Supply Chain Management


The course focuses on 17 key objectives including capacity calculations, understanding load profiles and work orders, scheduling and loading techniques, dispatching with the Critical Ratio (CR) calculation, reducing bottlenecks and application with the Chocolate Factory Simulation with fundamental exercises and case studies.

Production Activity Control (PAC) is defined as comprising the activities of planning, executing and controlling through routing and dispatching the work through the facility. This would be analogous to an air traffic controller at the airport who must plan his/her activities based on the day (more weekend flights) or the time of day (mid-morning or early evening increase in flights) – planning.  Next he/she must get numerous flights in and out (particularly if it is a large airport) – executing and ensure that safety is being met (no “near-miss” accidents) – controlling.

Scheduling is a subset of PAC and is the process of determining when orders should be started and completed in each work center in order to not only meet delivery dates (customer service) but to effectively use resources (optimizing operations). In effect, the PAC person has to delicately balance the influx of orders (load) with the constraints of capacity. There are key tools that can be utilized and as discussed below – the Input-Output Report is one such tool.  In effect, the PAC person has four main objectives: (1) maximize customer service, (2) minimize work-in-process (WIP) inventory, (3) execute the MPS and MRP and (4) optimize resources.  Of these four, the primary objective is (1) as without customers, we all “cease to exist” from a business perspective.

Here we must come back to the external environments of continuous/repetitive, job/batch shop or project.  It is in the job/batch shop environment where PAC is critical as continuous/repetitive is akin to “flipping a switch” and a project has its own separate methodology (please see our course on 21st Century Project Management).  Keep in mind that both the Job Shop or Batch Shop is characterized with fairly low volumes but with high variety (instead of vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, you offer 31 flavors).  So carefully orchestrating the inflow of orders (called load or workload) with the capacity available (your space, people and/or equipment) is critical.

The scheduling method selected will depend on whether the firm is the driver (seller’s market) as well as senior management direction.   So for example, if you are the only “game in town” and customers are “beating down your door” with orders, then you can engage in Forward Scheduling.

This is akin to determining when you are able to start an order and then telling the customer when they can expect to get it – “take it or leave it.” – betting that the customer will take it as they have little to no alternative.  On the opposite end, if it is a buyer’s market – the customer can easily go to your competitor, then you must engage in Backward Scheduling – the customer’s required date is sacred and you must determine when to start the order in to meet that date.  Understanding how all of this comes together is key to an optimized operation.

To support all of the above, this course will be featured in SCE’s virtual classroom with all of the functionality featured in our DEMO and based on our teams working with major corporations in BIC-Best-In-Class practices.  It will be a blend of educational topics, pertinent case studies, and practical stories based on past practices.  You will learn vital skill sets but also have fun!

Upon completion of the Understanding PAC and Scheduling course, the participant will:

  • review the four-step capacity planning process
  • list the five objectives of capacity management
  • define and calculate both Rated and Demonstrated Capacity
  • list of the four objectives of PAC
  • review the key PAC functions
  • develop a load profile
  • understand a work order and what it is made up of
  • compare and contrast Forward vs. Backward  as well as Probable and Central Point scheduling
  • compare and contrast Finite vs. Infinite Loading including the six Finite Loading techniques
  • review the rules for dispatching including the Critical Ratio calculation
  • understand how to manage bottlenecks or accelerate the issue up the management chain
  • review and utilize the Input-Output Report
  • determine the courses of action for an overload vs. an underload
  • understand the advantages vs. limitations of CRP
  • review the objectives of CRP
  • understand how CRP interfaces with RCCP
  • simulate both Backward Scheduling and Load Profiling in a chocolate factory

Depending on the learning style of the participant, this course is designed to be approximately 15 hours in the e-Learning – virtual classroom.  Additionally, at the end of the course – you will take an on-line quiz to make sure you have grasped the key points.

Upon completion of the Understanding PAC and Scheduling course, the participant will receive a certificate of completion with 15 ceus of credit.

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