Getting goods to customers involves a lot of coordination. There are demands to meet and raw materials to procure. And of course, you need to create a manufacturing schedule to deliver the commodity on time and meet customer needs. Use our free production schedule template for Excel to get those pieces together, and keep your manufacturing process running smoothly.
But, if you want to make an even better production schedule than Excel can offer, open ProjectManager’s free production schedule template. It lets you build a dynamic production schedule that can be managed online with an interactive Gantt chart, spreadsheet or kanban board. Track progress, create dependencies, find the critical path, attach files and more. Get started for free with ProjectManager and build a better production schedule.
What Is a Production Schedule?
A production schedule is a plan to balance supply and demand in the production of a commodity. It tracks the production of a product over a period of time, and is a fundamental piece of any manufacturing business.
Like any schedule, a production schedule is built to be flexible. It responds to fluctuations in demand and sets up inventory to avoid stockouts. Using our free production schedule template for excel will help you improve efficiency and control costs.
Everything about the manufacturing process is covered in this template. It helps you determine what needs to be produced, how much of it you need to make and when it needs to happen.
Why You Need a Production Schedule Template
The production schedule is part of your supply chain management. Not only does it manage your resources, but it helps your sales team work with production to plan a schedule that delivers the goods to customers as needed.
Using the production schedule template will help you estimate an accurate and realistic production plan, one that can be revisited and revised as needed. It helps to manage your inventory and stock movements. It also allows you to track your targets, manage deliveries and allocate resources, which includes both raw materials and personnel.
When to Use a Production Schedule Template
Use the production schedule template during production planning. This is when you start to estimate the number of raw materials, people, workstations, processes and supplies you’ll need to get the work done.
The next step is to determine the route of the raw materials through the production to the finished product. This will help you know where you are in the production cycle. This way you can accurately map the route from one workstation to the next.
This is when the production schedule comes in. It’s a way to manage these processes to match your deadline and budget. Then you can execute orders without having to make wild guesses. During the execution phase, you have most of the work laid out and just have to respond to supporting issues.
If you find yourself constantly updating and revising this template and other Excel sheets, it might be time to upgrade to project management software. Project management software automates much of that process and adds resource management tools to help you produce more efficiently. Workload charts with real-time resource availability keep your team productive. ProjectManager also has kanban boards that show you exactly where you are in the production cycle, so you can add resources to match your capacity. Try it for yourself with a free 30-day trial.
Who Should Use a Production Schedule Template?
Depending on your business, there can be one or more people who use the production schedule template. A production planning manager oversees the production of a business. This person is more likely to manage the plan itself, though the schedule is part of that plan.
There are also production schedulers who are tasked with making the schedule on the required timeline. They are sometimes called a master scheduler. They look at historic data and inventory to make accurate and effective schedules.
Whether you have a production planning manager or a production scheduler, the person who uses the production schedule template needs to stay in close communication with suppliers, sales representatives and other stakeholders to make sure they are calculating current numbers and meeting current demand.
How to Use ProjectManager’s Production Schedule Template
Our free production schedule template for Excel has all the information you need to add mapped out for you. Just put in how much and when, then you can organize your manufacturing to meet deadlines.
The first part of the template is where you identify the work center and the shift. There’s a place to date the template and then another where you can add the date it was revised.
This is where you indicate the status of the order. You can customize this column to mirror your nomenclature. We have set the template with options of started, in progress, done and more.
Next is where you indicate the production number for internal tracking. What follows is the name of the customer for whom you’re making the product to sell. The product list is simply the quantity of items you’re going to manufacture.
Variations refers to any differences in the product. For example, if you’re manufacturing lunchboxes, this would indicate different colors or designs. Then you add up the product list and variations to come up with the total product quantity.
The starting inventory is how much inventory you have at the beginning of the manufacturing job. The ending inventory is what you’re left with. This will help you gauge your inventory to make sure you always have enough of what you need in stock.
Next is the start date for the manufacturing, followed by the end date, which gives you a timeframe by which the work must be completed. When it is done, there’s a place for the ship date, which can be seen as the hard deadline by which time your product must leave the manufacturing floor.
There’s a place for notes to fill in any gaps that aren’t part of the overall production schedule template. Under that is a place to capture any delays in manufacturing, listing the from-to dates and adding an explanation for the delay.
How to Schedule Production in ProjectManager
The free production schedule template is a great start to managing your manufacturing schedule, but if you want to plan better, organize resources, set dependencies and more, you’ll want to use a project management software tool like ProjectManager to simplify your scheduling. Use our online Gantt charts to get all your tasks identified, described and laid out over a timeline, with start and finish dates. Now you can see your entire manufacturing schedule in one place. There are likely dependent tasks that can cause a bottleneck in your manufacturing. With the Gantt chart it’s easy to link these tasks together by simply dragging one to another so they don’t slip through the cracks and cause delays.
Because our software is online you can monitor your manufacturing in real-time and reallocate resources quickly to stay on track. There’s even a workload chart to balance your team’s tasks so they work more efficiently. All resource costs are managed, which gives you more control over the supplies and raw materials you need to make your product.
What Other Templates Can Help With Scheduling?
Our free production schedule template is one of dozens of free project management templates on our site that can help you better plan and schedule your work.
While not as dynamic as our online Gantt chart, the free Gantt chart template is still very helpful when making your schedule. It gives you a visual tool to organize your schedule by showing you start and end dates and setting milestones to break up your production into more manageable bits.
Our free work schedule template will help you organize your workforce by letting you list all your employees, where they’re located, the times they’re working and what they’re responsible for doing over their shift. It can manage the traditional weekday, but also shift work for those manufacturers that are running their machinery all week long, 24 hours a day.
The free project plan template is used to organize all the activities of your manufacturing production. That includes tasks and resources. It breaks the work into phases, activities into a schedule with tasks and durations, dependencies and more.
Related Scheduling Content
Production schedules are not that different from any other project schedule. We publish blogs, videos and guides that explain all the different aspects of project management. Here are a few of the ones that focus on manufacturing:
- How to Make a Quality Management Plan
- Capacity Planning Essentials
- How to Make a Construction Schedule
ProjectManager is a cloud-based tool that helps you organize work, teams and gives you real-time data to help you make better decisions. It is used by tens of thousands of teams across many industries to help them plan, schedule, monitor, track and report on the progress and performance of their work. See what it can do to help you stay on schedule by taking this free 30-day trial today.