Success on the Plant Floor: 3 Keys to Shop Floor Optimization

Published February 19 2017 by Brooke Smith
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When it comes to warehouse management, today’s manufacturers face many challenges around shop floor optimization. Successful manufacturers require a solution that promises customers the following:

  • A firm commitment date for delivery
  • Visibility of delays on the production floor and material requirements in the short and long term
  • Ability to reduce the frequency and time for machine cleanup and setup.

Using Dynamics 365 in manufacturing


With Dynamics 365 for Operations (formerly Dynamics AX), manufacturers do not have to worry about any of these shop floor questions.  By implementing an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations, manufacturers will improve manufacturing efficiency through connected operations.

Manufacturers know that maintaining a healthy, long-term relationship with a customer means following through on promised deadlines. Now and again in the production process, orders can be mixed up, machines may break, and other unforeseeable situations may arise.

Dynamics 365 for Operations offers manufacturers the ability to assure customers of a firm delivery date with the Available-to-Promise feature. Order promising helps you reliably promise delivery dates to your customers and gives you constraint visibility so that you can meet those dates.

With global visibility of all inventory, manufacturing and logistics, and a role-tailored workspace accessed anywhere and on any device, your customer service representatives can proactively explore production, warehouse and transportation options. Further, with material and capacity planning, you can optimize production and materials planning, incorporate demand and supply forecasts, and schedule required work orders with Capable-to-Promise deliveries.

Preventing order delays

One manufacturing nightmare is order delays; unexpected halts in production mean prolonged shipments and backorders. Both of these could put companies at risk for failure. When things do not go exactly to plan, Dynamics 365 for Operations is capable of warning planners regarding delays or the impact of customer order date changes and cancellations and ensure that proper communication is delivered. With the Master Planning tool, production planners can calculate the earliest fulfillment date for a transaction, based on lead times, material availability, capacity availability, and other planning parameters. When an order is delayed, the master-planning tool forward-plans the order from the current date and incorporate lead times from all levels of the product structure (from materials to work-in-process to finished goods). If various lead times and constraints indicate that a product cannot be produced on a required date, the order then receives a delay date and is tagged with a “delay message”. Having this information and capability at the touch of your fingers ensures your delivery goals are met and establishes true communication and trust with your customer.

Optimizing the shop floor

To optimize the shop floor, production planners often try and minimize machine cleanup and downtimes by having a system sequence products in a logical fashion. The last thing manufacturers need to worry about is setup and changeover times on a machine or production resource. To help minimize delays, Dynamics 365 for Operations offers production sequencing as an out of the box feature. With production sequencing, manufacturers can:

  • Use finite or infinite scheduling from various dates
  • Quickly reschedule jobs and simulate alternatives using a drag-and-drop Gantt chart view of the schedule by resource type (e.g. production lines, packing crews).
  • Resolve scheduling overloads by reassigning operations to alternate work centers
  • Improve machine utilization by combining similar products



Also, having constant visibility of material requirements in the short and long term is a necessity for planning. The resource scheduling functionality in Dynamics 365 for Operations’ Master Planning module assists by scheduling and tracking material, equipment, and labor resources and by planning resources based on production activities and capabilities of resources.

“By generating a long-term production plan, Dynamics 365 for Operations can give you visibility of your long-term material requirements and enable you to negotiate better volume pricing with your suppliers, allowing you generate a request for bid to multiple suppliers so they can provide a better price and lead time on materials,” mentioned Sylvain Menard, ERP Solution Consultant for Fullscope.

Dynamics 365 offers better manufacturing though integrated operations by making it easier to have full visibility of the shop floor. Dynamics 365 for Operations provides manufacturers an ERP solution that is architected with flexibility and change in mind, focused on allowing you to drive innovation and become the market leader. With Dynamics 365 for Operations, business can grow at their own pace through the choice and flexibility of the Microsoft Cloud, allowing them to scale their operations globally to meet business needs.

At Edgewater Fullscope, we know manufacturing. With over 200 manufacturing clients worldwide, Fullscope is ready to be your one-stop shop for all your ERP, CRM, and BI software needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment with Fullscope to learn more Dynamics 365 for Operations can do for you.

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