Historically, production scheduling in the chemical industry tended to favour long production runs. But today’s market demands quicker lead times and increased customisation. While long product runs increase production line efficiency, it also leads to excess inventory and increased cost.
However, today intelligent production planning can be used to reduce production run length and smooth the peaks and valleys in a schedule. It can cut down on overtime and reducing inventory, while enabling greater production flexibility. Even companies with sales-to-capacity ratios near 100% can benefit from matching demand with supply more efficiently. The key to success: choosing the right solution.
The Replan production planning software enables supply chain planners to optimise service levels while respecting operational and technical constraints, such as clean downs and changeovers. Importantly for chemical manufacturers, it enables planners to use different batch sizes for the same product on different lines. This massively increases production planning flexibility and reduces costs. Planners no longer need to fix an arbitrary batch size across all lines. Delivery times and inventory holding costs can be reduced.
With Replan, manufacturers can include requirements such as the need for dedicated quality assurance assigned to production runs. This is critical for the production of regulated products. It also delivers multi-level (stage) group planning e.g., mixing and packaging, which have different resources with different changeover implications.
Don’t agree? Or want to know more? We’d love to know your thoughts on this topic and how you’re approaching midterm production planning.
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Through a short conversation with one of our supply chain planning experts, you can discover how Replan can help your organisation balance service, inventory and utilisation whilst maintaining plan stability.