You have done all the steps to create a feasible one-number-plan for production, aligned and digitized your supply chain organization, hired industry-proven production planners BUT still you are ending up with firefighting? Still you are rescheduling your plan in the short-term? Still you cannot meet planned customer service levels? Maybe you have not considered all relevant constraints to build up the optimal production plan. Read more about the influence of labor availability on production planning:

Why the perfect plan is not the perfect plan

Building up a feasible production plan is not an easy task. Lots of constraints need to be considered like resource availability, tool availability and components availability. And if it is all done, there will be countless stumbling stones on the way to the final product especially in the short-term horizon: machine break downs, missing components, quality issues, rush orders, … – just to name a few ones.

Figure 1: Shortcomings due to plan rescheduling

Often, missing skilled labor is named as a major stumbling stone and causes a lot of rescheduling of the perfect production plan. In fact, lots of companies are throwing their plan in the dust bin, in order to fully rework it based on labor constraints. Consequently, companies are suffering from this rescheduling as described in Fig.1.

Why is labor availability still such a big source for issues in the short-term horizon even if it is already considered e.g. in shift models of the available resource capacity?

  1. Even though companies are considering every complex detail of how to produce a specific product, they are often NOT considering the specific skills of their employees. Let us give you an example: Only a few employees are capable of doing complex tool changes on resources. Other employees can be used only for the assembly tasks and others can do actually both. The real skill pools of the employees are often not modeled in the optimal production plan – therefore the perfect plan won’t be the perfect plan.
  2. Even if you could model the skills of employees, it is necessary to correctly assign tasks and level the labor plan in order to not “waste” highly skilled labor for the simple tasks.
  3. Companies are lacking real-time visibility of rescheduling impacts of labor planning on production schedule and vice versa. Therefore, rescheduling impacts cannot be anticipated ending up in an endless cycle of adjustments bringing high volatility to your supply chain planning.

Considering all, the major issue is missing IT support to model complex employee skill pool scenarios but also integrating them in planning.

You are experiencing similar issues? Stay tuned for our next blog post on how to close the gap to a feasible production plan by considering employee skills at production planning.

This article is part of a series. See the other articles:

Man vs. machine – who controls your production?

Considering labor skills for a feasible production plan

More information about the CAMELOT solutions and service offerings:

Next Level Production Planning 

Camelot Skill Pool Planning

Camelot Demand-Driven LEAN Planning Suite

Race for Value: Towards the Digital Supply Chain

To leverage the full potential of digital supply chains, there are still challenges to overcome. This thought paper provides insights on how to drive the digital transformation of the supply chain.

Download our Thoughtpaper on Digital Supply Chains

Recommended articles

New Now in Organizations

Digital Transformation in Procurement: How Organizations Assess Themselves

How far are procurement organizations on their digitalization journey? What are their priorities, challenges and lessons learned? The new survey “Digital …

read more
New Now in Organizations

How to Get Your Employees on Board in Times of Crisis?

In times of crisis your internal communication is as crucial as your external communication is. However, the first one is often …

read more
CRM

How to Leverage SAP Hybris Service Cloud to Improve Customer Service

Does this sound familiar? You get a call from a customer who is having issues with a product they purchased from …

read more

Reimagine your Value Chain with us

Contact us