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We are a global management consultancy that delivers exceptional outcomes and sustainable change


Oper­a­tional Excellence

Go slow, to go fast: The case for planning


Do you ever find that pro­duc­tion grinds to a halt because sup­plies have run out? And have you ever expe­ri­enced a slow­down while wait­ing for tools to arrive and for work­ers to get up to speed with using them? If you have ever encoun­tered issues like these, it might be that your pro­duc­tion plan­ning needs some work.

A key part of mak­ing sure you are max­imis­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is hav­ing a sound, effi­cient pro­duc­tion plan. Pro­duc­tion plan­ning may not be the most glam­orous of func­tions, but it is cru­cial nonetheless.
Typ­i­cal­ly a pro­duc­tion plan will doc­u­ment the mate­ri­als, equip­ment, human resources, train­ing, capac­i­ty and the meth­ods need­ed to com­plete a giv­en work­load with­in a spec­i­fied timeframe.

In today’s world of cross-border sup­ply chains and inte­grat­ed logis­tics streams, effec­tive plan­ning is a com­plex busi­ness. Mean­while extreme com­pe­ti­tion among glob­al com­peti­tors makes plan­ning more crit­i­cal to suc­cess than ever.

• Reduced labour costs, due to improved process flows
• Reduced inven­to­ry, thanks to low­er safe­ty stocks and less work in progress
• Improved deliv­ery times, due to all of the above, lead­ing to sat­is­fied customers
• More repeat busi­ness, because sat­is­fied cus­tomers usu­al­ly come back

If you haven’t cri­tiqued your pro­duc­tion process­es, it’s more than like­ly that you will have bot­tle­necks (restric­tions or con­straints) some­where in the sup­ply chain. These can be hard to shift and then quite often, sim­ply move else­where in the process.

How­ev­er mak­ing sure your pro­duc­tion plan is cor­rect­ly designed and man­aged could lead to some quick and easy improve­ments. Here are a few ques­tions you should ask your­self to check:

1. Are you using accu­rate sales forecasts?
2. Do you reg­u­lar­ly assess your inven­to­ry controls?
3. Is your inven­to­ry sys­tem as effi­cient as it could be?
4. Have your pro­duc­tion process­es been stan­dard­ised and mapped?
5. Are they always fol­lowed correctly?
6. Has waste been eliminated?

If your answer to any of these ques­tions is ‘I’m not sure’ or, worse, ‘no’, then we rec­om­mend focus­ing imme­di­ate atten­tion in those areas. Work­shops to get to the root caus­es of inef­fi­cien­cies can help.
But how should you go about installing improve­ments then mon­i­tor­ing, report­ing on and adjust­ing your plan­ning processes?

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is cru­cial. Plan­ning and review meet­ings need to be run effec­tive­ly and deci­sions based on accu­rate infor­ma­tion. The right KPIs must be in place, and the right teams need to be involved with follow-up actions. Report­ing lines need to be clear and con­cise, with num­bers con­trolled at short inter­vals to right any wrongs before they cost you too much. The list goes on and on…

Not many mid-sized to large man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies sur­vive in today’s fast-paced world with­out an effec­tive pro­duc­tion plan in place. If you’re not sure about the integri­ty of your pro­duc­tion plan or want to tur­bocharge your improve­ments, please get in touch.

Engag­ing Renoir is a great first step towards best-in-class pro­duc­tion plan­ning. Through our unique meth­ods, which are tried, test­ed and extreme­ly suc­cess­ful, we will work hand-in-hand with your staff to help them take own­er­ship of a con­tin­u­al­ly improv­ing plan­ning process focused on your busi­ness needs.

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