Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

November 2013    |    Volume: 45    |    Number: 11

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Reinventing the (product) wheel

Scheduling strategy makes for better flow

By Peter L. King and Jennifer S. King

This article is adapted from The Product Wheel Handbook – Creating Balanced Flow in Multi-Product Process Operations by Peter L. King and Jennifer S. King, © 2013 Productivity Press. 

Industrial engineers often are called upon to help operations managers decide how to resolve the challenges that today’s dynamic markets present. How can we be ready to respond quickly to normal demand upswings but not waste resources in periods of low demand? How do we determine the product sequence that minimizes the total cost? How frequently should we schedule each product? Which products should we make to stock and which should be made to order?

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