15 years helping British businesses
choose better software

Production Scheduling Software

Production Scheduling software enables advanced planning and scheduling of production activities within the manufacturing industry. Sometimes called production planning software, production scheduling software allows manufacturers to assign tasks to workers, monitor stock inventories, identify bottlenecks, and manage all other functions of the production cycle, ensuring that operations run smoothly. Manufacturers benefit from production scheduling software to forecast and benchmark performance, allowing real-time manufacturing decisions, holding costs, and improving delivery performance. Typical features of production planning tools include automated scheduling, capacity planning, material requirement planning, “what if” analysis, and change management. Production Scheduling software is related to Manufacturing Execution Systems and ERP software. Compare product reviews and features to help find the best Production Scheduling Software for your business in the UK.

Featured software

Most reviewed software

Explore the most reviewed products by our users on the Production Scheduling Software

United Kingdom Show local products
Manufacturing Excellence is a rapid, flexible, and scalable solution for manufacturing ops using digital production records (EBR/eDHR). Learn more about MasterControl Manufacturing Excellence
MasterControl’s MES solution, Manufacturing Excellence, is revolutionizing quality manufacturing for life sciences organizations by providing a rapid, flexible, scalable, production records (EBR/eDHR). With comprehensive systems integrations and rich data analytics, Manufacturing Excellence is fast to deploy, simple to configure, easy to use, and cost-effective to roll out across all your production lines. Learn more about MasterControl Manufacturing Excellence

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Comprehensive supply chain management software, including modules for demand, production, procurement and the S&OP cycle. Learn more about Imperia
Founded in 2019, Imperia is a pioneer in developing software solutions that facilitate companies' transition into Industry 4.0. Our premier SaaS, "Supply Chain Planning," employs mixed-model data analysis to optimize and streamline supply chains efficiently. This all-encompassing tool is designed for demand planning, production scheduling, and procurement automation, while also facilitating the Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) cycle, ensuring comprehensive collaboration across all supply chain departments. It enables significant cost reductions, minimizes waste for sustainable, efficient management, and enhances service rates, leading to increased customer satisfaction. Hosted on a scalable cloud infrastructure, "Supply Chain Planning" allows for the efficient analysis of vast volumes of data. Its user-friendly interface guarantees smooth integration with client ERP systems. Learn more about Imperia

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Seamlessly connect your shop floor operations, real-time data, and inventory management on one, cloud manufacturing platform. Learn more about StartProto
StartProto is a cloud-based manufacturing solution that helps businesses streamline quoting, routing & product scheduling operations. StartProto seamlessly integrates with your existing workflows. From quote to cash, modernize all your manufacturing processes and optimize your operations with our lightweight but powerful software. Connected Sales Process - Manage shop workflows by creating quotes that seamlessly convert to orders and costing breakdowns. Manage Complex Assemblies - Facilitate the execution of assembly across many parts of the shop. Track Job Progress - Track progress of orders and jobs. Keep tabs of what is in make-to-stock and make-to-order. Document and Comment - Document and distribute real time feedback and insights from the shop floor. Track Inventory Levels - Track inventory levels in real time with automated consumption calculations. Inbound & Outbound Flows - Create shipments and receipts for all of the items that come in and out of the shop. Learn more about StartProto

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
From ideation to execution, monday.com helps teams schedule productions with real-time tracking on an infinitely customizable platform. Learn more about monday.com
monday.com is an open platform where you can build custom solutions for production scheduling with real-time tracking for the entire process. Anticipating bottlenecks is easier than ever before with powerful features such as timeline views and due date notifications so you have complete visibility into your production process. The smart way to manage teams, this collaborative software makes it easy to get work done efficiently. Learn more about monday.com

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
MRPeasy is an affordable and easy-to-use production scheduling and planning software for small manufacturers and distributors. Learn more about MRPeasy
MRPeasy is a cloud-based manufacturing ERP system with powerful production scheduling and planning functionalities. Purpose-built for small businesses (up to 200 employees), MRPeasy combines ease of use and affordability with a host of robust features. Convert customer orders into manufacturing orders and schedule them automatically. Book items from stock and raise pre-filled purchase orders. Use forward or backward scheduling to manage your workflows. Take advantage of drag-and-drop rescheduling using dynamic Production Calendars and Gantt Charts. Plan long-term production activities using the Master Production Schedule, and much more. MRPeasy also includes comprehensive inventory and BOM control, end-to-end traceability, shop floor reporting, integrations with financial, e-commerce, and other business apps, and many other tools most needed by small manufacturers and distributors. Begin your free trial now. Learn more about MRPeasy

