How to Avoid the "Domino Effect" in Production Planning
- by Adolfo Menéndez Fernández, Application Architecture Manager, Repsol
- July 1, 2004
Changes made in the short-term planning horizon often create problems for the mid-term horizon, moving operations that should remain stable. You can avoid this problem in APO Production Planning/Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) using the deallocated status functionality, and the author explains how.
Most companies divide their production planning horizon into several segments that correspond to short-, mid-, and long-term. Scheduling activities usually take place in the short-term, while the mid-term horizon is not scheduled manually and remains scheduled infinitely. Changes in the short-term are frequent because schedulers and planners make decisions in this time frame. The mid-term is planned periodically with regular automatic processes (MRP/MPS). Periodicity depends on each company's planning process — e.g., weekly or monthly.
Changes made in the short-term horizon can propagate to the mid-term, and this propagation can create "noise" in the stable horizon that leads to problems and unnecessary work for schedulers and planners. I call this propagation in the production planning process the domino effect, and it is triggered when a scheduled order or operation affects subsequent operations, as Figure 1 shows.
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