How to Make Production Planning Task Easier?

Question: What are the main tasks (process or steps) of production planning in garment manufacturing? How one can easily make a production plan for the woven factory? ...asked by Arif Hossain 

The main tasks of the Production Planning Department in a garment manufacturing unit have been explained in an earlier post. Read the full article here - Functions of Production Planning and Control (PPC) Department in Apparel Manufacturing

How to make Production planning task easier?

I don’t need to mention that Information Technology (IT) based planning tools (packages/software) are very helpful in production planning as well as decision making. 

What to do when someone doesn’t have an IT-based system? You need to develop planning tools and build an internal system for easy access to necessary information. Planning tools will help you to make production planning faster and more accurate. 

Planning tools: The primary planning tools used by a planner in a garment export house to do production plan are likely,

Pre-requisites information: the following information must be available to make your planning faster and accurate.
  • Process flow of an order or list of tasks
  • Production capacity of each process - Cutting, sewing, washing and finishing, for sewing - line wise and product wise capacity (pieces per day per line)
  • Pre-production status - Such as fabric and trims are sourced or not. If not yet sourced the expected sourcing date, PP sample approved or not or expected approval date
  • Shipment date or planned ex-factory date

You asked for the planning process of a woven factory. The planning process does not change based on fabric used in a product like woven or knits factory. It is the process flow of order, machine requirement and production capacity those vary. Here are ways how planning tools are used to make planning task easier.

#1. Time and Action calendar - Planned cutting date (PCD) and ex-factory date which are two most critical dates for planning can be picked from TnA calendar. You will get total days available to you for all production processes. Even you will get a rough distribution of start and finish date of each process.

Order quantity is generally available in TnA calendar.

For example, Total available time for production is 20 days (PCD 1st Dec 2012 and Final inspection date 20th Dec 2012). Order qty. = 10000 pieces and main processes are cutting, sewing, finishing, folding and packing and final inspection. List of processes can also be picked from Process-flow chart.

#2. Planning Board: Line loading plan can be made for single process or multiple processes in a planning board. For reference I have attached below a planning board for multiple processes. Based on available time and production capacity of a line you may have plan for multiple lines a for order. Secondly, You may have postpone production start date if there no free space to load new order.
Once you draw timeline for an order on the planning board you can see available capacity in a particular line and according to that you can make planning for following orders.
Planning Board.

Read our previous post for line loading plan. How to make line loading plan?

#3 Calculations: First calculate capacity requirement for the order you are going to plan. Secondly, check capacity availability in all processes on the given time frame. Line capacity can be also calculated in minutes.   For example, a garment SAM is 30 minutes and line performs at 50% efficiency. Calculate total capacity required (man hours) to complete sewing on time.

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