Production Workflow | The role of Recipes
At the heart of the m-power production system is the product recipes which list the sequence of processes needed to manufacture each product within a job along with their estimated times
As new jobs are entered, the system extracts the processes needed for each product in the job, and these can be reviewed. grouped and scheduled by the production manager.
We recommend the use of our barcode scanning system which provides the feedback loop that updates the system so the schedule is correct and we know how far each product is within the manufacturing process.
Supporting the recipes are the series of tools that help the production manager and team manage the work-in-progress through the factory. These tools include WIP Statuses, events, releasing jobs.
Over decades of working within manufacturing companies and observing best practice in manufacturing we have designed M-Power to complement those people who believe the following principles of manufacturing
Decentralise Information | Empower the Team
In companies with weak systems the production manager is often the 'fountain of knowledge'- the person that everyone calls to find out about the status of a job. Being in control of the information leads to micro-managing of staff and makes the system vulnerable when the production manager is overwhelmed, away or simply forgetful. The production manager becomes a bottleneck to growth and efficiency
M-Power aims to provide each person working in production with as much information as possible about the work they have in their departments now, along with the work they can expect to see coming through to their departments from other processes.
This information allows each person to plan their day effectively and flattens responsibilities so that the production manager can focus on more important tasks than micro-managing departments.
Push & Pull
We believe that production works more smoothly when people in each department take responsibility for consciously “pulling” jobs into their department as well as pushing the jobs through their department by completing their assigned tasks.
Department heads and machine operators who work at a detailed level know best how to organize their workflow to greatest efficiency – for instance batching materials together so that they require less machine setups.
In M-Power we make their job easier by clear splitting the schedule into tasks into those that can be done now – in the ‘Queue” and those that are pending and further up the chain.
Using the department schedules like this allows production management to be flattened and self-managed and the total loading on each department can be clearly seen by everyone in the company
Management by Exception
We believe that a production manager should focus their time identifying jobs that needs a helping hand to progress through production. Indicators that a job needs attention include:
- The jobs Sitting too long in a department
- Departments that have too much loading – bottlenecks
- Jobs that have not seen activity
- Jobs that are overdue, on hold or in rework
Minimise In-process Changes
Changing the priority of a job causes cascading changes throughout the production system. Jobs that are displaced by new priorities can get left behind and put aside. The most efficient production system will be one where changes are minimized
Of-course there are many forces working against that ideal – favorite customers, changing deadlines, machine breakdowns, delays in client approvals all cause changes that make production more difficult to manage.
M-Power lists all required processes by due date, staff can work through a list and it is not necessary to reschedule entire jobs on calendars. Urgent jobs and time sensitive jobs are handled by critical dates which are clearly visible to those working in departments.
Schedule Bottlenecks - Work to Queues
Following the principle of minimizing in-process changes you should aim only to schedule bottleneck processes to specific dates – bottlenecks are processes where a delay in the process will impact the delivery time of the job. In project management they would be on the critical path of a gant chart. If one of these bottleneck processes is not completed by the scheduled date then the process is óut of control; and requires intervention
Tasks that are not on the critical part still need to be completed but they due date is determined by the next critical path