In a business based on time-limited seasonal harvests, such as a food supply chain, proper manufacturing planning is essential. A full year’s supply for an entire fresh-packed product family must be produced in a few short weeks, while bulk ingredients are also produced in a form that has a longer shelf life, allowing year-round processing to take place. This requires both an accurate long-term demand forecast (to determine the proper mix and quantities of products to be produced) and a constraint-based production planning and scheduling solution (to minimize the impact of constraints and changeovers when processing lines produce multiple product families with different seasonality). The ability to plan for the long term forecast, yet react flexibly to near term changes is essential. The single most important factor is having the ability to model a wide variety of constraints and configurations.
Efficient utilization of capital equipment in may require that the same processing lines be scheduled to produce multiple product families. A constraint-based production planning and scheduling solution in a food supply chain must predict and minimize the impacts of equipment and material constraints and changeovers.
Successful production planning in a seasonally constrained business requires a powerful planning and optimization system that possesses these key capabilities, to name a few:
- Modeling flexibility
- Extended horizon
- Demand forecasting
- Constrained pre-building logic
- Recipe or bill-of-materials
This white paper describes how to develop a food supply chain strategy that balances long-term requirements for materials and finished goods with short-term scheduling that allows plants to execute efficiently, and some of the key planning challenges facing food manufacturers and how a powerful supply chain planning solution can help to address them.