Three Tips for Master Production Scheduling

Do you have a difficult time balancing supply and demand per your production plan?

We hosted a workshop this week on Sales and Operations Planning. Dan Marino, CPIM, and Senior Consultant shared his expertise on what master production scheduling (MPS) is, the goals, objectives, and key challenges. We’ve summarized these below, including three tips Dan will be sharing in more detail next week for how to make your scheduling efforts more efficient. 

What is Master Production Scheduling? Per APICS, it’s an anticipated build schedule for those items assigned to a master scheduler.

What are the goals of Master Scheduling?

  • Balance Supply and Demand per the Production Plan

  • Plan efficient use of company resources

  • Determine End Item Priorities

  • Drives MRP

The key objectives of MPS are to:

  • Create a build schedule for specific end items, quantities and due dates

  • Show when items are expected to be available

  • Enable Sales and Customer Service to promise delivery dates to Customers

  • Provide the Basis for Trade Off’s

  • Assist Sales and Operations in Providing Superior Customer Service

What are some MPS challenges?

  • Improve customer service

  • Increase productivity

  • Lower inventory

  • Be responsive to changes in the market place

Here are three tips to improving your MPS:

  1. The management and policies surrounding Time Fence Zones are critical. First, your time frame horizon should be at least as long as your longest cumulative lead time plus perhaps some safety time. Each time frame must be strictly adhered to for example if you use the analogy of Frozen, Slush, and Water as the time frames, the frozen time frame needs to be managed and needs to have little or no volatility. If your MPS is moving in and out daily your capacity and material plans will not be in alignment. 

  2. The Master Scheduler plays a critical Traffic Cop job, not allowing Sales to booked orders inside your cumulative lead time, not overstating the MPS, and turning into a HOT list. At the same time the Master Scheduler has to work with Operations to adhere to the ship dates that are booked with the proper lead time. (Tough Job) this is a place that if not managed well will make the Master Schedule unusable. 

  3. Establishing a customer lead time matrix by family or end items is important. This should be a coordination of efforts between Sales, Operations and the Master Scheduler. This is the guideline line Sales and anyone else who promises customer delivery can use. This is also the benchmark for operations to ensure material and capacity are available. 

At APICS Milwaukee we’ve been supporting supply chain professionals for over 40 years with the education and information they need to be successful in ever-changing times. We will continue to support our members and the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you found these insights useful, consider signing up for our FREE VIRTUAL Workshop next week Tuesday (5/19), Sales & Operations Planning Advanced, taught by Anthony Zampello (Z), ASCM S&OP Master Instructor, S&OP Consultant and Adjunct Instructor at Bentley University and Daniel A. Marino, Senior Partner of Marino,LLC. This two-hour session will take you beyond the basics and delve into the detail of S&OP and Master Scheduling. It will cover a multitude of practices including how a company decides on the time horizon for each; how it decides on which resources are critical; how forecasts are used.

Daniel A. Marino is a Senior Partner of Marino, LLC a manufacturing consulting firm specializing in ERP/MRP II, Lean/Agile Manufacturing, JIT, Six Sigma, and related consulting and education. Prior to establishing his own firm Mr. Marino was a Senior Consultant with Robert Abair Associates. Mr. Marino has more than thirty years in materials and manufacturing with experience in ERP, Lean/Agile Manufacturing process, JIT, MRP II, Capacity Planning, Lean Supply Chain Management, and Global Procurement. Mr. Marino has planned, structured, developed, and directed company-wide training and education programs. Mr. Marino has implemented SAP’s R3 ERP system in a global environment, Oracle’s ERP system, Microsoft NAV and EPICOR.