What is a Master Production Schedule?
A Master Production Schedule (MPS) is a manufacturer’s overall plan on how and when to produce their products, including the quantity they need to produce within a specific timeframe. When implemented properly, the master production schedule serves as a comprehensive guide for the organization to follow throughout the entire manufacturing process.
A company’s MPS is a singular document that serves as a blueprint for the manufacturing process containing all the production process details. On the MPS, managers include specific information such as what type of products to produce, when to produce them, how many are needed, and how to produce them.
Master production schedules need to be comprehensive and include each step in the process. This puts everyone involved in the process on the same page when it comes to their organizational goals and ensures that everything is up to standard.
This is why teams need to put a lot of thought and care into producing their MPS. The process needs to start with an evaluation and creating a demand plan. From there, team members can create drafts of the production process that require review to see if the plan is possible.
Once finalized, everyone needs to be briefed on the MPS and be on the same page. That way, all team members are aligned in their goals for each 100% fulfillment.
Many people have a common misconception that Material Resource Plans (MRP) and MPS are the same things. However, these are two different concepts that target different goals. Both of these plans need to be present in the planning stage in order to achieve smoother operations.
Basically, MRPs are used to determine how many materials manufacturers need to order to meet the demand for a specific product. An MPS, on the other hand, is a schedule on how and when to use the materials present in the MRP.
So, while they work hand-in-hand, these are two separate documents.
A realistic and well-produced MPS holds a lot of value in the production process. It’s a crucial step that companies need to take before manufacturing even starts. Having an MPS allows companies to create clear and definite goals for the team while also laying out how they can achieve these goals.
An MPS gives the team a basis for their products for the week. This can reduce the amount of wasted time, boost production efficiency, and create space for other processes.
Typically, managers use the MPS for:
An MPS allows manufacturers to determine how much of a product to produce and when they need to produce it. This makes it easier to manage operations and create a balance between the actual operations, equipment use, and demand. This also makes it easier for managers to safely plan out the entire process.
When drafting an MPS, it’s important to look at things from as many perspectives as possible. The team needs to introduce multiple routes that all lead toward meeting production goals. From there, managers can evaluate the schedules and find the most efficient and workable schedule possible.
Capacity planning is a crucial purpose of the MPS. With an MPS, managers can determine how much of a product they need to make if they are looking to meet demands. With proper capacity planning, managers can also open up ways to reduce costs, increase profits, and consistently meet customer demand.
Master production plans allow you to coordinate two separate teams, such as marketing and finance. This allows for more efficient communication between different systems, resulting in smoother overall functions.
With an MPS, managers are able to determine what equipment will be used, when it will be used, and how it will be used. This also goes for tasks for individual teams, giving everyone a clear schedule to follow.
Having a definite MPS that the entire team can follow offers tons of benefits to manufacturers. To start, an MPS fosters a healthy work culture and promotes healthy business practices. This allows everyone to stay on time and have clear goals which they can work towards every week.
Additionally, an MPS results in a streamlined process. This is because it reduces the amount of miscommunication and production errors that can lead to delays and recalls. And when the production process is at its most efficient, companies can:
- Reduce costs
- Promote a safer workplace
- Increase profit
- Consistently meet consumer demand
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Master production schedules may differ depending on a number of factors. These include:
- The type of products that need to be produced
- Actually production processes
- Number of employees and teams
- Customer demand
However, even if every company’s MPS details may be different from what other companies require, most schedules contain the same main components. These components are absolutely essential when creating an attainable and practical MPS.
So, when creating an MPS, make sure not to skip out on the following components:
Product Lists and Sub-Lists
This comprehensive list contains all the products you need to produce. For an easier review, you can also rank the products based on popularity, so the product you need to focus on the most remains on the top of the list.
Many variations can come with each product. Ideally, you want a sub-list for each SKU. So, for example, if you make a specific T-shirt, you need to create a sub-list to take care of each t-shirt size and color option.
Dates and Times
It’s always best to split the MPS into different timeframes. This makes it easier to keep records and track progress. Ideally, you can split the MPS into months, weeks, and days if you want to get even more precise. This way, the team has long-term and short-term goals that they look to accomplish.
It’s always crucial to list down the exact quantities of each product. This makes it easier for the team to plan around the schedule. However, it’s important to adjust quantities according to changes in demand. So, if a product’s demand rises, the quantity increases with it and vice versa.
Creating an MPS is one thing, but implementing it is something completely different. While manufacturers are encouraged to create an MPS to streamline their processes, it can be challenging to figure out a feasible way to implement the MPS. The MPS is a singular document, but it contains a lot of information. This is why manufacturers are encouraged to integrate and incorporate technology to make implementing their MPS in their production process easier.
Currently, there’s software specifically designed to make work processes easier and more efficient, including MPS implementation. And a great example of this software is SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor). SafetyCulture is specifically made for a more efficient workplace. It’s packed with features designed to make things easier for managers and employees alike and could be a great way for teams to create and implement an MPS.