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
An open-source suite of integrated apps to manage CRM, PoS, Website, eCommerce, Sales, Accounting, Warehouse, HR, Marketing, and more. Learn more about Odoo
Odoo is a fully integrated, customizable, open-source software packed with expertly designed, user-friendly business applications. Odoo's intuitive database is able to meet a majority of business needs, such as CRM, Sales, Project, Manufacturing, Inventory, and Accounting, just to name a few. Odoo is an all-in-one software solution designed to meet the needs of any company, regardless of size (or budget). Learn more about Odoo

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Evocon is a cloud-based OEE and production monitoring solution that helps manufacturers manage and improve their production efficiency. Learn more about Evocon
Trusted by manufacturers worldwide, Evocon is a simple and easy-to-use OEE software that helps manufacturing companies improve their production efficiency and reduce waste. The system enables automated data collection, real-time data visualization, downtime tracking, bottleneck identification, and performance monitoring. With Evocon, you get all the tools you need to improve OEE and understand what is actually going on in your production processes. Learn more about Evocon

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Manage your production floor with Fusion Operations by Autodesk. Eliminate unnecessary costs, and speed up time to market. Learn more about Fusion Operations
Fusion Operations by Autodesk is a Manufacturing Execution System for all levels of production, giving you the solution you need for keeping on top of production. Gain insights to predict machine downtime, track production progress, identify bottlenecks and eliminate waste through a fully digital and automated operations tool. Track orders and shipping, schedule and manage your production, all with real-time production visibility from any device. Learn more about Fusion Operations

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Visual scheduling & planning software to track all types of resources, robust and user-friendly. Learn more about Visual Planning
Visual Planning is a powerful planning & scheduling software used to manage all types of resources. Our unique flexibility allows you to track projects, jobs, tasks, customers, work orders, employees, equipment and more in a single tool, so you can focus on what truly matters. Centralizing data helps teams become more efficient. Users can work in collaboration from anywhere and access on mobile devices. Send e-mails and SMS alerts to team members, and connect schedules with personal calendars. Learn more about Visual Planning

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Wrike's production scheduling software is used by 2.3M. Track production across teams and time zones with dashboards and Gantt charts.
Wrike's production scheduling software is used by more than 20,000 companies across 140 countries. Plan, manage, and report on your production with Wrike's robust production scheduling software. Keep track of production status across departments and time zones using ready-made templates, shared team dashboards, and one-click Gantt charts. Improve operational efficiency across your organization with updates every department can access in real-time. Start your free trial now. Learn more about Wrike

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
NetSuite, the world’s #1 cloud ERP, provides the visibility and control needed to make smart decisions, fast, and grow with confidence.
NetSuite is an all-in-one cloud business management software that helps more than 37,000 organisations run their business more effectively. NetSuite automates core processes and provides real-time visibility into operational and financial performance. With a single, integrated suite of applications for managing accounting, order processing, inventory management, production, supply chain, and more, NetSuite gives companies clear visibility of their data and complete control of their business. Learn more about NetSuite

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
JobBOSS², formerly known as E2 Shop, promotes the profitability of scaling job shops by delivering a seamless quote-to-cash solution.
JobBOSS² promotes the profitability of scaling job shops, make-to-order manufacturers, and contract manufacturers by delivering a seamless quote-to-cash solution. A combination of JobBOSS expertise and the E2 Shop software, JobBOSS² has been helping five thousand shops increase profits by eliminating waste and streamlining operations. With an intuitive cloud-based solution and set of native mobile apps, JobBOSS² has all the tools and integrations you need to easily run your shop floor and back office operations. Easily manage the daily demands of your job shop • Take back valuable time with JobBOSS²s job shop • Get real-time visibility into job profitability • Gain accessibility, security, & efficiency with the cloud • Become an ITAR/CMMC-compliant shop Home-made compliance leaves companies more vulnerable to violations. Our JobBOSS² ITAR/CMMC solution is monitored by dedicated data custodians working around the clock to help you. Learn more about JobBOSS²

