Master Scheduling: How To Optimize the Production Scheduling Toolbox

In this white paper, authors David Goddard and Eric Deutsch note a resurgent interest in master scheduling. A good master scheduling process enables companies to better manage capacity while preventing supply disruptions.

Master scheduling skills have atrophied across industry over the years. Companies are now trying to rebuild those skills, as evidenced by the popularity of master scheduling courses over the past few years.

What skills do master schedulers need to perform capably? The authors provide an overview of the tools in a master scheduler’s toolkit – and how to use them. In doing so, the authors address:

  • Different environments for serving customers, including make-to-stock, make-to-order, and engineer-to-order.
  • Use of firm planned orders versus suggestions made by the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
  • The value of planning time fences to bring stability to production.
  • Use of available-to-promise functionality in the ERP system to make order promises.
  • How to calculate and plan based on cumulative lead time.

Knowing how master scheduling works also enables planners to properly configure the functionality in the ERP system.

“Master scheduling should drive factory activity – doing it right dramatically affects profitability,” the authors write.