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Complexity of scheduling in SMEs specialising in high variety low volume manufacturing

Complexity of scheduling in SMEs specialising in high variety low volume manufacturing

Lara Garzon, A., Arokiam, A. and Greig, N. (2012) Complexity of scheduling in SMEs specialising in high variety low volume manufacturing. In: KTP Associates Conference 2012, 14 Jun 2012, University of Brighton, Sussex, UK.

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With a large number of companies failing to implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems a reasonable amount of research has been carried out in this field, nevertheless, “most research has focused on the big business sector, and the findings cannot easily be extended to SMEs because of their particular characteristics”(Poba-Nzaou et al. 2008). Different factors have been identified and ERP vendors are struggling to provide a flexible system that adapts to meet SME requirements.

Scheduling systems, especially those handling High Variety Low Volume (HVLV) production, have struggled to perform according to SMEs needs. HVLV in a make to order environment requires precision production planning to reduce lead times, to make the most of available capacity and to be competitive.

Given the lack of high performance ERP software, SMEs adjust parallel systems (analytical and algorithmic aids) to fill the gaps. Those alternative systems interrupt the flow of information and hinder the optimisation of resources.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership between the University of Greenwich and MEP Ltd aims to adjust the ERP scheduling module to company’s requirements. The objectives are to identify the root cause of inconsistencies and to design a scheduling method that is aligned with MEP’s needs.

As a result of the Scheduling system inconsistencies, MEP Ltd has developed an alternative tool to schedule production. This analytical system generates a production plan; however, it is neither efficient nor accurate.

This research paper presents the issues faced by a SME using an ERP system that does not perform as required. It describes scheduling systems in an ideal environment, compared with an analytical and algorithmic aid used by MEP Ltd. It finally shows the limitations of those analytical systems and why it is required to integrate information systems.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: [1] This paper was first presented at the KTP Associates Conference 2012, a one-day conference held at the University of Brighton on Thursday 14 June 2012 and organized by the Centre for Collaboration and Partnership at the University of Brighton.
Uncontrolled Keywords: complexity, SMEs, manufacturing
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Engineering
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:26

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