Book review on Finite Capacity Scheduling, Part I
Finite Capacity Scheduling
by Gerhard Plenert PhD and Bill Kirchmeir
I met Gerhard and talked with him for an hour at a customers office of one of our franchisees in Reno NV, which specializes in antique car restoration and maintenance. Gerhard was in the waiting room reading what may have been Steven Hawkins, so we began talking. Imagine my surprise to find he had worked with so many great companies in the early computer days and with the automotive industry and many other heavy Equipment Industries. Well since I had him there for 1 hour, I barraged him with questions from converting Space Energy (radiation and different light spectrums into energy for our planet), to taking his methods to the service industry. He too barraged me with questions on franchising, and later we talked about the status of expert and we both laughed when we found out we were both published in our fields of expertise. He admitted to writing books about his subject so I ordered one and it shocked me that it was $55.00 plus tax, after reading it, I was shocked that so much information on the reality of efficiency had ever been compiled in one place.
First off I would like to say that this book is not just for Manufacturing Executives. I believe this book should be read by our Military for infantry Logistics and moving forces into a hostile area for possible future engagement. It should be read by NASA who occasionally has missed appointments with Asteroids or launches. As NASA learns how to attain multi-dimensional space travel it will be imperative to be a the right place at the right time and to jump dimensions of space time otherwise it does not appear that travel beyond the speed of light will occur in our life time. Computers are here to stay and they can help us streamline efficiency and allow all business models to work in real-time. The new way of manufacturing will be FCS and not Infinite Scheduling Backwards Pass (ISBP). Many aspects of this book dealt with the implementing of such a system and also with the reality of change and the fear and roadblocks by conventional wisdomers.
Newtons Law to manufacturing;
For every expert with a perfect solution there is an equal and opposite expert with a perfect solution.
Now, there in lies the problem. How to get there. We all want the same results in government, we want utopia. In Economics we want stabilization, in manufacturing we want the ultimate efficiency. So in US governments we have Democrats, Republicans and now we have CHADs. In Economics we have Friedman and Keynes. In manufacturing it use to be Deming and TQM vs. the old way of thinking. Today it is finite capacity scheduling (FCS) with software scenarios vs. other systems we have been taught, such as Material Requirements Planning (MRP). Supply Chain Management (SCM), Schedule Based Manufacturing (SBM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) all of which may appear to be viable on first glance and work for a limited purpose if all things are equal. However it does not appear that in the history of our Planet all things have ever been equal. In theory maybe, yet even on the most level of playing fields, they are skewed in one way or the other, by size, weight, strength, materials, wind, etc. There is always a variable or a gray area (thank god otherwise attorneys would all be out of work eyh?). Incidentally god did not make attorneys, otherwise they would still be arguing if Adam and Eve should receive belly buttons, and with no supreme court yet established to kick it back to a lower court the human race would never have come to be, during those last days before the rest. Or maybe god got so tired of dealing with attorneys he had to rest.
The book went into detail the cost to expedite a job, and to deliver on promises made by sales staff to acquire the order, which were impossible considering all the other promises, which were to be scheduled simultaneously. This caused over time and accidents and problems with compliance issues with many agencies and still did not get all the jobs done so the customer base was in constant attrition. In wartime you need to expedite everything and one of the reasons that we beat the Germans was because we built 96,000 aircraft to their 30,000 that last year of the war. It was not that we had better aircraft. They had equally brilliant minds on their side, and a hell of a head start. We of course had the desire to win. And we had the manufacturing and the resources as Germany was running out of everything. Charles Lindbergh warned us on his visit of the Luftwaffe and their incredible planes and weapons of war that the Germans already had pre-war (many called him a NAZI sympathizer, which is hard argue, but we should have still listened. He was definitely enthralled with their innovations). It truly was the manufacturing and the great American push to move mountains that won us the war. Everyone participated and helped in the war efforts. Breaking the backs of the Germans was not easy, breaking their manufacturing abilities and running them out of resources is what helped almost as much as the actual fighting. It will be hard to fight waving sticks when B-1 Bombers are flying overhead; because by the time you see them it is too late. Saddams army never had a chance since we had logistically won the war before it started. Many battles in history, even our own civil war was about train tracks, supply and troops moving and feeding armies. The South had factories but found it hard to match the output of the North. Larger Armies more guns, better stabilized currency. Innovation helped when they changed the bullets and muskets, which could shoot farther with better accuracy yet within months both sides had all the same technology. In WWII Germans were working on the hydrogen Bomb and so were we, at least Einstein in his letter to the president indicated he believed they were working on it when he asked for funding of the Manhattan Project.
