Original Date: 02/09/1998
Revision Date: 04/22/2003
Best Practice : Customer Sales Level Scheduling
Responding to customers in a timely fashion is of critical importance in today’s market. UE’s previous system required a typical leadtime of four to five weeks. The new Customer Sales Level Scheduling system can respond in a day if needed. This system is a byproduct of the Lean Manufacturing approach of doing business.
UE receives orders via telephone, facsimile, or correspondence. As they arrive, the orders are posted on a visual scheduling board. The factory presently handles 136 units per day in its 120/105 workcell, so the visual scheduling board is loaded to this quantity. The customer sales representatives identify the unit’s complexity (low, medium, or high). Once the board is fully loaded, the orders are retrieved and scanned into the computer. The computer prints a sequence list that directs the factory personnel to produce the product in a specific order. The computer also organizes the flow of work, so an even mix of complex units are processed throughout the production floor.
Scheduling takes place the day before actual production. Customer sales representatives ensure that the next day’s production is established and ready for factory personnel when they arrive. The Customer Sales Level Scheduling system improved UE’s production rate from several days to one every 84 minutes. In addition, the new system significantly reduced leadtime from four to five weeks to a single day, and improved UE’s ability to meet its customers’ requirements.
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