Master Production Scheduling

The release of the planning SWD, as shown in Figure 11-10, authorizes the manufacturing units to prepare a master production schedule from which detailed analysis of the utilization of company resources can be seen and tracked.

Master production scheduling is not a new concept. Earliest material control systems used a "quarterly ordering system" to produce a master production schedule (MPS) for plant production. This system uses customer order backlogs to develop a production plan over a three-month period. The production plan is then exploded manually to determine what parts must be purchased or manufactured at the proper time. However, rapidly changing customer requirements and fluctuating lead times, combined with a slow response to these changes, can result in the disruption of master production scheduling.11

Master Production Schedule Definition

A master production schedule is a statement of what will be made, how many units will be made, and when they will be made. It is a production plan, not a sales plan. The MPS considers the total demand on a plant's resources, including finished product sales, spare (repair) part needs, and interplant needs. The MPS must also consider the capacity of the plant and the requirements imposed on vendors. Provisions are made in the overall plan for each manufacturing facility's operation. All planning for materials, manpower, plant, equipment, and financing for the facility is driven by the master production schedule.

11 The master production schedule is being discussed here because of its importance in the planning cycle. The MPS cannot be fully utilized without effective inventory control procedures.

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Figure 11-13. Material requirements planning interrelationships.

Objectives of the MPS

Objectives of master production scheduling are:

• To provide top management with a means to authorize and control manpower levels, inventory investment, and cash flow

• To coordinate marketing, manufacturing, engineering, and finance activities by a common performs objective

• To reconcile marketing and manufacturing needs

• To provide an overall measure of performance

• To provide data for material and capacity planning

The development of a master production schedule is a very important step in a planning cycle. Mastei production schedules directly tie together personnel, materials, equipment, and facilities as shown in Figure 11-13. Master production schedules also identify key dates to the customer, should he wish to the contractor during specific operational periods.

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Project Management Made Easy

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