Innovation in Manufacturing is important it helped Pirelli and Firestone and a few other tire manufacturers increased production and leap frogged other technologies. But in the end they all had the new technology and the real problem was who could build the most using the same technology. Cold War days, we simply out spent and bluffed our way into winning the cold war. We may have to do this again. We and the Russians both had the technology, and the resources, yet our great economic machine was too powerful, probably due to the productivity derivative of a capitalistic society vs. a communist one. Even though none of the last three paragraphs were in the book, it is necessary to further point out why this book is so important.
Another great quote in the book;
Behold the turtle who only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.
I believe that FCS is the solution to DaimlerCryslers dilemma in Europe. Many countries there and their citizens favor a customized car like a Dell computer delivered in less than 30 days. Not the one size fits all car, which has been Fords answer to profit taking in Europe. Tomorrow and todays new demands are for zero inventory and immediate delivery with maximum efficiency; this can all be achieved with FCS. It also can work in training of new Army recruits, Navy pilots, and third world dictators. I believe car wash guys can easily implement such a training version of FCS even though no one has ever done it before. I also believe that we can deliver real time services to our customers and allocate the necessary resources without wasting by GPS tracking, real time scheduling changes, labor, supplies, equipment and crews. There is no difference fundamentally between labor at a manufacturing facility and labor on a job site or multiple jobs sites for that matter. A computer does not cry when you add perimeters and does not need more food or coffee to run by the seat of its pants. It is not an emotional issue, it just is. Likewise a computer can calculate many equations simultaneously, many can easily do 10,000 possibilities per second. Still want to play chess with a computer? So does that mean the death of the entrepreneur?
Does that mean the Howard Hughes days of innovation and flying by the seat of your pants are done forever? No there will always be prototypes, with no parts available yet, but what it does mean is that the entrepreneur can see his dreams come to fruition better because they may actually make a profit. Does it mean that there will be no more defective units? No, there will always be defective parts from manufacturers who rely on sub parts, which are not built in the same way. In Taiwan many company have experienced up to 35% more productivity by only changing to the methodology of Finite Capacity Scheduling. So for America to complete its productivity without affecting its bottom line we simply produce more with the same amount of labor and manufacturing abilities. Think of it. Even if the dollar is strong a shit we can still sell for less because we are producing more with the same fixed base costs. This means we can beat everyone still.
Let the innovators innovate and the manufacturing Schedulers schedule using FCM systems and we will increase our output and win, even if we are all using the same secrets stolen from our scientific communities. The book refers to Peter Drucker who stated that the true measure of productivity is the output per unit of time given the finite resources. Yes I believe this to be and have always said the money is in the time and not the completed job.
This should be obvious to anyone who has bid a job to low and later completed the job quicker than anticipated due to a new method of operation discovered upon commencing of the job. Sometimes it takes a few times to see how to actually do the work and then refine the technique, in actuality you are performing manual Finite Capacity Scheduling even though it is the most elementary part of the actual FCS model. Now add jobs, labor, and resources to the equation and then try to factor in all the materials and times the materials, soaps, supplies, etc are needed and what do you have? A complex mess, which requires lots of thought and time.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs">www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
Clive King, who has died aged 94, was the author of several children's books and is best known for Stig of the Dump, the original and imaginative fantasy story of the friendship between Barney, a boy of the modern era, with Stig, a boy from long, long ago who lives in a nearby chalk pit in a home created from things he can creatively and skilfully repurpose from waste, including a chimney from tin cans and windows from glass bottles....
Films based on books might have the intolerable disadvantage of people smugly claiming "the book is so much better", but they also result in a huge boost at the box office.
According to new research from the Publishers Association, films based on books take 44% more at the box office in the UK and 53% more worldwide than original screenplays.
