Manufacturing organizations use production scheduling to make the most efficient use of time and resources. The scheduler determines what parts to produce and when. Production schedulers decide which products to build and the machines or production lines that will produce them. The scheduler must keep track of production numbers and anticipate problems that could affect the schedule.
The production scheduler plans the work schedule of production departments using work order information and available inventory quantities. The efficient use of resources through production scheduling saves organizations money and ensures timely delivery to customers. Schedulers plan production start dates by beginning with the date materials are available for production or by working back from the customer due date.
Production schedulers create the manufacturing schedule and monitor it throughout the month to ensure on-time delivery of product to customers. Daily build schedules may be used throughout the month to meet the monthly goal. The scheduler monitors the production schedule during the month and makes changes when necessary, such as when resources do not arrive as planned or when equipment fails. The scheduler monitors inventory levels and also plans monthly cycle counting activities. A scheduler heads up yearly physical inventories. Accurate inventory quantities are necessary for the creation of production schedules.
A production scheduler must have math skills and an understanding of manufacturing resource planning (MRP). A scheduler must have written and verbal communication skills. The production scheduler needs basic computer skills, as well.
Some employers require a bachelor’s degree for a production scheduler position, but it is not always necessary. Experience in production control, planning, inventory control and materials may be acceptable for the production scheduler role in an organization.
Salary.com states that the median salary for a production scheduler is $57,968 as of November 2009. Salary is usually commensurate with experience and qualifications.