Getting Started with the Production Module

The Production module is aimed at addressing the needs of the production process. The production process covers the steps through which components and raw materials are transformed into a finished good. 


This is a beginner's guide to getting started with these recently released features. Please follow the links in each section for detailed explanations of each new feature. The goals of the new Production module features are:

  • implementing demand-driven manufacturing which provides the benefits for inventory management and timely manufacturing orders execution
  • organising a smooth production process capable of timely delivery of finished goods
  • components planning for the production process
  • resources capacity planning for the production process
  • scheduling the production process steps for control and timely execution. 


For simpler, single-step operations (e.g. assembling T-shirts into a multipack, assembling items into a gift box), users can use the simpler Assembly and Disassembly features. The difference between Production BOM and Assembly BOM is that Assembly involves only one operation and Production involves many operations. Assembly/disassembly also do not take into account resource capacity and component lead times. 


Prerequisites


Table of Contents


Factory Calendar

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The Factory Calendar defines the working days and working hours for the planning period. The calendar can then be used to ensure accurate capacity planning and scheduling. 

Production module features will not work if the Factory Calendar is not configured.


The Factory Calendar can be set up in the Production module settings: Main Menu → Production → Settings → Set up Calendar.


Configuring the Factory Calendar defines:

  • default operational hours and working days
  • holidays/days off
  • custom working hours.



Define Shop floor locations

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Shop floor locations specify where finished goods are produced. Defining a Location as a Shop floor enables the location to be selected as a Shop floor location in a Logistics Path and used in Production Orders.


Go to Settings Reference Books Locations and Bins to define Shop floor locations for your business.



Set up the Logistics Path

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Every object in DEAR Inventory has a location. 

  • Products specify a Warehouse location where the components for production are stored.
  • Sale Orders specify a Sale location where the product is sold.
  • Production orders specify a Production warehouse location (Shop floor) where finished goods are produced. 


As in real life, a product cannot be in two places simultaneously and cannot be transferred between locations at the click of the mouse. The physical movement of stock requires actions to be triggered, as well as time – logistics paths are set up to reflect that. 


A logistics path connects the storage, production and retail locations in the system (they can be the same location). This is used to factor in the lead time for components for accurate ordering and production scheduling. It also enables automatic generation of documents (purchase orders, transfer orders, etc.) and logs stock movements. 


Logistics Paths are configured from the Settings Reference Books Locations and Bins Logistics Paths page. 



Create Work Centres

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Work Centres define the area where a production operation takes place within the business (for example, a specific workshop, room or section of the shop floor). All components for a production operation should be delivered to the work centre in order for the production operation to begin picking. 


Work Centre can be set up in the Settings of the Production module: Main Menu → Production → Settings → Work Centre



Connect Shop floor bins to Work Centres

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Bins are used to specify where the stock is stored within a location. For a production work centre, bins define where the components should be brought in order to start a production operation. For example, a sewing work centre would require fabric to be brought to the assigned bin. 


The same Work Centre can be reused across multiple Shop floor locations. E.g., WC-02 Sewing Machines can exist in more than one production location. A bin can be assigned for each shop floor location. 


Go to Settings → Reference Books → Locations → Bins and select the Shop Floor location from the drop-down list to start connecting bins.



Set up Production Resources

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Finished goods production is made possible with resources, e.g. tools, machines and people. For many businesses, resource capacity is the constraint when planning production runs. 


Each resource has its capacity, which measures the capability of the resource to produce some amount of finished good. Knowing the capacity of the resource, it is possible to calculate how much time and when it is required to produce this or that finished good. Thus, adding resource and calculation of its capacity defines the timelines for the production.


Resources for production can be set up from the Production Settings: Main Menu Production Settings Resources. You will need to create Services for your resources in order to assign costs – please see the Resources article for step-by-step instructions.



Create a Production BOM

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Production Orders can only be planned for items that have a Production Bill of Materials. The Production BOM defines each step of a production operation, its duration, and the components and resources required to complete each step. 


A Production BOM is an essential feature for resource capacity planning and correctly scheduling production operations. 


See Production BOM for detailed instructions and examples of this feature in action. 



Customise Production Process Settings

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Parts of the production process can be set to either manual or automatic. This can be configured in Settings General Settings Purchase Process Customisation



Stock Transfer is Manual/Automatic

  • Automatic: When a Production Order is released, Transfer Orders from the connected warehouse (see Logistics Path) to the Production Order location are automatically created for components. Transfer Orders must be completed manually by the user.  
  • Manual: The User must manually create and complete Transfer Orders for the out-of-stock components. 
  • We recommend setting Stock Transfer to Automatic.        


Purchase Order Replenishment is Manual/Automatic

  • Automatic: When a Production Order is released with an out-of-stock component, a Purchase Order is generated for the component with delivery to the connected warehouse. 
  • Manual: The user must manually create and complete Purchase Orders for the out-of-stock components.  
  • We recommend setting Replenishment to Automatic


Setting Stock Transfer and Replenishment to Automatic will make the production process more streamlined. 


Create Production Orders

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The Production Order defines the finished good to be produced, the location where the production will take place, the date and time of the production, and the number of components and resources required. The Production Order also defines the sequence of operations to be performed and the costs of finished goods. It is a vital part of the production process.


See the Production Order article for detailed step-by-step instructions for Production Orders. 



Capacity Planner

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The Capacity Planner is a resource allocation reporting and re-planning tool.


Each resource has a capacity which measures the capability of the resource to be used in production for some unit of time to produce some finished good. Knowing how much capacity is needed per finished good, it is possible to calculate how much time is required to produce this or that finished good. This is used to define timelines for production. 


The Capacity Planner shows the capacity for a selected planning period, which resources are overallocated and allows re-planning of capacity to ensure smooth delivery of production orders. 


See Capacity Planner for more information. 



Scheduler

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The DEAR Production Scheduler visualises production order information. Production Order information, Sales Orders (containing goods to be produced) and Resource capacity can be viewed in the form of a Gantt chart (Sales Orders Gantt and Resource Gantt coming soon). 


The main goal of the Scheduler is to create the schedule for production, so all finished products are produced on time, providing smooth production without any delays. The second main goal is to provide transparency for the production process so that the user always knows what should be produced and when it should be completed. The core abilities of the Scheduler are to reschedule the production orders, production runs and operations.


This helps to assess how long an order should take, determine the resources loading, and plan the order in which the operations should be completed. The Scheduler also enables you to view and manage the dependencies between operations.


See Scheduler for more information.



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