First, we need to define what are the basic functions of a visual scheduler designed for manufacturing companies' needs?
To gather meaningful information and support the decision-maker and production planner in the best possible way, we came out with must-have lists. In this blog, we describe the 8 basic features you can easily add to your vertical solution
What's a "toolbox"?
The developer's toolbox is a native control add-in for Business Central developers to quickly create powerful custom visual schedulers as add-ins. We named this base technology, Visual Scheduling Add-in Development Toolbox, and nicknamed it Toolbox.
What are the top 8 features a Visual Scheduler should have?
Switching between views
Production planning, project management, and service dispatching are not one-dimension processes, they require lots of information to make the right decisions. With the toolbox, you can develop multi-dimensional visions to ensure your customer see more information at once. The toolbox will also help your customers track their delivery dates, resource availabilities, and much more from the same view.
2. Flexible timescale
Planning requires short-term and long terms scales, and there’s nothing better than being able to change from one to the other with intuitive mouse wheel movements. No mouse on hand? You can also expand or shrink the timescale by clicking on the dates.
3. Group visualization
You can always bring together information regarding its content. For example, production orders with their suborders or operations, and the departments with their work centers and machine centers. Using groups allows you a quicker overview but also allows you to go into details when expanding the group levels.
The left screenshot shows the grouping by work center and machine center. While the right one lists a production order and its production order lines.
4. Individual calendar settings
If you’re working one, two, or several shifts, the schedule will have their availabilities loaded in the background. This setting will help you make the most accurate schedule.
In this example, the white space can be read as the working period while the gray is the non-working period. In this sense, the drilling machines have a shift from 8:00 to 23:00 on that Monday.
A planning board should help you optimize machine utilization. A histogram shows the load per machine center against the total capacity per machine. Bottlenecks are easier to spot and fix. The toolbox allows you to recognize resource loads on the fly when rescheduling operations.
In this screenshot, we can see how on Friday the machine center drilling #1 is almost fully scheduled, while the machine center drilling #2 is practically free. In summary, that work center for drilling shows half the time available on Friday. 1,060 minutes out of 2,120 in the day.
6. Support dependencies
All changes in a production order will have a subsequent effect on the succeeding operations. With the toolbox, you can ensure that once you move an operation the related operations will move as required. This can also work with interdependent production orders.
7. Visual alerts
Graphics mostly translate to easier-to-understand data. Therefore, a visual planning board should allow you to identify changes, risks, delivery dates, link violations, and much more.
8. ERP integration
No additional database, no middleman for anything. All information shown should come from a table in your ERP. Saving data back and forward takes seconds and reflects in all aspects of the ERP.
Most importantly: Drag & Drop
This feature lets you move any operation quickly and reflect the changes once you do it to help you decide if it's the right decision or not.
Click on the image above to start building your own planning board. You can test it for free!