: Incorporate lot sizing logic for anything noteworthy.Think about economic order quantities.

• Coordinate: A master schedule is useless if not communicated and coordinated with manufacturing, scheduling, purchasing, customer service, etc.

Read more on how you can become the Strongest Link: 

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