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Simplify your inventory & manufacturing by make precise pricing decisions based on real-time data using Fishbowl’s software.
Elevate your inventory, warehouse, and manufacturing management with real-time data while reducing costs and maximizing profitability. Fishbowl’s complete manufacturing and inventory management solutions automate and simplify the manufacturing process. Fishbowl’s inventory management includes advanced work orders, material requirements planning (MRP), bills of materials, barcode scanning, and can be easily deployed on-premise or hosted in the cloud. Learn more about Fishbowl

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Connecteam is one app for all your business management needs, like team scheduling, time tracking, task management, and communication.
Connecteam’s employee management app helps you save time and automate your entire business on the go. Made specifically for non-desk teams, you can streamline all daily operations, like employee scheduling, attendance tracking, training, task management, and payroll administration, from one user-friendly app. The app also helps boost team engagement and create a positive company culture with communication tools, rewards features, and customizable surveys. Learn more about Connecteam

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
ERPAG is an ERP cloud service that covers all business processes for small or mid-sized companies.
ERPAG is an ERP cloud service that covers all business processes for small or mid-sized companies. Inventory and order management in real time. FEATURES: Reordering.Order fulfillment.Cloud label printing.Inventory tracking (Barcode, Serial, Lot).Multiple UOMs. Multiple warehouses.Multiple currencies.Multi-language interface.Composite products(BOMs, Kitting, Variable items). User level management.Integrated invoicing and purchasing module.Supports manufacturing. Learn more about ERPAG

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
United Kingdom Local product
Sage 100 is an ERP platform for growing and medium-sized sales and manufacturing companies.
Sage 100 is the right ERP solution for your industry. Sage 100 is an ERP platform for growing and medium-sized sales and manufacturing companies. It is the ERP solution for medium-sized companies that want to design their business processes individually. Sage 100 offers you integrated applications for every company area, which you can easily put together individually. Learn more about Sage 100

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Real-time production scheduling software developed especially to help mid-market manufacturing companies meet customer demand on-time.
The DELMIAWorks (formerly IQMS) Manufacturing Scheduling and Production Planning software modules go beyond just production scheduling. The powerful and flexible system is updated in real-time from events occurring throughout the supply chain as well as within the Manufacturing software and ERP software system to help you quickly and efficiently adapt to fluctuations in customer demands and meet delivery requirements. Learn more about DELMIAworks

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Unleashed Software provides a powerful platform to accurately manage your inventory in real-time.
Unleashed Software is a powerful cloud-based platform for all your inventory management needs. Unleashed lets you easily and accurately track stock in real-time across multiple locations. Get visibility on all inventory management processes and transactions across warehouses globally. With total inventory oversight your businesses can make better, data-driven, decisions. Unleashed also integrates with multiple eCommerce software platforms to provide a holistic business solution. Learn more about Unleashed

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Cloud based custom manufacturing solution with quoting, business intelligence, employee management, and more.
ShopVOX is a comprehensive web-based, easy to use management solution for custom fabricators. Our solution includes everything you need to run your shop - sales lead tracking, quoting, work orders, purchase orders, job management and scheduling, online proof approvals, Quickbooks integration, business intelligence, online credit card payments through Authorize.net, and much more. Perfect for - Sign companies - Printing companies - Apparel companies - Custom manufacturers - Job shops Learn more about shopVOX

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Deltek Costpoint is an ERP and accounting solution for leading Government Contractors.
Deltek Costpoint is an ERP and accounting solution for Government Contractors with 98% of the top 50 firms trusting Costpoint for project accounting, contracts management, real-time analytics and reporting. Costpoint provides a means to implement Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and DFARS compliant financial accounting and procurement process including support for MMAS requirements and DPAS ratings, ensuring streamlined DCAA or DCMA audits. Learn more about Deltek Costpoint

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Timesheets by Tempo: Streamline scheduling. AI-powered time-tracking, reliable data. Effortlessly track production time.
Optimize production scheduling with Timesheets by Tempo. Leverage AI-powered time-tracking for insights. Generate reliable data for reporting and invoicing. Effortlessly track production time for efficient management. Learn more about Tempo Timesheets

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
United Kingdom Local product
Drag & drop production planning board for the smaller MANUFACTURING Co. Simple to use, affordable and a simple 30 day rolling contract.
Drag and drop planning board, allows users to see real time production capacity & availability advising of bottlenecks or overruns. Fed by real time shopfloor data capture and designed for the smaller MANUFACTURING business - The Statii system is arguably one of the SIMPLEST ERP/MRP packages out there. The highly rated cloud based system is fully INCLUSIVE of all training and support. Low cost monthly subscription and a simple 30 day contract makes Statii a low risk option. FREE TRIAL. Learn more about Statii

