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Why is Scheduling so difficult? 


A schedulers’ job is to balance demand with available capacity to ensure goods are produced and delivered on time.

The first challenge is coping with the large number of variables involved - batch sizes, set-up times, sequence dependent set-up times, wait periods, clean downs, material availability, people availability, tool availability, planned maintenance, and the list goes on. Most schedulers rely on some form of visual planning board to help with this and will attempt to set the schedule for a given period going forward.

Having finally achieved this however, the scheduler is immediately confronted with the inevitable and completely unpredictable disruptions that occur in all manufacturing companies - new rush orders, machine breakdowns, re-work or staff reporting sick. All these things knock holes into the carefully prepared schedule, you need to be able to react quickly and know exactly what impact the change will have on your delivery schedule.