Management at your agricultural chemicals corporation has been dissatisfied with production planning. Production plans are created using best guesses of demand for each product, which are based on how much of each product has been ordered in the past. If a customer places an unexpected order or requests a change to an existing order after it has been placed, there is no way to adjust production plans. The company may have to tell customers it can’t fill their orders, or it may run up extra costs maintaining additional inventory to prevent stock-outs. At the end of each month, orders are totaled and manually keyed into the company’s production planning system. Data from the past month’s production and inventory systems are manually entered into the firm’s order management system. Analysts from the sales department and from the production department analyze the data from their respective systems to determine what the sales targets and production targets should be for the next month. These estimates are usually different. The analysts then get together at a high-level planning meeting to revise the production and sales targets to take into account senior management’s goals for market share, revenues, and profits. The outcome of the meeting is a finalized production master schedule. The entire production planning process takes 17 business days to complete. Nine of these days are required to enter and validate the data. The remaining days are spent developing and reconciling the production and sales targets and finalizing the production master schedule.
Draw a diagram of the existing production planning process.