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Kinetic is an end-to-end ERP solution for manufacturers that need real-time access to decision-making data anytime, anywhere.
Kinetic is an end-to-end, cloud-based ERP solution developed to fit the specific needs of manufacturers in Aerospace/Defence, Automotive, Discrete, Electronics/High Tech, Fabricated Metals, Furniture/Fixtures, Industrial Machinery, Medical Device, Metal Service Centers and Rubber/Plastics industries. Equipped with advanced BI and analytic tools, Kinetic may improve operations, reduce costs, increase sales and margins, and improve customer service. Learn more about Kinetic

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Spending more time on production scheduling & inventory management than growing your business? Try our Production Scheduling software.
If you are spending more time on production scheduling and inventory management than building your brand, Craftybase has all the tools you need to unlock the potential of your in-house DTC maker business through powerful automation. As a leading Production Scheduling software, Craftybase allows you to track real-time inventory, allocate resources effectively, optimize your production activities, and meet production targets efficiently. Start your 14-day free trial today. Learn more about Craftybase

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management
Integrated business management for apparel screen printers and embroiderers, promotional product distributors and digital printers.
OnSite is a business management product designed specifically for apparel screen printers and embroiderers, promotional product distributors and manufacturers, award companies, and digital printers. Functions include production and design scheduling, CRM, customer quotes, order entry, designs management and proofing, work flow management, marketing, payables, payment processing, purchasing & inventory,and full double ledger accounting. Learn more about OnSite

Features

  • Scheduling
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • What-if Analysis
  • Gantt/Timeline View
  • Status Tracking
  • Production Management
  • Order Management
  • Bills of Material
  • Task Management
  • Inventory Management

Production Scheduling Software Buyers Guide

Production scheduling software is a type of software that enables businesses in the manufacturing industry to plan and schedule their production activities. Whether it's small manufacturers with a Make Order (MTO) model, semi-custom "job shop" SMEs, or large-scale Engineer to Order (ETO) operations, users deploy these tools to gain oversight, improve forecasting, and streamline processes related to product engineering, scheduling, production planning, inventory control, account management, and sales.

Manufacturers of all sizes and fields of activity use production planning and scheduling software to ensure that the production line runs smoothly. This may involve assigning tasks, monitoring machinery, resources, and inventories, or identifying bottlenecks, overload, and resource conflict. They can also use manufacturing production scheduling software to carry out capacity planning tasks, estimate material requirements, assess and forecast performance, budget for holding costs, perform "what if" risk analysis, and make decisions based on real-time data.

When it comes to production control software tools, they can be used in both discrete and process manufacturing settings. These tools are well-suited for plant floor control, material requirements planning (MRP), work order management, inventory management, drafting bills of material (BOM) entries, and barcoding. As they connect business-critical processes, people, and systems to drive company-wide compliance and efficiency, manufacturing scheduling software can often complement or replace other planning, scheduling, and management tools within a manufacturing and warehousing setting.

For instance, they share some of the functionality of ERP Systems, MRP Systems, and Job Shop Software tools. As explained in the article titled Benefits of ERP Software for Small Businesses, these categories of software applications were once reserved for large organisations, but have become accessible to smaller businesses as well in recent years.

Depending on the setting, the production control software can also take over from Supply Chain Management Software or Warehouse Management Software. In fact, in most manufacturing settings, production planning software could easily replace proprietary Inventory Management Software or Order Management Software. However, at its core, this type of programming application shares most of its functionality with tools specifically designed for this industry, such as Manufacturing Execution Software and Manufacturing Software.

Given the diversity of these tools, manufacturing professionals hoping to complement or replace their existing software solutions with dedicated scheduling software may have difficulty identifying a suitable application. But whichever the type of manufacturing setting, be it automotive, aerospace, electronics, furniture, medical devices, fabricated metals, plastics or beverage production, a good scheduling software tool should be able to carry out and streamline these basic tasks:

  • Facilitate flexible capacity planning to accommodate demand fluctuations
  • Allow users to set up manual and automated scheduling for people, processes, and machinery
  • Produce inventory and production capacity forecasts relevant to Material Requirements Planning activities
  • Perform "what if" analysis and other types of risk assessment
  • Streamline coordinated efforts to implement change management techniques
  • Enable collaboration between team members, departments, and facilities

What is Production Scheduling Software?

