Human Performance in Planning and Scheduling

By Bart MacCarthy; John Wilson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY

Influencing Industrial Practice in Planning, Scheduling and Control

Bart MacCarthy and John Wilson


20.1

INTRODUCTION

The factors that motivated this book have been discussed in chapter one-the importance of planning and scheduling processes to successful manufacturing enterprises, the importance of adopting a holistic view that incorporates technical, organisational and human dimensions and the need to understand the human contribution. The human role is, in the broadest sense, to manage these processes. The corollary is that best use must be made of people's knowledge, abilities and skills. The studies reported in the preceding chapters show that there is much potential for performance improvement across industrial sectors. It is a rich domain with both extensive research needs and research opportunities that can have a significant impact on industrial practice.

The study of planning and scheduling has the ultimate goal of improving industrial practice. The studies reported here provide a unique platform to develop a reliable body of knowledge that can support systems design and re-engineering. In this chapter we firstly synthesise generic issues of most significance to industry and then outline briefly a research agenda that highlights the most promising areas for future study in terms of industrial relevance. Finally, we discuss how a concerted effort is needed to support World Class planning, scheduling and control processes in the extended enterprise.


20.2

IMPROVING PERFORMANCE

Over the last two decades there have been numerous manufacturing 'revolutions', accompanied by clarion calls for universal adoption of some new paradigm e.g. Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRPII), Just-In-time (JIT), Optimised Production Technology/Theory of Constraints (OPT/TOC), Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS), Total Quality Management (TQM), Lean Manufacturing, Agility, Time-based Competition (TBC), Quick Response Manufacturing (QR/QRM) and Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR). Undoubtedly many of these philosophies have had a significant impact but equally there have been many casualties in their adoption and many failures to achieve desired or anticipated levels of performance improvement. There is now greater realisation across business and industry of the limitations of simplistic 'magic bullet' or 'one size fits all' solutions, characteristic of some of the new manufacturing paradigms. It is clear that effective solutions must address the

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