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.

Adolfo Menéndez Fernández

Adolfo Menéndez Fernández is the application architecture manager at Repsol in Madrid. Previously, he worked at SAP Consulting Spain as the logistics consulting manager. He studied at the University of Oviedo, where he earned an electronic engineering degree. He is a certified SAP consultant in supply and demand planning (SNP and DP), order fulfillment (Global Available-to-Promise), production planning and detailed scheduling (PP/DS), as well as procurement and materials management (MM). Adolfo has more than 10 years of SAP implementation experience in the consumer product goods, pharmaceutical, automotive, furniture, textile, chemical, oil & gas, and steel industries using SAP ERP logistic modules (including PP, MM, and sales and distribution [SD]) as well as SAP SCM (DP, SNP, and PP/DS). He is APICS certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM).

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