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Section 8 Aggregate Planning in the Supply Chain

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  1. Chapter 8Aggregate Planningin the Supply Chain Supply Chain Management(3rd Edition)

  2. Outline • Role of aggregate planning in a supply chain • The aggregate planning problem • Aggregate planning strategies • Implementing aggregate planning in practice

  3. Role of Aggregate Planning in a Supply Chain • Capacity has a cost, lead times are greater than zero • Aggregate planning: • process by which a company determines levels of capacity, production, subcontracting, inventory, stockouts, and pricing over a specified time horizon • goal is to maximize profit • decisions made at a product family (not SKU) level • time frame of 3 to 18 months • how can a firm best use the facilities it has?

  4. Role of Aggregate Planning in a Supply Chain • Specify operational parameters over the time horizon: • production rate • workforce • overtime • machine capacity level • subcontracting • backlog • inventory on hand • All supply chain stages should work together on an aggregate plan that will optimize supply chain performance

  5. The Aggregate Planning Problem • Given the demand forecast for each period in the planning horizon, determine the production level, inventory level, and the capacity level for each period that maximizes the firm’s (supply chain’s) profit over the planning horizon • Specify the planning horizon (typically 3-18 months) • Specify the duration of each period • Specify key information required to develop an aggregate plan

  6. Information Needed foran Aggregate Plan • Demand forecast in each period • Production costs • labor costs, regular time ($/hr) and overtime ($/hr) • subcontracting costs ($/hr or $/unit) • cost of changing capacity: hiring or layoff ($/worker) and cost of adding or reducing machine capacity ($/machine) • Labor/machine hours required per unit • Inventory holding cost ($/unit/period) • Stockout or backlog cost ($/unit/period) • Constraints: limits on overtime, layoffs, capital available, stockouts and backlogs

  7. Outputs of Aggregate Plan • Production quantity from regular time, overtime, and subcontracted time: used to determine number of workers and supplier purchase levels • Inventory held: used to determine how much warehouse space and working capital is needed • Backlog/stockout quantity: used to determine what customer service levels will be • Machine capacity increase/decrease: used to determine if new production equipment needs to be purchased • A poor aggregate plan can result in lost sales, lost profits, excess inventory, or excess capacity

  8. Aggregate Planning Strategies • Trade-off between capacity, inventory, backlog/lost sales • Chase strategy – using capacity as the lever • Time flexibility from workforce or capacity strategy – using utilization as the lever • Level strategy – using inventory as the lever • Mixed strategy – a combination of one or more of the first three strategies

  9. Chase Strategy • Production rate is synchronized with demand by varying machine capacity or hiring and laying off workers as the demand rate varies • However, in practice, it is often difficult to vary capacity and workforce on short notice • Expensive if cost of varying capacity is high • Negative effect on workforce morale • Results in low levels of inventory • Should be used when inventory holding costs are high and costs of changing capacity are low

  10. Time Flexibility Strategy • Can be used if there is excess machine capacity • Workforce is kept stable, but the number of hours worked is varied over time to synchronize production and demand • Can use overtime or a flexible work schedule • Requires flexible workforce, but avoids morale problems of the chase strategy • Low levels of inventory, lower utilization • Should be used when inventory holding costs are high and capacity is relatively inexpensive

  11. Level Strategy • Maintain stable machine capacity and workforce levels with a constant output rate • Shortages and surpluses result in fluctuations in inventory levels over time • Inventories that are built up in anticipation of future demand or backlogs are carried over from high to low demand periods • Better for worker morale • Large inventories and backlogs may accumulate • Should be used when inventory holding and backlog costs are relatively low

  12. Aggregate Planning at Red Tomato Tools

  13. Fundamental Tradeoffs in Aggregate Planning • Capacity (regular time, overtime, subcontract) • Inventory • Backlog / lost sales Basic Strategies • Chase strategy • Time flexibility from workforce or capacity • Level strategy

  14. Aggregate Planning

  15. Aggregate Planning (Define Decision Variables) Wt = Workforce size for month t, t = 1, ..., 6 Ht = Number of employees hired at the beginning of month t, t = 1, ..., 6 Lt = Number of employees laid off at the beginning of month t, t = 1, ..., 6 Pt = Production in month t, t = 1, ..., 6 It = Inventory at the end of month t, t = 1, ..., 6 St = Number of units stocked out at the end of month t, t = 1, ..., 6 Ct = Number of units subcontracted for month t, t = 1, ..., 6 Ot = Number of overtime hours worked in month t, t = 1, ..., 6

  16. Aggregate Planning(Define Objective Function)

  17. Aggregate Planning (Define Constraints Linking Variables) • Workforce size for each month is based on hiring and layoffs

  18. Aggregate Planning (Constraints) • Production for each month cannot exceed capacity

  19. Aggregate Planning (Constraints) • Inventory balance for each month

  20. Aggregate Planning (Constraints) • Over time for each month

  21. Scenarios • Increase in holding cost (from $2 to $6) • Overtime cost drops to $4.1 per hour • Increased demand fluctuation

  22. Increased Demand Fluctuation

  23. Aggregate Planning in Practice • Think beyond the enterprise to the entire supply chain • Make plans flexible because forecasts are always wrong • Rerun the aggregate plan as new information emerges • Use aggregate planning as capacity utilization increases

  24. Summary of Learning Objectives • What types of decisions are best solved by aggregate planning? • What is the importance of aggregate planning as a supply chain activity? • What kinds of information are needed to produce an aggregate plan? • What are the basic trade-offs a manager makes to produce an aggregate plan? • How are aggregate planning problems formulated and solved using Microsoft Excel?