Transforming Manufacturing Efficiency with Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Supply Chain Management Operations Scheduling

Posted on: August 2, 2023 | By: Fred Liu | Microsoft Dynamics AX/365, Microsoft Dynamics Manufacturing

Manufacturing companies today face a multitude of challenges – the demand for high-quality products, prompt delivery times, and cost optimization. Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Supply Chain Management Operations Scheduling is a powerful tool that optimizes the use of resources and materials, and controls the planning method, enabling organizations to achieve higher levels of efficiency.

This article provides an overview of operations scheduling, a key feature in Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Supply Chain Management.

Understanding Operations Scheduling

Operations scheduling provides a comprehensive estimate of the production process over time. It allows you to schedule production at both the operation and job levels. Unlike job scheduling, which delves into the micro-level details of each job, operations scheduling provides a broader perspective of the production route. If more detailed scheduling information is required, such as current capacity, job scheduling can be run after operations scheduling.

Components of Operations Scheduling

Operations scheduling encompasses three main components – the scheduling direction, the capacity of resources, and materials optimization. Utilizing operations scheduling, organizations can achieve several goals:

  • Control the planning method by scheduling forward or backward from a given date
  • Optimize the use of resources by scheduling productions based on the capacity of the resources, thereby identifying when alternative resources should be employed
  • Enhance the use of materials by scheduling productions based on their availability
  • Schedule and synchronize reference productions, adjusting the dates when the production order’s schedule changes

Prior to running operations scheduling, the cost of a production order must be estimated. If not already done, an estimate is automatically run before operations scheduling commences. An operations schedule specifies the planned product for production, the product’s configuration, involved quantities, production start and end dates, and the capacity reservations for the resources performing the production activities.

Scheduling Direction and Date

A key part of operations scheduling is determining the scheduling direction. Production can be scheduled forward or backward from any date, depending on timing and scheduling requirements. Forward scheduling begins production as early as possible, moving forward in time to the earliest possible end date. Conversely, backward scheduling starts production as late as possible, based on the production completion date, counting backward to determine the latest start date that still allows for on-time completion.

Resource Scheduling and Master Planning

When running an operations schedule, each operation in the production route is scheduled for the specified resource, and the duration of each operation is defined.  Operations scheduling follows the sequence of operations specified on the production route, reserving capacity based on operation times. If there isn’t enough available capacity for production, production orders can be delayed or even stopped.

Moreover, operations scheduling also drives master planning and determines calculations for material requirements. It takes into account backlogged productions, material availability, and capacity availability. If you’re using multi-threaded master planning and operations scheduling, it’s important to note that finite capacity will not be considered.

Finite Materials and Cancellations

In addition to capacity, operations scheduling also accounts for the availability of finite materials. If there aren’t enough available components for production, production can be delayed. Scheduling can be based on the use of materials by specifying which materials must be available for production. A production order cannot be scheduled to start until both capacity and materials are available in the required quantities.

Next Steps

If you are interested in learning more about transforming manufacturing efficiency with Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Supply Chain Management Operation Scheduling, contact us here to find out how we can help you grow your business. You can also email us at or call (312) 345-8817.

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