Most manufacturers forecast demand and use that to plan production levels. This is a combination of spreadsheets and prior actual sales coupled with some tribal knowledge about what their manufacturing sites can produce. Their finished goods inventory is often driven by their proximity to their warehouse and how consistently their supply chain pulls their products. This forecasting process is good for times when your customer demand is reasonably consistent and reliable.
As we have all seen with recent events, the interruption of that demand can seriously impact our processes. The mix of products required and the introduction of new products can make your forecast useless overnight. The proactive way to address this problem is through PLANNING. A finite capacity plan for your production takes into account all of your equipment, processing times, raw materials on-hand, lead times, manpower, and many more factors. It lets you know EXACTLY what each piece of equipment is doing and it OPTIMIZES the sequence for you to make sure you hit promised delivery dates.
In short, Planning is FLEXIBLE. It adapts to the conditions at hand and gives you a tool to answer difficult questions that arise overnight. To find out more about Planning solutions, please reach out to us and let us know how we can help.