Three Major Reasons Why Human Scheduling Results in Excess Inventory

A Japanese manufacturing company, whose specialization is in producing a diverse range of low-pressure to high-pressure pipes for use in motors, industrial machinery, ships, and other machinery, is one of the many who reaped the benefits of using Asprova. According to Case Study number 1 of Asprova Corporation entitled ‘Pipe Manufacturer Chooses Asprova for Scheduling Speed, Achieves Load Leveling, and Major Inventory Reduction’, this factory decided to use Asprova because of the swift execution of its scheduling computation.

Before choosing Asprova, they utilized managers for instruction-based production that solely depended on large amounts of paperwork like production plans, work charts, missing item lists, and instruction supplements. This is a problem in itself. Paper-based scheduling has, for a fact, been a less efficient method of scheduling as was stated in a previous post titled ‘Effective Machinery Assignment’. In the case of this factory, a production management system had been installed on their factory mainframe for more than 20 years; however, their production scheduling was still in a state of perplexity.

There are three major areas why human scheduling results in excess inventory. The first was the aforementioned considerable amounts of paper work because of complicated scheduling procedure. Second, the confusion on assembly lines because of conflicting instructions from different managers. And lastly, the process managers themselves, for hoarding inventory to avoid missing deadlines.

According to their Chief of Production Management, they have been looking for different scheduling management systems, and tried several different ones, but none reached the stage of actual installation. They were amazed and convinced to switch to Asprova because of scheduling speed, minimal need for customization, and the quality of response from Scheduling System Laboratory.

System Config

In conclusion, the positive effects of using Asprova can be summarized with this: load calculations enabled scheduling to be performed centrally every morning without exchange of paperwork; Control of factory floor through reliable schedules led to inventory reduction of about 30%; and Clarity of priorities and accuracy of load calculations in Asprova’s manufacturing instructions eliminated need for corrections by process managers.

All in all daily re-scheduling was realized. Confusion and excess inventory were eliminated, and overall, inventory was reduced by more than 30%.

4 Responses to Three Major Reasons Why Human Scheduling Results in Excess Inventory

  1. Carl Fransman says:

    This points to some very interesting facts about humans in general:
    – we are poor at processing parallel streams of information (which production facilities are)
    – we are poor at pattern recognition. Or rather, we believe we see patterns that aren’t there. This leads to us making big forecast errors.
    – we are poor at assessing system risk. Hence, we hoard inventory.
    Last but not least: we are poor at trusting software. This is the major hurdle for software vendors such as Asprova; convincing people that the system really does a better job than individuals.

  2. Takahashi says:

    Hi Carl,
    Yes, you are totally right.

  3. M Damodar says:

    While I completely agree on the point of 3 major reasons with manual scheduling, at the same time the challenge on change management in deploying a IT tool is another task. In the recent experience I had in implementing a scheduling tool was, the scheduling team felt that what they were doing is right and no system can understand the shop floor complexity. Further the sense of insecurity for their jobs were felt and there were reluctant to use the tool. Later we used top down approach to make them use the tool.

  4. Takahashi says:

    Hello Damodar, the same things happen also in Japan. There is problem of insecurity for jobs.

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