"Production planning" is the company sector involved in the timing and scheduling of all activities connected to manufacturing processes.
Its range of action may be wider or narrower, depending on the specific business organization:
Under a narrower point of view, production planning must schedule the activities of production lines so as to make the finished products available on the market.
In a wider sense, however, production planning supervises all supply chain activities (purchasing, production, distribution).
Among the latter three functions, "production" is no doubt the most critical, and that is why a "production planner" is often entrusted with the coordination of all managing activities.
When a planner has actually the supervision of all supply chain activities, he must comply with a great number of business objectives, such as:
- working out reliable sales forecast
- reducing fixed asset capital (by keeping stocks low)
- improving the customer service level
- reducing production costs (with a reduction in setup time, format change, staff engagement)
- reducing disposal costs of outdated materials
- reducing purchasing costs (by choosing economic lot size)
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