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Scheduling System

What Problems Does
The Scheduling System Solve?

A manufacturing plant of Classic Packaging’s size and job complexity requires reporting on a wide variety of data, including material availability, open orders, work staff performance, and profitability. Further, their role in the food industry also necessitates advanced traceability reporting capability.

Product Summary

We have created the following reports:

  • Film Callout Report
  • Open Bag Order Materials
  • Customer Update Sheet
  • Production Percentages Report
  • Scrap Report
  • Traceability Report
  • Profitability Report
  • Schedule Report

Each of these reports can be exported to either PDF or CSV format.

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Project Goals

To provide comprehensive reporting functionality that facilitates operations and financial planning, performance evaluations, and investigation of defects and other production irregularities.

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What Prompted the Start of the Scheduling System?

Prior to the Reporting System, there were no profitability or production reports. Other reports were created in a manual fashion. For example, to create the Film Callout report, a staff member had to tour the floor and notate the available stock of each item on a daily basis. The Traceability Report was pieced together into an Excel spreadsheet as needed from hard copy printouts. Classic Packaging was well aware of the need for a Reporting System, and after the foundational Scheduling, Allocation, and Production systems were implemented and producing the necessary data, they were excited about starting on the Reporting System. In fact, several more reports are on the roadmap for development over the next few months.

System Build

There were several big challenges in building the Reporting System, as well as the strategies we used to manage them. Here are some of the most significant and how we overcame them:

  • Adaptability and Organization: A large number of complex formulas was required, for example, in calculating the cost of the vast array of materials used in this industry. We leveraged our longstanding experience in Agile project management to stay organized in the face of this complexity.
  • Strategic Data Queries: Interactions with the databases had to be very thoughtfully structured to maintain satisfactory performance for several of the reports, namely the Production Percentages, Profitability, and Traceability Reports. These reports required pulling and joining data from many different production steps, and some of the required data was stored in the legacy database.
  • Overcoming Data Display Challenges: A wealth of information had to be displayed in an intuitive manner on the Traceability Report. Our CEO and master designer, Jason Long, again stepped in to personally create its initial design and oversee its refinement in close collaboration with Classic Packaging.
  • Maintaining Exceptional User Experience in the Face of Large Amounts of Data: Similar to the Scheduler System, a large number of visual elements had to be rendered on the Traceability Report without compromising the user experience. We employed a high performance scalable vector graphic (SVG) to render the many lines that connect consumed to produced goods, and to handle change events such as when a user scrolls.

System Feature & Report

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Film Callout Report

The Film Callout Report is a valuable planning tool, allowing work staff to check when a purchase order should be received and make alternative arrangements (e.g., allocating other rolls to the job) if it is not received by the date it is needed.

The Film Callout Report provides the dates by which open purchase orders of film are needed on the floor. The “needed by” date is the date of the first scheduled job step to which a given purchase order has been allocated. The report also provides the film specifications, allocated quantity, and ship date of the sales order that will consume the film. If multiple sales orders require a given purchase order of film, the need by and ship dates of each sales order are provided.

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Open Bag Order Materials

This report quantifies the amount of each of the non-film materials (e.g., cartons, wickets, ziplock, tape, etc.) required to produce all of the open bag orders in the system. As these materials are not allocated to jobs in the Allocation System, and some of their inventory is not tracked in the legacy database, this report is critical to allowing Classic Packaging to determine when they need to order particular bag materials.

The main page displays each of the major types of bag materials and the specific materials and quantities needed within each category.

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The user can click on a category to see a detailed report regarding the orders that require that particular material type:
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Customer Update Sheet

The production requirements revolve around the needs of the customers. This report displays open order information, which can be filtered by date range or customer name. Critical information is displayed, such as date required, approximated completion date (calculated using Scheduler System data), shipping method, quantity ordered, quantity on hand, and quantity shipped.

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Production Percentages Report

The Production Percentages Report provides a metric for performance evaluation. This report displays the daily productivity of machine operators for each machine. Productivity is expressed as the percentage of the actual job setup and run time that was credited (expected) for each of the jobs that the operator worked during their shift.

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Production Percentages Detail View

Daily numbers can be clicked to display the details of the operator’s efficiency on each of their jobs that day. There, for each job step, the expected footage can be compared to the footage actually produced, and credited (expected) run and setup times can be compared to actual run time and setup times.

Scrap Report

The ability to monitor the scrap percentages for different operators provides another performance metric by which to evaluate operator efficiency. It also helps to identify problems in production

We added scrap percentages to the Production Percentages Report. On the daily summary screen, we added the scrap percentage for the operator alongside their production percentage for the day. The scrap percentage is defined as the percentage of total pounds of material allocated to a job that was scrapped. On the Production Percentages Detail view (shown above), we also added the amount of setup and runtime scrap for each individual job and totaled for the day.

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Traceability Report

Traceability of materials is crucial for any manufacturer, but even more so for Classic Packaging given their status as a food packager. If a vendor notifies Classic Packaging of a faulty material purchase order, Classic Packaging must be able to easily identify all sales orders that are affected. Vice versa, if they discover defects with a sales order, they must be able to track down which materials, machines, operators, or processes could have contributed to the problems.

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The Traceability Report allows the user to enter a sales order number, and then displays a visual representation of all the materials and processes used to create that sales order. Or, the user can enter a purchase order number, and all the sales orders that used that purchase order will be displayed on the left side. The user can then select a sales order to view in detail.

Each job step is displayed, with the operator(s), shifts, and machines involved, as well as status icons indicating if there were any problems noted during production, and all materials that were consumed or produced. Raw film rolls are displayed as white cylinders, while work in progress film rolls are displayed as cylinders whose color varies based on the processes that have been applied to them (e.g., laminated rolls are red). Arrows connect materials that were consumed to produce a work in progress or finished good. Cartons and cases of finished bags are visualized as boxes to make the report intuitive.

classic packaging system screenshot
classic packaging system screenshot

Profitability Report

The Profitability Report assists in identifying the types of jobs that are more or less profitable. This report lists all sales orders for a given timeframe and the revenue, cost, and profit of each one. Further information includes the actual cost of setup, run, and materials versus the anticipated setup, run, and materials costs for each sales order. The overall revenue, cost, and profit over the selected date range are also provided.

classic packaging system screenshot
classic packaging system screenshot
The user can select a sales order and view additional details, such as the amount of glue and white and colored ink. Scrap for the job is also broken into setup and runtime and is viewable in terms of both footage and weight. Providing the information in this way can help to identify costly difficulties in production.
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Schedule Report

The Schedule Report was created to enable printouts of the schedule so that production could continue even in the unlikely event of a catastrophic system failure. This report lists all scheduled job steps in tabular format, and the steps can be filtered by machine and date range. Job steps are color coded in the same manner as they are on the Scheduler System.


The report can be accessed on demand; plus, every day, a report is generated on all scheduled job steps from one month prior to indefinitely into the future. These reports are exported and saved to a folder, where they are printed by the operations manager each morning so that there is always a hard copy backup of the schedule. After a week, the electronic reports are automatically deleted.

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