Pearson international ltd
Pearson international ltd

Operations Planning & Control

Sound planning is much more than just good IT systems...

It's about ownership of the problem by a team who:

  • understand and apply the most relevant mix of tools (whether most modern ERP features or simple visual mechanisms)
  • manage a well-designed process - eliminating unnecessary steps & avoiding functional silos
  • adopt Standardised Work practices (& cross-training) for the core business processes
  • to deliver exceptional service

Our services at a glance

  1. Process mapping & optimisation
  2. Demand Management
  3. Pro-active Production Plan development
  4. Effective shop-floor control & plan execution
Example of part of a Process Mapping exercise

1. Process mapping & optimisation

All too often it is evident that whilst massive sums have been spent on sophisticated ERP business systems the performance is still relatively poor. Where significant business processes need to be better understood (in preparation for ERP implementation) or significant improvement is required then a Process mapping & optimisation approach is appropriate, as follows:   

  1. Form a team of key individuals from each of the functional areas involved in the process
  2. Prepare them for a workshop with examples of their own part of the process - forms, screen prints, performance concerns etc.
  3. Create a 'brown paper' process map of the existing process - highlighting the areas of weakness
  4. Create a 'blue sky' version – a ‘vision’ without any constraints and weaknesses
  5. Concept design: create a 'should be' (for now) version with any essential constraints (which could not realistically be eliminated in the short to medium term)
  6. Detail design: define the process details for each of these steps - invoking the available / required functionality of the ERP / IT system and simple visual systems as appropriate
  7. Summarise competency gaps and training needs
  8. Create the cost Vs benefit summary
  9. Define the required changes into a milestone and activity plan
Illustration of the role of Time-fences in the life of a Production Plan

2. Demand Management

Successful management of the top-level Production Plan requires discipline and care. Some key attributes are as follows:

  • Buy-off by the senior stakeholders in a structured Sales & Operations review
  • Rough-cut capacity, projected stocks & Customer lead-times and financial Contribution as inputs to the S&OP Review to enable effective decision-making
  • Use of timely Available to Promise information to support successful order promising
  • Operation of Time-fence disciplines to control the conversion of 'the forecast' to 'the Production Plan' and 'the Production Plan' to 'Customer Orders' at the required lead-times to meet supply chain capability (subject to interpretation for DTO, & MTO environments).

3. Pro-active Production Plan development

Ask any Production Planner how to 'plan' and you will be told that it should be flat as far as possible.  Real life is never quite as simple as that, however there are a number of useful techniques to support much improved Production Planning - with or without a sophisticated ERP system.

Example of shopfloor scheduling board

4. Effective shop-floor control

The most appropriate methodology for shop-floor control depends to a large extent on the type of manufacturing environment (batch, flow, process etc.) but in any case as far as possible it should be made visual and underpinned by timeliness metrics of On-time-in-full (to support ongoing continuous improvement activity).  In a complex (high variety low volume) job-shop type of operation a system of work-to / despatch list should be adopted - typically taken as an output from ERP

Contact and appointments

Please contact us on the following phone number with any questions or to make an appointment:


+44 115 9251768

+44 7947 685 439


Please also use our contact form.

To get a better idea of what we do and how we do it click on the link below

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