Production scheduling software is an application that can assist manufacturers in planning and organising production schedules, monitoring resource utilisation, and optimising production time to reach maximum capacity. In simple terms, this tool can forecast demand, plan production levels, monitor the plant floor, assign tasks to machines and workers, keep an eye on inventory levels for raw materials and finished products, pinpoint bottlenecks, and iron out problems in the production cycle.

Businesses of all sizes and sectors of the manufacturing industry use product planners and schedulers to streamline their operations. This includes discrete manufacturing businesses like automotive, aerospace, furniture, toy, smartphone, medical device, rubber, plastics, and fabricated metal producers. It also includes process manufacturing companies like cosmetics, personal care, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, beverage, and paint producers. Whether they run large-scale, Engineer to Order (ETO) operations or they work with smaller-scale Make to Order (MTO) or Make to Stock (MTS) models to produce custom items or small batches, these businesses stand to gain from the use of scheduling software manufacturing tools.

Manufacturing planning software includes job scheduling, inventory tracking, and plant floor monitoring modules. But this software is often also equipped with reporting, forecasting, and analytics tools that promote and enhance the company's business intelligence (BI) efforts. Furthermore, some tools include quoting, online proofing, accounting, and payment processing modules. As such, production planning software can also sometimes be used by distributors and logistics service providers to lower their costs, boost sales, improve customer experience, track leads, and collaborate on documents.

But the bulk of a production scheduler's capabilities is related to keeping track of production status across workstations, plant floors, departments, facilities, and time zones. This may entail scheduling tasks in real-time from a centralised dashboard, creating visual workflows with drag-and-drop tools, and sequencing processes and operations to balance the workload and bring the department closer to meeting the target. Production schedulers collect historical and up-to-the-minute data and relay it to manufacturing managers in a relatable format. Documentation like purchase orders, invoices, and bills of material are collected and stored for easy, paperless access through the dashboard, minimising errors and duplicates. These tools also track inventory items in real-time across locations, granting inventory managers visibility into processes and transactions taking place globally.

Built-in scheduling algorithms allow a production planner to automate many processes common to manufacturing environments. Also, as capacity planning software for manufacturing businesses produces accurate plant floor information in real-time, it enables managers to review delayed tasks, stop or speed them up immediately, and pinpoint bottlenecks and resource conflicts before they escalate. With workflow building modules for specific departments and locations, risk analysis features like "what if" scenarios, automated Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) and on-demand Percent Planned Complete (PPC) reports. Furthermore, a production scheduler makes it easier for manufacturers to promise delivery, schedule production, plan capacity, and meet deadlines than they would do otherwise.

Depending on the tool and the industry vertical, manufacturing planning software may also feature Quality Control (QC) modules, EDI document exchange options, built-in Warehouse Management System (WMS) tools, Human-Machine Interface (HMI) modules, and tools for managing quality, maintenance, production, and inventory. But the mainstay of a production planner software tool is the ability to take proactive steps to prevent worker overload, resource conflict, bottlenecks, and other capacity constraints that might affect throughput, lead times, and on-time delivery metrics.

Many of the production scheduling applications available today are at least partially customisable in terms of interface and integration with popular CRM, MOM, MES, and WMS tools. As such, they can be hosted in the cloud or deployed on-premise and meet the unique needs of most businesses. However, cloud-based tools are more flexible to demand and usage fluctuations, and providers will often enable users to upgrade or downgrade their subscriptions as needed. Still, many manufacturers will opt out of cloud hosting and set up on-premise or hybrid infrastructures instead to ensure that the data collected by the production scheduler stays on company servers.

What are the benefits of production scheduling software?

