Free Production Scheduling Template For Enterprise Manufacturers

A production scheduling template is an excel spreadsheet that enables you to run the production scheduling processes in your manufacturing organization by coordinating the flow of materials, workers, and machines to transport, produce, and assemble your desired products.

production scheduling template

Modeling Your Production Environment with a Production Scheduling Template

What should you look for in a production scheduling template, to make sure that you can fully model your production environment?  We're talking about the inputs here.  You should be able to import this data into your excel spreadsheet or enter it manually.

  1. Inventory Availability - You will need to be able to import or model your raw material or sub-assembly product availability so that you always know how much inventory you have on hand.
  2. Customer Order Entry - You will need to be able to import or enter your customer's orders so that you know exactly what products you need to produce and also when they need to be produced.
  3. Bill of Materials - Your scheduling template needs to be able to break the orders down into their Bill of Materials, or the component parts, that the orders are made of. This will allow the template to calculate if you have all the necessary parts available in inventory to produce your orders.
  4. Routings - Your template needs to be flexible enough to allow you to model the way that materials and the product travel between workstations until it is complete.
  5. Workforce Availability - You need to be able to track your workers' location, skillsets, and individualized shifts/schedules so that you are aware of labor availability at a granular level.
  6. Production Constraints / Rules - You need to be aware of all the different production constraints or rules that pertain to the different types of products / product-feature combinations that you are producing in your production facility. There are often hundreds of such rules and your template will need to be able to capture them all to ensure efficient production

Free or Paid Production Scheduling Template?

There are many free production scheduling templates available online that claim they will help you to do just this.  There are even some templates that cost a few hundred dollars and purport to enable you to run a full-scale enterprise manufacturing organization.  So which should you choose?  The reality is that you shouldn't look at the cost, so much as the functionality.

Modeling Your Production Environment with a Production Scheduling Template

Free or paid, the production scheduling template should enable you to fully model your production environment.  You should be able to import or enter your inventory, orders, routings, workforce/machine availability, and production rules.  And, it should be easy to make changes to this model of your production facility quickly.  That way if you experience a significant disruption in the form of changes in customer orders, or unexpected equipment downtime, you can make a quick adjustment and generate new schedules quickly.

Scheduling Algorithms to Look for in a Production Scheduling Template.

Speaking of generating schedules quickly, you need to make sure that your template can process ALL of the many different scheduling possibilities quickly.  We stress ALL because low-quality scheduling solutions don't consider the entire solution set.  The full solution set contains all the schedule candidates, and in a modern production facility, there are often hundreds of millions of such possible combinations.

The Bad News

Here is the bad news, free or paid, no excel template will allow you to run a modern manufacturing environment.  At Optessa, we have seen hundreds of manufacturers try to run their operations with excel.  They ultimately had to seek a more sophisticated solution because no excel template can:

a) Capture all the production rules

b) Process all your constraints

Excel simply does not have the modeling capabilities, the processing power, or the sophisticated algorithms need to run the production scheduling for an enterprise organization.  Fortunately, the Fast Optimization scheduling solution by Optessa is not only as easy to use as excel but also allows you to create the best possible schedule in seconds.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us to learn how we have helped enterprise organizations across the world improve the efficiency of their operations and schedule a free demo.

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