Case Study: Production Schedule Optimization

This plastic extrusion manufacturer needed to reduce backorders, fast, so that they could take back control of the operations on the extrusion production line. With increasing demand combined with more product complexity, they needed to determine the best method for scheduling the right orders on the right lines at the right time.

We worked with the scheduling manager to build a program that used data from multiple systems and gave an output of an optimal sequence of jobs for a given day.


  • Company Overview

    • 50+ Production Lines
    • 4000+ unique SKUs
    • Over 2,500 open customer orders
  • Assessing the Landscape

    The company has two planners who have been at the company for 20+ years. They make almost all planning decisions in their head and it is a very tedious process.

    While the schedules they generate are effective, there is opportunity for further automation and optimization, to lighten the burden on the planning team.


  • Identifying Opportunity

    • About 250,000 lbs. of extruded PVC daily (on a good day)
    • Extremely high labor variability
    • Significant production line downtime



Scheduling Time Reduction


Fill Rate

Target Goal: 80%

Benchmark: 75%


Backorder Elimination

The Solution


Scheduling Optimization

This data analytics solution brings an algorithm-based, optimized daily schedule that has reduced total average backorders to less than one per day. This helped them restore their industry-leading five-day lead time for all customers, despite significant increases in demand.

This approach, after being rolled out in one production area, is now being developed in other areas as well as other geographical facilities across the globe.


Operations Transformation

The company's success is fueled by a lean approach to operations. This includes shop floor leadership, scheduling optimization, process improvement, dashboarding and data-driven decisions, quality management, and more.

The AMEND Process

Identify What Success Looks Like

After analyzing KPIs, we determined that striving to achieve zero backorders was indicative of success.

Champion the Strategy

The C-Suite needs to buy-in and all employees need ownership in order to drive behavioral changes

Measure Results

Track whether the solution is working using dashboards and reporting tools that visualize the strategic goals


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