The benefits of production scheduling software are felt not only by the shop floor but also by those in charge and the broader economy. As explained in Benefits of ERP Software for Small Businesses, companies of any size can put ERP systems Keeping Track of Projects is Easy with Our Free Gantt Chart Template to good use. By extension, production schedulers can offer similar benefits. But they can also prove beneficial in other ways. Here are some of the many benefits of production scheduling applications:

  • Improves resource utilisation: Production planning software offers accurate and detailed information on resource availability in real-time. This includes raw material, equipment, worker, and machine status. With all this information available to managers at a moment's notice through a centralised interface, manufacturers are bound to optimise their resource allocation and utilisation, boosting productivity and margins.
  • Promotes collaboration: Production planner software is used by workers across departments and facilities, not just the shop floor. From procurement to production, sales, and dispatch, the tool enables all team members to add value to manufactured items by collaborating on document drafting, budget approval, product status tracking, and other essential processes. As they make their contributions in real-time and synchronise their work across the globe, workers collect information from different locations, unify it into the central database, and ensure that they reference new and relevant information at all times from this single source of truth (SSOT).
  • Identifies bottlenecks: With production scheduling software, managers have visibility into workstation performance, raw material stocks, worker capacity, and maintenance issues. Not only can they track incoming parts shipments, workforce operations, and machinery status to estimate capacity, but they also address any concerns in real-time. Whether it's a reminder to replenish stock, a machinery maintenance alert, a workstation overload notification, or a worker performance notice, a production scheduler can send visual or auditory warnings to managers whenever an unexpected variation occurs. This helps remove bottlenecks, prevent resource conflict, and protect workers from overload, resolving the production cycle.
  • Boosts visibility: Production schedulers offer invaluable insight into the running of the business to all those who have access to operational information. This enables branches and departments to compare their performance and find appropriate ways to streamline processes. It is maybe difficult to synchronise information sourced from different tools across the organisation. Furthermore, using a single software tool enterprise-wide means that departments can work together, use the same data to draft their reports, and speed up decision-making processes for all those involved.
  • Streamlines processes: Instead of using disparate information and working separately, departments and teams can coordinate their efforts with production scheduling software. As the information is updated in real-time, reducing the risk of human error, boosts operational efficiency, and speeds up most operations, from quote drafting to ROI reporting.
  • Reduces cost and waste: Using outdated or inaccurate information risks wasting valuable time and resources, and demotivating workers. With up-to-date data fed through the system continuously, managers can reduce administrative costs, simplify data entry processes, and ensure that senior management can make informed decisions as soon as they are needed.
  • Enhances security: Automating data collection, storage, and sharing results in a more secure work environment. As business information and personal employee data are kept safe through encryption, geo-redundancy, 2FA, one-time passwords, and other cybersecurity mechanisms, production scheduling tools can offer businesses and their worker's peace of mind.
  • Improves traceability: All organisations must abide by certain financial, fiscal, H&S, and data protection regulations, no matter where they are located. With a production schedule software tool, compliance and traceability are guaranteed because there is a permanent audit trail.

What are the features of production scheduling software?

The features of production scheduling software span a very broad spectrum of capabilities and technologies. As software developers try to adapt to trends like consumerism, eco-awareness, and viral marketing, manufacturing software is becoming more modular and flexible. But there are a few basic features of production scheduling software that go beyond trends and reflect urgent necessity:

  • Automated scheduling: Set up rules for production plans based on built-in algorithms and pre-established parameters. Production schedulers can enable managers to determine the level of involvement they can commit to when scheduling business processes. For instance, managers can hand over most scheduling tasks to the algorithm, trusting it to allocate materials, machinery, and workers to specific projects independently or take over for certain types of projects.
  • Manual scheduling: Assign workers and machinery to specific projects, scheduling their work and booking their slots digitally. This enables managers to make adjustments in real-time, prioritise processes, and keep tabs on productions.
  • Dynamic resource allocation: Enable the system to adapt the allocation of staff, machinery, and materials to changes in demand. On this basis, production scheduling tools can connect the best available worker to the nearest workstation or machinery that needs to be manned or serviced, while keeping costs to a minimum.
  • Ready-made templates: Generate documents, policies, and workflows automatically, giving shop floor workers and other colleagues access to this information instantly. Production scheduling applications often enable users to create documents like work orders, Standard Operating Procedures, Bills of Materials, Raw Materials Specifications, and Master Batch Records automatically. Some come with one-click charts similar to the ones made available in the Capterra blog post titled Keeping Track of Projects is Easy with Our Free Gantt Chart Template.
  • Intuitive dashboards and analytics: Provide a Single Source of Truth (SSOT) database with a centralised dashboard and visuals available to authorised users of all skills and abilities. This enables workers across departments to track projects, resources, inventory, and process flows without relying on the IT infrastructure as much and boosting resource efficiency. With handy charts and real-time visibility into operations, downtime, delays, quality issues, and labour gaps, data analytics can lead to savings on overheads and other costs.
  • Capacity planning: Check staff and machine availability in real-time, sharing the information with users and recommending slots and tasks for each available resource to maximise capacity. Production schedulers can enable managers to gauge capacity levels throughout the workday, keeping sight of demand fluctuations and recommending alternatives based on available resources.
  • Real-time reports: Check capacity and performance in real-time, displaying the information to users and pinpointing missed opportunities. Production schedulers may feature workflow trackers, live WIP information, real-time inventory data, batch tracking, and other tools essential for floor-level control.
  • Material requirement planning (MRP): Analyse the availability of raw materials to plan for project completion. With manufacturing scheduling tools, managers can more easily anticipate materials requirements by accessing all project data from a single pane on the computer. They can also reassess their needs constantly, tweaking budgets, planning well ahead, and deploying materials as needed to avoid wastage.
  • "What-if" analysis: Help gauge potential risk and find alternatives to the existing schedule. Production managers can access quantifiable time and profit data when they compare their schedules using a production scheduling application. With alternatives to their best-case scenario ready to hand, disruptive events have a lower chance of impeding production.
  • Change management: Analyse the impact of adverse events and help identify ways to support implementing changes that can address them. As they can view the impact of a disruption on the production cycle in real-time, production scheduling tool users are well equipped to pinpoint preventive measures and find ways to implement them.

