Takahashi's Scheduler Case Book: Chapter 6
The Case of the Fabrication Plant
Production scheduling at a semiconductor fabrication plant--Maximizing throughput.
The president of a semiconductor company called me and asked me to come and visit their plant. This company handled the latter stages of semiconductor production. The market was moving along very well and they were flooded with orders. At the production control manager's office, the customer liaison would hold daily meetings to check into whether their orders were being delivered to customers on time. The customer liaison officer had been staying for months at a business hotel not far from the plant . The production control side was also working frantically to handle more of the increasing orders. Even when they went home they were in frequent communication, on Saturdays and Sundays, via cell phone.
When I got to the company, everyone was waiting for me, from the president on down. The president had already check the operation of the free introductory version of the production scheduler that had been installed. The president was keen and clearheaded. The employees were also an excellent group possessed of a high level of knowledge and experience in IT and production control. I first gave a full general explanation of the production scheduler. The president said, "It will be a good thing if this production scheduler is a nice toy for our production planning manager." If we can tell what the delivery time to the customer will be and when the completion occurs at the factory, that will make the work of the manager much easier. He also said that, "Rather than reducing our inventory and cutting back on lead time, our most important task is increasing throughput." Our biggest job right now is to take the resources that we have available to use and the production scheduler and use them to increase the monetary worth of production to the maximum.
Keeping the introductory consultation to a minimum, I got the production scheduler up and running. Not only that, but the installation project took only the short period of four months. They didn't take most of the external installation consultation, and although I thought the startup time was too fast, as one should have expected, installation and introduction proceeded apace, which was mainly due to the visionary president and his excellent staff who were knowledgeable and well-experienced in IT.
After the business startup, I against visited the plant. The president told me, "After we installed the production scheduler, we found out that we could reduce our work force by 12 people. That is a cost reduction of ¥40 million per year, so that allows us to recover the cost of installing the production scheduler." Aside from the fact that they were able to reduce their work force by 12 people it actually gave them much more flexibility in the plant. There was also a visible difference in the people in charge in charge of production planning who now seemed much more at ease in their work. One could easily see how this easily acceptable projected had produced such excellent results.
Case Closed. . .
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