Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.
The Master Production Schedule
Imagine that you are the owner of a company that makes coffee cups with common names on them. In order to keep up with demand, your company has what is called a master production schedule. This schedule shows the amount of items needed for each week. It includes your inventory, your staffing, your finances, your receivables, etc. It includes pretty much everything and anything related to the running of your business.
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4|
|Ink supply needed||10 gallons||11 gallons||15 gallons||8 gallons|
Look at this master production schedule that you have just created for your coffee cup business. It shows what you need for each week for the upcoming month. For the first week of the next month, this master production schedule shows that you need to produce 350 product As and 100 product Bs. For week 2, you need to make 400 product As and 150 product Bs, etc. As you can see, this schedule shows you how many products you need to make along with the number of employees that you need to have on hand each week. You have one line for each product that you make.
It also shows you the materials you need to make your products along with how much money you expect to have on hand each week. Here, too, you have one line for each supply that you use. This sample is very basic, but you can get very detailed with it for your business including every little thing that happens in your business. The more products and materials you have and use, the longer your master production schedule.
For your coffee cup business, your master production schedule would include the number of cups to be made each week along with how much material is needed to make the cups each week. You also have the number of employees needed each week so you can make the necessary amount of product. You also include the forecasted amount of available funds.
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To create a master production schedule, you need to have on hand several pieces of information. You need to know how many outstanding orders you have, the forecasted demand for your products for the coming weeks, the capacity of your manufacturing team, how much inventory you have on hand, and your employee needs, such as vacation time in the coming weeks.
If you don't have enough employees, you may need to get temporary employees. You may need to perform some material requirements planning to help you gather your necessary information. This type of planning involves software that tracks how you use your materials along with the quantity that is used over time. This type of planning helps you to forecast future demand based on prior purchasing history.
After gathering your information, you come up with this (see table above). The output of a master production schedule is usually in table form such as this. It can be generalized for each week, or you can have specific due dates for each of your items.
Once you have your master production schedule, you then make sure that everybody on your team is aware of this schedule. Once you know how much of each item you need for each week, you now can plan for it. You won't be working in the dark, so to speak. You now have a clear direction and goal to work towards. You know how many employees will be on hand each week to help you fulfill the number of forecasted orders. If you have manufacturing equipment, you can use this information to determine how many machines need to be up and running for each week. Your master production schedule is the schedule that all your other schedules are based on.
Let's review what you've learned. A master production schedule shows the amount of items needed for each week. To create your master production schedule, you need to know how many outstanding orders you have, the forecasted demand for your products for the upcoming weeks, the capacity of your manufacturing team, how much inventory you have on hand, and your employee needs, such as vacation time in the coming weeks. After gathering the needed information, your master production schedule will usually be in table form.
You use it to help you plan for the upcoming weeks. You will know how much materials and supplies you need to make the necessary amount of products for each week. You also use it as the basis for all your other schedules.
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Master Production Schedule: Creation, Use & Outputs
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