Any business in the processing, manufacturing or fabricating industry should be aware of the maximum capacity of their production lines. In fact, many of these businesses market using this maximum capacity to let their customers know the potential for production.
However, most of these same processing companies do not spend time in planning how to optimize all aspects of the company and facility. Capacity planning is the only way to determine the most effective and efficient way to use resources within the business as compared to the predicted demands for production.
This is much more than just an accounting of parts per hour produced or other specific data points. It refers to a holistic look at all elements and subsystems within the facility and ensuring every one of those systems is also operating at the optimal capacity level.
Start With Now
In order to develop effective use of capacity, it is important to start with baseline data. In capacity planning, this will include all subsystems within the system. For example, in a processing plant, the lowest production capacity in a subsystem will create the upper limit for the rest of the system.
Often, this is ineffective or inefficient, but without understanding where the current bottleneck is occurring, there is no way to manage and plan for improvement.
Using capacity planning software, companies can then look at goals to allow for the more effective use of all resources. This will also create a more effective method for ordering raw materials based on capacity and predicted future sales.
These goals can then be used to work towards future optimization of the subsystems within the business. Making adjustments or modifications to these systems can boost future production, allowing the company to move into new markets, take on new customers and boost production by just optimizing what already exists.