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Takahashi's Scheduler Case Book: Chapter 10

The Strange Case of the Ever Increasing Inventory

I recently visited a clothing manufacturing plant in China. Company J had already installed a production scheduler in their Japanese plant and it was producing good results. This time I was off to China to install a production scheduler in their Chinese plant.

Before the installation of the production scheduler in their Japanese factory, all of the processes in the factory had their own WIP (Work In Progress) inventory and this was being stored in different rooms. Because of this a large amount of inventory was being built up between each process and it was resulting in long production lead-times. The person in charge of installing the production scheduler thought that this WIP inventory between processes was the source of all their problems and believed that it was necessary to connect the production processes together one after another in order to improve the flow of production. Thus it was, that a production scheduler had been chosen as the tool to do that job.

By installing a production scheduler Company J could clearly see the necessary amount of raw materials that they would need and also the exact timing of when these materials would be needed for each process. As a result of this they were able to vastly reduce the mountain of inventory that had been building up between each process and as a consequence they freed up 50 percent of the factory floor area.

The important point here is that they clearly recognized that the WIP being built up between the processes was the source of their problems and that they made the bold decision to remove it.

Case Closed. . .

Learn more about Production Scheduling at Production Scheduling System Asprova

Written by Kuniyoshi Takahashi: Production Scheduling Case Book

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