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Job Shop Scheduling Software
by Sheldon Needle, CEO/Founder of

Job Shop Scheduling Software is more than just dragging and dropping jobs into a que. Many prospective buyers of a new job shop program will assume all vendors offer adequate scheduling capabilities compared to what they have now. Once you look below the surface, you will find that scheduling impacts almost every facet of your operation and affects your company’s bottom line in a positive or negative way.

Scheduling can be as simple as prioritizing orders based on due date, inserting rush orders, or a more complex production plan generated by MRP.

Let’s review the ways scheduling can make or break your operation:

  • Capacity planning - This involves the resources available to make the order. The units of capacity can be machine hours, labor hours, tooling, or materials. Some job shop programs will consider machine hours but not labor hours and vice versa. These limitations prevent the shop from computing “available to promise” to meet the required due date. This is a common problem with some of the job shop programs on the market.
  • On-time delivery - This is one of the primary factors in getting and keeping customers. Anything that threatens this affects the company’s mission and goes straight to robust scheduling along with inventory availability, machine efficiency and labor availability.

Here are some of the special job shop scheduling software capabilities a company should consider when choosing a new job shop system that can impact the bottom line:

  • Backward Scheduling Function - This takes a promise date and tells the manufacturer if this date could be met based on the allocation of resources. It considers all resources to arrive at a “capable to promise” date.
  • Theory of Constraints (TOC) - This focuses on maximizing throughput using simulations to see which one provides the most profit without increasing overhead.
  • Critical Path - This approach can be very helpful for project based jobs which involve long builds and looks at what materials must be on hand at each stage to meet the schedule. This is especially helpful for engineer to order jobs where multiple resources must be factored in.


Job Shop Scheduling is more than a drag and drop Gantt chart and is often underestimated when shopping for a new ERP solution It can make a huge difference in the operating efficiency of the company. This type of software provides visibility into supplies and processes and lets a company know if necessary resources and materials are available to meet customer delivery expectations.

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