How to Choose the Best Scheduling Software for Manufacturing

As a manufacturer, you are well aware that the job entails a large number of tasks and the best business owners are those that can multitask to keep up with supply and demand today's fast paced the world, highly competitive market, this can be quite a challenge.However, with all of the technology available today, there are computer automated software programs that can assist in these areas, such as scheduling software for manufacturing, thus making the workload somewhat lighter.

Manufacturing Scheduling Software

can save you lots of time and money. It can also help prevent little return on your capital, cut back on labor costs and operating expenses, eliminate discrepancies with scheduling and prevent lost sales due to incorrect inventory as well as keep track of shipping and delivery. The better scheduling software programs even have mobile applications which make it easy if your posting requires a lot of commuting time.

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Not only does it manage your employee database, but it can also keep track of inventory, forecasting, planning and other such tasks that are critical to the manufacturing industry. Here are some advantages of scheduling software.

    • Provide customers with a reliable delivery date based on real-time data
    • Ability to plan difficult scheduling trade-off decisions using available resources.
    • Calculates recommendations for material for projects including what is needed, as well as quantity and cost.

But how do you choose the best scheduling software for your particular business needs? There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding which automated scheduling system is best for you.

1. What are your company-particular objective and requirements?

The requirements are of course the first and most critical step in the overall decision process. You don’t want to purchase software that does not meet your needs.

Make a list of your key objectives and ask yourself these questions

  • Does this software the capacity to handle my database?
  • Does this system meet all of my business goals?
  • Am I able to integrate this system into my existing ERP software?
  • Is it versatile? Adaptable? You need to be sure that as your business needs grow that the system can handle the workload.

2. Is it user-friendly?

Let’s face it, even though these days most employees have a pretty good working knowledge of computers and computer software, and they do not, in fact, have an IT degree. You need to ensure that the scheduling software you have selected has user-friendly databases. Take into consideration how much time it will take to train your staff to use the software, as this too as an important factor. Most companies offer a free trial of their software so you can evaluate “hands on” to see if it fits your specific needs.

3. Is it proactive?

Before you install scheduling software system, you need to know that it is capable of handling the tasks for which you purchased it. Is it capable of real-time data? Does it manually update as needed? Can it handle your workload? These are all important questions that you need to ask yourself.

4. Is the system multi-dynamic?

If your business is, in fact, a multi-plant operation, you need to be sure that your software can support multi-plant dynamics and can analyze data in various locations, share data between locations and essential device where to source the materials from based on the job requirements. If you have more than one place including offices, warehouses, and the like, you need a system that can handle the workload.

5. Does it give a clear and precise view?

For a scheduling software to be successful you must have the ability see what is happening in both real and predicted time frames. You and your staff must be able to decipher the data, modeled and graphics that the system uses and how to handle all aspects of the software.


6. Does the company have superior customer service and technical support?

We all would like to think that once we install our manufacturing software and there will be no issues! We simply use the system, and everything goes off without a glitch. Realistically, there will be technical as other matters that you will need to be resolved. Always make sure that your software provider has a professional and knowledgeable customer support staff and that they are readily available should you need them. You should make sure that they can be reached via phone, email or chat support should you have any questions or concerns that you cannot handle on your own.

Other factors you should take into consideration include the following:

  • Overall cost
  • Cost of owning vs. leasing the software (or paying a monthly fee)
  • Any “hidden costs.”
  • Implementation costs and risk
  • Training costs
  • IT Database, analysis, and benefits

Additional Features to Look for in Scheduling Software:

  • Level load scheduling
  • Ability to quickly add any relevant information
  • Ability to create visual charts and graphs
  • Ability to create visual charts and graphs
  • Ability to coordinate factors such as job site, labor hours, schedule delivery times, materials, parts and so forth
  • Real time data
  • Ability to color code data

Keeping these factors in mind, you should check out several different scheduling software before you make your final decision. You can do an online search and then take the time to read customer reviews. Remember to do a Google search and look for offsite and forum reviews as well to get unbiased reviews of the software. Again, a lot of companies offer free trials so you might want to try out several systems before making your final decision.

Take time to check out the company website and learn as much as you can about both the company and the product. Contact customer service and technical support if you have any questions. It is important to make sure that all of your bases are covered before investing in a manufacturing scheduling software system.

Author: Eric Raio

Eric Raio is one of the founders of Factory Solutions. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome software. He likes to geek out about flying drones and technology.

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