Val Zanchuck, President of Graphicast, discusses using Protected Flow Manufacturing‘s Predictor to respond to when Customer’s ask “When is my job going to be done?” by understanding how all jobs are placed into the production schedule, being able to identify gaps in shop floor resource capacity and being able to see anticipated completion dates. See the success story here.

Val states “I can run the Predictor which takes a few minutes and all of a sudden we have in front of us a very detailed description of how every job was going to run, and also saw how long it took to fit that job into the schedule based on the level of priority of all the jobs in the system. So we could say “_this job is due on this date, but it took 5 days to find an open spot in casting to put the job in. And then after that it took 4 days to find an open spot in machining so therefore this job is going to be x-days late_”. We could see all of that information – how all of those jobs were put into that flow so that they were done from the most urgent to the least urgent, and how much time it took to get the jobs into the flow – so at the end of that analysis we could look down at the bottom of the page and say “_ok, this job was supposed to be done on October 18 and it’s going to be done on November 2nd_”. So now we can go back to the customer and say “_I’m sorry, the job is going to be late but this is the date we should ship it on_”. So that solved that problem because customers were saying “_When is my job going to be done?_”. So, we were able to get on top of things that way.

“That allowed us to prioritize all the jobs that we had in the system and we worked through them”

Any by scheduling everything based on start date we were starting jobs when they had to be started based on the length and complexity of the job to get it done as close to the desired finish time as possible. So that allowed us to prioritize all the jobs that we had in the system and we worked through them, and of course we were getting more orders as time progressed so we had to add those on, meanwhile we were chipping away at the backlog. So, we’re at the point now where we’re very close to being caught up and I can see through the Predictor when we’re going to have gaps in capacity in casting so I know when we can pull jobs in if we need to try to get them to machining sooner – and I know where the gaps are in machining so I can pull those jobs in to get them done sooner so eventually we’re going to get to the point where I can see through the information I get out of Protected Flow Manufacturing when we are going to be back on schedule.