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Detailed Scheduling software is an important tool for many companies where it can have a major impact on the productivity of a process. In manufacturing, the purpose of scheduling is to minimize the production time and costs, by telling a production facility what to make, when, with which staff, and on which equipment. Production scheduling aims to maximize the efficiency of the operation and reduce costs.   

The basic difference between planning software and scheduling software is that planning systems are ‘bucketed’ (monthly, weekly, daily) and cannot preserve operation sequences within the time bucket.   True scheduling systems are bucketless, preserving sequencing, and capable of generating work-to or dispatch lists.  Assignment of operation to resource is a key function to achieve operational efficiency and optimizing performance.  

Detailed scheduling uses a shorter time horizon and a much more detailed process route than a planning system.  Typically the input would be manufacturing orders which have a process route associated with each defining the operation steps to make the product.  The user then can load the orders onto individual resources using scheduling rules and interact with the schedule using the Gantt charts and plots that are generated.  A typical output would be a dispatch list for each resource.

An important feature of any scheduling tool is the ability to customise it to meet the unique needs of each application.  Templates can help to get the user to 80% of the requirements but to get the last 20% it’s important to be able to tailor the tool to fit.