It may seem that production planning is an individual matter for each production plant. The way production management is designed is primarily related to the industry, mode of operation, goals, and team at the company’s disposal – it’s obvious. However, some solutions can support many different companies regardless of the production system model.
Different production processes, similar needs
Let’s think – are there areas where companies dealing with different types of production have convergent needs? According to Vialutions, you can distinguish at least several of them! All companies were once in a situation where an exact production plan had to be implemented. Contrary to appearances, the stages of the planning process coincide – to start or transform a plant, one should carefully consider such issues as production scheduling or material needs planning. This is a big challenge, especially in large plants, so planning these issues only with pencil and paper or even Excel is a big risk.
What can help? IT management systems! If this is too general a concept, maybe you will be familiar with the concepts of ERP or MRP system – tools for planning material requirements and the work of the enterprise itself. Different types of management systems require a different approach, but one thing is certain – production control is too serious a matter not to be supported by an appropriate program these days. Even the most flexible production systems will develop better if we plan them carefully.
Lean management – Toyota production management system
Have you ever come across the concept of lean management? We know them very well – this production system comes directly from Toyota factories, our longtime customer. It is a set of thoughtful, influencing principles and processes that result in efficient, well-organized work of the entire plant. Toyota experts have spent years devising a production management method suited to their work philosophy and product type. This is a proprietary production management program – so Toyota had to create the entire methodology and tools that can be used to implement it. And they also use virtual tools that streamline and facilitate the control of the production process. Even completely proprietary and proven methods can be improved to the satisfaction of everyone.
Example? Quality management system in a production company in Wałbrzych – Kaizen. Toyota understands quality monitoring in a very broad way, also in the involvement of employees in taking care of the company’s development and looking for all opportunities to improve its functioning. You can read the whole story here, but in a nutshell, the way it works is:
- The employees and the management board have an intranet at their disposal, in which people employed in the company can place suggestions for improvement in the company’s operation,
- Employee suggestions, as well as their status (accepted by superiors, submitted for implementation, rejected), are visible in the system,
- You can easily check whether an improvement has already entered into force or if someone has not previously reported similar kaizen.
Since we have implemented our version of the system at the Toyota factory, the number of reported corrections has increased significantly. This is probably the best proof that IT systems supporting production management have a future!