As we have seen in previous articles on this site, optimizing operations and processes along the supply chain enables companies to reduce costs and risks and improve efficiency and profitability.
As in any chain, what happens in the first steps will affect what happens later on. Plans and decisions made at the production stage affect the entire supply chain. That is why getting your production planning right is the first step in full supply chain optimization. There is no point in having optimized and efficient logistics processes if production operations are not optimized.
AI-based tools can help companies schedule production accurately aligning it with business objectives, adding intelligence, and controlling the process in real-time.
Adaptation to the company and alignment with business objectives
Each company has its own unique characteristics: a special way of mixing raw materials, a complex machine setup rules, etc. Ignoring one of these characteristics will lead to suboptimal schedules or even schedules that cannot be executed. Therefore, production planning tools must be adapted to each organization and its production process. These tools must be intelligent and flexible to consider all relevant peculiarities, variables, and constraints. Companies must be able to easily configure all features, without programming and be able to make changes in an agile manner.
Production planning tools must also be able to align production operations with the company’s objectives, always seeking to enhance the organization’s competitive advantage.
Optimal and accurate production process planning that takes into account a large volume of features and is focused on the company’s objectives requires tools based on artificial intelligence and powerful mathematical optimization.
Powerful optimization and intelligence applied to processes
As we saw in the previous section, optimal and accurate production process planning capable of taking all constraints into account and finding the best solution given the business goals requires artificial intelligence and powerful mathematical optimization.
There are many companies with production planning tools that say they optimize using AI techniques, when the reality is that they use simple algorithms that do not provide the value obtained from advanced data analytics.
That is why it is important to know what techniques these tools use and have teams that are experts in integrating and managing this type of models.
Real-time operations control and production replanning
A production planning and optimization system is an instrument to make your operations efficient and value-driven. KPI dashboards, real-time insight in all aspects of the production and the ability to adjust whenever needed, are key to manage dynamic production operations.
It is important to have a production overview at any moment in real-time to instantly know what the consequences of disturbances are and have the capability to re-optimize in real time at the day-of-operations.
Using smart production scheduling tools, it is possible to determine, for example, the amount of raw materials, labor, equipment, and facility investments that will be needed over a period of time to meet future demand. Manufacturers and businesses can mitigate various risks and impacts on the supply chain and build resilience for the future. An effective AI-driven planning tool can help:
- Better plan and use limited manufacturing resources.
- Keep a good balance between demand and supply.
- Optimize production schedules by detecting and eliminating bottlenecks and other inefficiencies.
- Have greater control over operations and react in real-time to incidents.
- Plan equipment maintenance, minimizing risks and idle times.
- Reduce production and storage time and costs.
Selecting the right production scheduling technology and using the capabilities of technology in the best possible way is of the essence to really get a good return out of your investment.
At decide4AI we can help you to sort out your priorities and advise you to choose the AI-based technology that best suits your business.