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Integrated Scheduling Solutions for the FMCG Industry

Written On 25th Sep 2012 by admin

You want a plan that can be rapidly set up that takes account of all the constraints that you know about on your site. But even more importantly, you want to have a plan that can be updated to show which units have arrived as planned, which will be late and what this means for the plan you have just produced? Fast Food integrates to the data held on your current systems, pulls it all together and produces a plan in minutes. It allows you to use your years of experience to ‘tweak’ the plan to take account of special circumstances. It will also re-plan in seconds when a product is late, a material is no longer available or you find you are short of labour.

Track progress through the working shift

Use barcode readers to record progress on jobs or to show that they are complete. See the information updated on your display screen without any manual keying of data.

Zoom in on jobs on the Graphical Display

All the jobs on the site can be seen in a clear visual display indicating those loaded onto the resources and those waiting to be scheduled. Use the locate tool to highlight any job and check where it is. Hover over any operation or activity to see the key job details. Just click on the activity to drill down into all the details you would wish to see.

Job sheets and work instructions

Fast Food can produce printed job sheets with full work instructions, including barcode references which can be scanned to record progress. This same information can be sent directly to screens or handheld systems, along with work-to lists, organised the way you would like to have them. So you don’t have to issue ‘paperwork’ or re-issue it when the plan changes.

How it Works

Demand Management

This function is designed to calculate the required daily production quantity for each Finished Product. The calculations are made for each product by using its Actual or anticipated Opening Stock, Demand (Forecast or Order) and Stock Holding Policy (Target Days Stock, Pack Forward Percentage and Make Days) to determine an ideal Closing Stock for each day. The required production to achieve that closing stock can then be derived. Variations to Target Closing Stocks can be visually identified.


Using the Required Daily Production from the Demand Management and the Product Bill of Material, MRP will explode out the daily Requirements for all lower level items for a User defined period. Scrap Levels, Bill of Material effective dates, production offsets, preferred production days and batch sizes can all be used to give these daily requirements. These daily requirements can be used to create a report of Bought In Goods and production requirements.

PreEdit The Preactor Editor

Bought In goods

A Spreadsheet of daily requirements for each Bought In Item can be created.

Works Order generation

Works Orders can then be generated for all levels for a User defined period and added to the Schedule file.

Preactor Sequencer

Planning Board

The heart of the Fast Food System is the sequencer shown below. This is the control centre that displays all the activity that there is on the plan. The column on the left shows each Resource in the factory. Fast Food links each job through the factory using product structures and material availability.
Each of the coloured blocks shows an activity or operation and the length of the block is the time that it takes. The colour of the block can be used to differentiate between different types of product or customer etc. The scale across the top shows the date and time.

Fast Food allows you to pull information from other systems to create the plan you need. Depending on the complexity of the scheduling, either standard Preactor algorithms or User defined rules will be held within the system and will then be used to schedule production. Normally this will be done on a ‘pull’ basis – i.e. scheduling Packaging first and then pulling each lower level in turn, meeting product specification in terms of production offsets for maximum and minimum dwell time between each item. In either circumstance, the scheduling can be constrained by other key resources such as labour and special equipment. The planner may refine the plan if required (using drag and drop and other functions) but will be warned if they break any defined system constraints.

When the Planner is satisfied with the plan they can publish this to the shop floor in a variety of ways:-

  • Printing Work To Lists for each Resource (with Bar codes if required)
  • Sending it to a Shop Floor Data Capture System

When tasks are completed they can be updated on the Planning Board to give visibility of Progress against Plan. Viewers can also be provided for Senior Management and Sales to give them visibility of planned and actual factory operations.

Benefits of installing Fast Food

Fast Food brings together all the separate elements required to control the factory. It is detached from Centralised company systems and allows you to produce a feasible plan very quickly.
Equally important it allows you to make adjustments to the plan and to be aware of the impact on order
products and orders. All this is displayed in a highly visible and easy to understand display.

Specific benefits are:-

  • Swift gathering of all required information
  • Schedule the factory using agreed product specification and clearly defined rules
  • Planner can fine tune using local expertise
  • Gives immediate information and detailed control to factory Supervision
  • Single plan visible company wide
  • Opportunity to link to Shop Floor Data Capture System to maintain progress
  • Gives total visibility of production meeting required volumes and despatch times
  • Gives total control of labour based upon daily production variation and volatility

Integrate your system

Fast Food provides a graphical control centre at the hub of the planning process. Fast Food can receive any information directly from your host databases on Products, Stocks, Forecasts and Orders. Fast Food can also take information from spreadsheets and send information back into industry standard formats. Fast Food can link to Shop Floor Data Collection systems so that Work to Lists and job details can be sent directly to areas doing the work. Details of progress and completed activities can be recorded and sent back to Fast Food to update the central visual plan. You can produce Work-to Lists and Job Status with Bar Codes to make recording progress similar to check outs at the local supermarket. Fast Food allows you to record actual times for jobs which helps you to improve the data that you use for planning.

Implementation Services

To provide a successful solution for your operation, our implementation team will:-

  • Review all data requirements, storage and use
  • Specify the operation of the agreed solution in conjunction with Team Leaders, Planners and Operation Staff
  • Provide the necessary hardware and software integration
  • Work with the users to implement any new ways of working
  • Train all users on the correct use of Fast Food
  • Manage the project including go-live and post-implementation support

Any successful change requires that everyone affected is directly involved in the planning of the change and its implementation. We work with everyone on the site to ensure that the new processes are understood. There is as much effort needed in working with your staff as there is in creating a functioning technical solution.

Training and Support Service

We offer training workshops to explain the overall operation of the completed solutions. These workshops also provide an opportunity for input from your staff and are an effective tool in ensuring we are bringing everyone along with us. We also use one-to-one training and coaching for those planners responsible for the Control Centre tools. When Fast Food is operating on your site, we can provide telephone support and problem solving through emailed data files or via VPN connection onto the planning environment. We maintain a copy of your site configuration to aid problem solving.

Posted In Fast Food

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