Posted by: Matthew Molinari | June 24, 2012

Scheduling and Planning

 

Over the past two months I have found myself feeling a little overwhelmed with my academic calendar for the summer. I am trying to wrap up my MBA while also studying for my CPA exam. I spent a couple of hours today reworking a schedule that I set up to keep track of all of my assignments and expected test dates.

It got me thinking about how important planning is to logistics and supply chain management. I actually incorporated both kinds of planning – forward and backwards – when I created my summer schedule. Forward planning is basically getting an order and starting on it right away while backwards planning is knowing the deadline and setting up goals to get production done by the required due date.

My goals have a set deadline – a graduation date from the University of Nevada in December and taking the CPA exam in August. However, they also involve enrolling in classes without knowing the exact schedule of due dates for the assignments. For that reason, I used a combination of both to establish a plan that would get me to my needed “production deadlines” without actually knowing all of the due dates along the way. Here’s an example:

At first, I had a less detailed schedule that focused more on monthly goals. After following it for about a month I decided this weekend to rework it into a more detailed daily routine that I could check off each day.

One of the most important things to remember when you set up a schedule is that you have to be flexible. When you think about a global supply chain there are always going to be interruptions to your business that will throw off your schedule. You need to be able to adapt your schedule to these problems and not let them delay your final goal. The best schedule is one that is detailed enough to allow you to manage your production while also being flexible enough to mitigate the inherent risks involved in supply chain management.

Please let me know how you company plans and how interruptions are dealt with.

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