Factoring employees into production schedules

////Factoring employees into production schedules

Manufacturers need people working the production line. Even in automated settings, managers build schedules around employees who can prepare supplies, monitor tasks and test the quality of orders. Smaller manufacturers rely on workers to construct goods and report problems.

Businesses adopt technology to ensure equipment and raw materials are available for manufacturing projects. Software can also schedule employees for production orders based on the visibility of every factor needed for successful completion. 

Integrating employees into manufacturing data infrastructure
Supply Times stated that production schedules have to account for allocation of resources, inventory management, customer orders and employee work performance. Companies can plan production based on individual customer demands or create stockpiles of merchandise to distribute at later dates. Businesses must have materials, tools and manpower available, no matter how they schedule their manufacturing projects.

How can a company prepare for the future? Past performance can display proven successes. Manufacturers that track data during production gain insight into time and performance. Arming production workers with mobile devices allows them to contribute their time to the company's overall infrastructure. Schedules are based on facts as opposed to predictions of needs.

If a company utilizes ERP software to track supplier shipments, equipment performance and employee time in a centralized platform, it can see how the factors work together. They will know exactly how many resources went into a project and how long it took.

Emphasizing flexibility
A company can prepare for future projects based on past success, but new development or unexpected issues can throw a wrench into the works. Managers must design employee production schedules with flexibility in mind.

Production scheduling is a difficult process. Cost efficiency is a priority during the creation of timeframes. Time Skills, a scheduling blog, said schedules must be as lean as possible while still allowing time for unforeseen events. Managers and supervisors should create a plan that allocates supplies and manpower without any waste. When a problem does occur, it is dealt with quickly before any time or supplies are wasted.

Mobile tools speeds up the time reporting process. Software like the Microsoft Dynamics NAV time collection module allows employees to capture production time and schedule missed days. Whenever an employee reports a change in their schedule, they can log it into the system and it becomes instantly available to supervisors. The mobile activity is sent to a centralized platform, so the change is compared to previous schedules and adjustments are made. The new schedules can be sent to all managers, supervisors and employees.

Mobile tools also provide workers with visibility of schedules and expectations. NAV time tools link to HR materials so employees can log time while viewing their available sick days or vacation time. Manufacturers should give workers a chance to take a break, but Inc. suggested systems that guide vacations decisions and encourage scheduling missed days far in advance are important when tasks require people to stay on track. Mobile technology gives workers the information and resources they need to balance their requirements with the manufacturer's.

For more scheduling tips, managers can download the Time Collection Dynamics Data Sheet.