Production planning software can boast many other features, some unique to the developer or specific to its vertical market. As the Capterra software directory will show, there is no shortage of production scheduling systems. Browsing, filtering, comparing, and carrying out self-guided research on this directory is the best way for readers to find the ideal manufacturing scheduler.

What should be considered when purchasing production scheduling software?

When purchasing production scheduling and planning software, cost os a critical consideration. For those interested in bringing down costs, the Capterra blog offers advice on how to Get Resources Under Control with the Cost and Resource Planning Excel Template. But even some of the more expensive manufacturing schedulers can prove to be good value once they help bring down wastage and redundancy. Whatever the fee structure of the production planning software tool, there are a few critical aspects to consider before committing to a payment plan:

  • Is it easy to use and universal? The user base for production scheduling tools ranges from non-tech savvy shop floor workers to sound engineers, and the manufacturing industry has a high churn rate. To accommodate people with diverse skill sets and abilities, production schedulers should be user-friendly, multi-language, multi-currency, and multi-ability enabled. This helps shorten the learning curve for users, and it's something managers can effectively achieve with test runs and free introductory workshops for employees.
  • Does it come with any support and service commitments? When there's a software failure, every moment counts. To mitigate the risk of severe disruptions, production managers can shortlist vendors who offer round-the-clock support through chat, phone, email, and social media.
  • Is it accessible remotely? As product managers and engineers go to and fro checking every workstation and machine on the shop floor, they need to have their production schedules to hand. A production scheduler that seeks to accommodate this 'water strider' approach to manufacturing must be accessible on tablets, smartphones, and even smartwatches or other wearables.
  • Is it multisite compatible? The software should be usable across departments and facilities, even when these facilities produce different items. Whether plants and warehouses produce and store made-to-order, made-to-stock, or engineered-to-order products across regions, the business will often need a single tool to manage all these different manufacturing models and processes for the sake of consistency, efficiency, and compliance.

Some of the most relevant production scheduling software trends reflect broader changes in the manufacturing industry, now firmly entrenched in the Industry 4.0 era of cloud computing, cyber-physical systems, and smart factories. Here are some of the most prevalent production scheduling software trends in the age of real-time production monitoring:

  • The impact of IoT on manufacturing: Manufacturers embrace IoT technology in production operations. As IoT devices collect a vast array of data in real-time, including temperature readings, performance thresholds, and facility security information, the data can be analysed in real-time, and instant adjustments can be made to improve the production cycle.
  • Predictive analytics based on Big Data: It's not just IoT but also machine learning algorithms that feed vast amounts of data into a manufacturing company's database. This includes equipment information, machine running status, raw materials costs, and demand fluctuations. Using predictive analysis, organisations can then put this data to good use, tweaking schedules, reallocating resources, and adjusting budgets.
  • The need for mobile readiness: Mobile-first applications are gaining traction as shop floor managers take on more and more responsibilities. With demand, fluctuations come greater workloads, which production managers can more easily manage if their production scheduling application is available on a mobile or wearable device. Applications that display checklists, forms, reports, GPS data, and analytics on smaller and smaller screens have a clear advantage over conventional ones.