What is the one thing that sets a business apart from its competitors? A superb product or excellent customer service? A perfectly-targeted marketing campaign or a lifetime warranty policy?
The truth is that all these things can set a business apart, but there is something even more critical to consider: on-time shipping and delivery.
Your customers expect on-time delivery when they order your products. If you can’t provide that, you will lose more customers than you will ever gain. This may seem simple enough, but it is easy to lose track of all the details when you have to worry about hundreds of orders at a time.
Without Epicor® ERP software, you might not be able to do it all yourself. This software is essential for creating efficient scheduling for all your work orders or jobs.
That’s where Epicor® finite scheduling comes into play.
Keep reading to learn more about Epicor Job Scheduling and how it can help your production floor deliver products on time.
What Is Epicor® ERP Job Scheduling?
At its simplest definition, job scheduling is the process your ERP software performs to ensure a customer shipping date is met while enabling on time delivery. The software works backward from the customer’s requested delivery date to assign start and end dates for each critical portion of the work.
There are two different kinds of job scheduling to consider: infinite scheduling and finite scheduling.
Infinite scheduling performs all the work we discussed above, but it doesn’t take into account your current workload. It will assume you have infinite resources and capacity to complete every customer order on time.
You can see where the problems with this come into play. If your software schedules job tasks for you without considering your current capacity, you’ll find yourself unable to meet production deadlines.
As you might assume, finite scheduling is the exact opposite of infinite scheduling. While it performs the same function, it does it in a fundamentally different manner.
Rather than plan jobs as if you had infinite resources available, finite scheduling takes into consideration the available resource capacities, including team members, as well as assets.
Finite scheduling is the more effective and accurate module, and companies want to take their business to the next level should learn how to use it more efficiently.
Different Types of Finite Scheduling
You can configure your finite scheduling module in Epicor ERP to account for all of your specifications. Let’s take a look at the top ways you can configure your finite scheduling module.
Order Based Scheduling
Using order based scheduling, you or the software can determine which orders should be prioritized over others based on your current work in progress (WIP) specifications.
This is helpful when you want to have more control over prioritization of orders. That way, you can expedite certain orders when necessary.
This type of finite scheduling is all about identifying bottlenecks in your production line and scheduling the jobs around those bottlenecks. Constraint-based scheduling ensures that these bottlenecks are always loaded so they don’t slow down the shipping process anymore.
Electronic Scheduling Board
This is the simplest form of finite scheduling and looks a lot like a traditional card-based loading board. It gives you a view of all the jobs you currently have running and gathers data to calculate overall performance time.
The system will warn you about bottlenecks or if you try to load two jobs on a single machine at the same time.
Discrete Event Simulation
Discrete event simulation models the random events that can happen to your production line and determines the effect that they would have on your shipping time.
This is incredibly helpful to identify potential bottlenecks and other problems, which only serves to increase your overall production and shipping time.
Algorithms can be intimidating because of the sheer amount of math that goes into them, but a newer method of finite scheduling makes them more accessible. Genetic algorithms are fairly new to the scheduling game, but they have already had a profound impact on job scheduling.
Genetic algorithms are constantly finding ways to improve jobs and minimize total time to shipping by taking the good characteristics from previous (parent) jobs and creating new (child) jobs that capitalize on those benefits.
It’s kind of like natural selection. Only the fastest jobs win.