I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone here for being so supportive and helpful. More than a year ago I started poking and prodding you all about how scheduling works in Epicor. While I won’t pretend I understand it completely, I am much better off than I was a year ago. Now, we have tools to make our schedule work.
The Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) module really helped us get our resources worked out. We utilize the “capability” feature to allow us to prioritize machine usage, and better understand what types of resources can be used for particular operations. Also, adding more than two resources to an op has been very helpful.
The Data Management Tool (DMT) has been utterly invaluable during this process. I admit, I pushed back on this tool in the past based on cost. I had even built several dashboards to get around not having the tool. Now that we have DMT, the process for reviewing and updating part masters is much simpler. We had to update thousands of part/rev/ops masters (nearly 100k!), along with a few thousand open jobs. Doing this manually would be infeasible. But with DMT, I was able to set it up to run over the weekend with great results. With this tool on my side, I am confident I can quickly update any issues we discover in the future. I couldn’t say that before.
Now our live database is up to date. For better or worse. Our jobs have been updated with the new finite resources, and part masters have all new operations that utilize finite resources. With that all out of the way, all my promises to management are coming due.
We have some Epicor support training regarding scheduling later this week. In the meantime, I am running all the reports/tools I can and trying to understand what I am seeing. These are the reports I am going with, and what I understand them to be:
Global Scheduling Order. The tools in Epicor don’t work to get this entire list out, so I made a BAQ that exports our global scheduling order for every open and released job. This is what I will show to my managers. They will need to review the list and reassign priorities as needed.
Job Scheduling Board. We will pull up this tool to rearrange jobs using drag-and-drop. We can also see how long a job is scheduled for in this view.
Shop Load Report: We will review this report to understand how many hours of load are being applied to specific resource groups each day (or week depending on settings).
Schedule Impact Report: If we decide to move around any jobs, then we can run this report to see which jobs that will mess with in the schedule.
Scheduled Shipments Report: This shows releases that are due to be shipped. I am not sure if this will be helpful, as we often review the Production Details Report, that has a lot of this information on it already.
Priority Dispatch Report: This is what we would show to floor managers to represent their expected workload for the day.
With all that laid out, I expect we will whittle it down to only one or two reports we really need. Our first task will be to review the order of scheduled jobs, and rearrange them to meet what we are currently doing. For decades the only scheduling has been done in the heads of the managers. So this is a huge change. I have to figure out how to make the schedule do what they expect. They all know what the shop floor is supposed to be doing, so I just have to make the schedule match it.
What do you think? Are these good reports to use? Any cautionary tales? Should I use different reports, or a different process? I am open to any and all suggestions or feedback.
Thanks again to everyone that makes this place so great!