Production Planning & Control/Scheduling (PPC)

Production Planning & Control/Scheduling (PPC)


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” ―Benjamin Franklin

Effective & efficient planning is key to the success for any individual, organization or country. For marriage, there is elaborate planning and control and there is never any postponement in marriage due to poor planning! A student never fails to give the examination on time irrespective of his preparation. An Aeroplan always has to land irrespective of any delay.

Production Planning & Control (PPC) process is the backbone of any organization. It is a bridge between customer and organization. PPC process owners not only have to listen to the needs and expectation of the customers but also to understand the challenges that they face internally. PPC personnel are generally silent fighters who work in the background incessantly without getting their due credit! In the real sense, PPC personnel are the real captain of the ship who knows everything that is going around in the organization albeit without any authority!

Following are the related definitions.

Production planning decides the operations which are required for production

Production control regulates and supervises the operations required for production

One of the key IATF subscribing OEM has specific requirement related to Production Scheduling.

Peugeot Citroen: 3 Level Production schedule (Sales & operating plan, Master production scheduling, Production plan)

Types of production:

  • Unit or Job type of production: Building ships, bridges, handmade craft furniture,
  • Batch type of Production: Steel Making, Heat Treatment, Cloth stitching
  • Mass Production or Flow production: Automotive Assembly lines for car
  • Continuous production or Process production: Chemical Plant

 Production Planning Steps (PDCA)

  • Forecast the demand
  • Determine potential options for production
  • Choose the option that uses the combination of resources more effectively
  • Monitor and control
  • Adjust

Key attributes of Good Planner:

  • Understanding of Business Operations
  • Leadership
  • Decisiveness
  • Skills like Stress Management, Oral Communication & Problem Solving

Effective planning dependent on 5M

  • Man
  • Machine
  • Material
  • Method
  • Money

IATF 16949 Standard (clause has specified key requirements for Production Scheduling. They are

  • Customer demand/schedule: Customer share their requirements to the organization so that they can produce the product/services. Depending upon the type of industry and requirement, customer schedule can be hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Example: for bulky products like Car Seats, the customer schedule is every few hours as it is difficult to store for a long time.
  • Just in time: In present times, no one is interested to keep inventory. Moreover, the world is dynamic and customer requirements change quickly. With just in time concept, the product remains fresh just like hot food served at home moreover it reduces inventory cost and the possibility of wastage.  
  • Order Driven: Customer does not pay for the inventory cost. Organization and customer want to remain lean as much as possible. The intent is to have ‘PULL System’ as per KANBAN wherein the entire supply chain remains order-driven and produces only when there is a requirement.
  • Customer orders: Different customers have their way of communicating their requirements. Many shares tentative schedule for coming 6 to 12 months. Later they share 1 to 3 months confirm schedule. Based on which organization can plan their internal resources. Many times, during the month also, due to changes in sales projection, schedule changes again too. It is the responsibility of the PPC team to align themselves as per customer orders and changes.
  • Supplier on-time delivery performance: Majority of the organization are dependent on their supplier (outsource process, job work etc.) for raw material, components and consumables. To meet customer delivery schedule, it is pertinent that supplier should deliver on time and planned quantity too. Close interaction with purchase and suppliers is critical to ensure customer delivery compliance.    
  • Capacity: Based on the yearly or 6 monthly plans from the customer as well as previous year experience, the organization can check their existing capacity and the desired capacity. It will also include capacity at supplier end too. Based on the cycle time calculation at different processes, an organization can calculate their existing capacity.
  • Shared loading (multi-part station): In the majority of the organizations, the manufacturing process like an assembly line, moulding, press shop, welding, paint shop etc. are not dedicated for one product but multiple products are processed as per schedule. The intent is to maximize productivity and costing. While planning, the PPC team has to review the load shared by each process and plan the production activity accordingly.
  • Lead time: The key objective of production planning is to deliver the material as per customer requirement (lead time). Based on customer lead time (time between order and receipt of product/service), PPC has to align the lead time for material from the different manufacturing process, quality process and suppliers too. Logically, the lead time within the organization should be less than the customer lead time.
  • Inventory level: Based on the experience and market projection, an organization can define a minimum and maximum inventory levels at different stages. While planning for the coming months, awareness of the existing inventory levels at all stakeholder helps the organization to plan correctly. Stakeholders and processes include Bought out Parts Supplier, Raw Material supplier, Outsource processes, Job work, Warehouse, transit, customer end etc.
  • Preventive maintenance: It is part of the manufacturing process and needed to ensure adequate health of the machines and tooling. While planning for production, input from the maintenance team helps to plan correctly.
  • Planned shutdown: Many OEM’s and tier 1 have a system to plan shutdown once or twice a year. Generally, these planned shutdowns are for 5 to 7 days. This is one of the key inputs while planning the schedule and inventory level. Many times, an organization is supplying to multiple customers and few plans for a planned shutdown. In such cases, planning should be made accordingly.
  • Calibration: Based on the criticality and usage, the organization decides the calibration frequency. Many of the instruments are mounted on the machine and while calibration, the machine has to be stopped. Moreover, there are many measuring and test equipment’s wherein the organization does not have any backup. In such cases too, planning has to consider the production accordingly.
  • Availability of competent manpower: Depending upon region and country, employees plan their vacation (Festivals, Marriages, Religious functions etc.). Sometimes, due to health issue too, employees go on sudden leave. There can be many more reasons for non-availability. PPC team has to take into consideration all such cases too.

Key Risks for Production Planning:

  • Unplanned shutdown
  • Quality issue (internal/external)
  • Major Recall
  • Absenteeism
  • Non-availability of competent manpower

Benefits to Organization:

  • Customer delivery schedule adherence
  • Inventory management
  • Low cost of production
  • Improved employee morale
  • Customer satisfaction

Possible Challenges:

  • How often the organization ensures that production planning is done by a competent and qualified person?
  • How often data related to LATEST cycle time, OEE, Preventive maintenance plan of tooling and machines, the planned shutdown is updated and considered while doing production planning?
  • How often PPC personnel are authorised to take any decision although they are responsible for ensuring on-time delivery to the customer?
  • How often PPC team verifies the existing and projected capacity, Calibration schedule, preventive maintenance plan at Supplier end?


ISO 9000: 2015

ISO 9004: 2018

IATF 16949: 2016


This is the 66th article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.

Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pradeep Sharma
Pradeep Sharma
3 years ago

Respected Sir,
Greetings of the Day,
Very well explained and nicely depicted.
Thanks for sharing such a great topic. No words to show my gratitude to you.

Pradeep Sharma

Pradeep Sharma
Pradeep Sharma
3 years ago

Respected Sir,
Greetings of the Day,
Very well explained and nicely depicted.
Thanks for sharing such a great topic. No words to show my gratitude to you.

Pradeep Sharma

Sharath B
Sharath B
2 years ago

Thanks Bhavya amazing way of explaining the process.

Justan Pamper
1 year ago

Your article contained the information I had been searching for online for a few days. It’s a beautiful and priceless piece of information. I appreciate you providing us with this essential information on Production Planning & Control.