..."In short, published material is the basis of 52% of top UK films in the last 10 years, and accounts for an even higher share of revenue from these leading performers, at 61% of UK box office gross and 65% of worldwide gross," the report reads.
The New York Times has a rare interview with Anne Tyler to coincide with the publication of her latest novel, Clock Dance. Tyler rarely does interviews because she dislikes the way they make her feel the next morning. "I'll go upstairs to my writing room to do my regular stint of work and I'll probably hear myself blathering on about writing and I won't do a very good job that day. I always say that the way you write a novel is for the first 83 drafts you pretend that nobody is ever, ever going to read it."
The good news for fans is that Tyler has no plans to retire: "What happens is six months go by after I finish a book," she said "and I start to go out of my mind. I have no hobbies, I don't garden, I hate travel. The impetus is not inspiration, just a feeling that I better do this. There's something addictive about leading another life at the same time you're living your own." She paused and added: "If you think about it, it's a very strange way to make a living."
The New York Times reports on the changing face of the romance novel genre:
...The landscape is slowly starting to change, as more diverse writers break into the genre, and publishers take chances on love stories that reflect a broader range of experiences and don't always fit the stereotypical girl-meets-boy mold. Forever Yours, an imprint at Grand Central, publishes Karelia Stetz-Waters, who writes romances about lesbian couples. Uzma Jalaluddin's debut novel, Ayesha at Last, takes place in a close-knit immigrant Muslim community in Canada, and features an outspoken Muslim heroine who falls for a more conservative Muslim man, a Darcy to her Lizzie Bennett...
...."Readers want books that reflect the world they live in, and they won't settle for a book about a small town where every single person is white," said Leah Koch, co-owner of the romance bookstore the Ripped Bodice in Culver City, Calif. Last year, six of her store's top 10 best-selling novels were written by authors of color, Ms. Koch said.
Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient (Bloomsbury), the story of an injured, anonymous English WWII pilot and his Italian nurse, has been named the winner of the Golden Man Booker Prize, awarded to the best work of fiction previously awarded the Man Booker Prize over the last 50 years.
In a brief statement released late Tuesday afternoon, Barnes & Noble said CEO Demos Parneros (who had been named CEO in April 2017) had been terminated for "violations of the Company's policies." While not saying what policies Parneros violated, B&N said his termination "is not due to any disagreement with the Company regarding its financial reporting, policies, or practices or any potential fraud relating thereto." In addition to being fired immediately, Parneros will not receive any severance, B&N said. B&N said Parneros's removal was undertaken by its board of directors, who were advised by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
In his first interview since being accused of inappropriate behavior with women, celebrated novelist Junot Díaz adamantly denied the allegations, including a claim he once "forcibly kissed" writer Zinzi Clemmons.
Díaz, who was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, said he was "distressed," "confused," and "panicked" by the accusations, but insisted he had not bullied the women or been sexually inappropriate.
Harlan Ellison, a major figure in the New Wave of science fiction writers in the 1960s who became a legend in science fiction and fantasy circles for his award-winning stories and notoriously outspoken and combative persona, died this week 84. During his life, he wrote more than 1,700 stories, film and TV scripts. The Guardian recommends five of his best...
Donald Hall, a prolific and award-winning poet and man of letters who was widely admired for his sharp humor and painful candor about nature, mortality, baseball and the distant past, has died. He was 89.
Atlas Obscura explains the history behind the, arguably nonsensical, grammar rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition which, "all goes back to 17th-century England and a fusspot named John Dryden":
There are thousands of individual rules for proper grammatical use of any given language; mostly, these are created, and then taught, in order to maximize understanding and minimize confusion. But the English language prohibition against "preposition stranding"--ending a sentence with a preposition like with, at, or of--is not like this. It is a fantastically stupid rule that when followed often has the effect of mangling a sentence. And yet for hundreds of years, schoolchildren have been taught to create disastrously awkward sentences like "With whom did you go?"
...Born in 1631, John Dryden was the most important figure throughout the entire Restoration period of the late 17th century... Dryden twice stated an opposition to preposition stranding. In an afterword for one of his own plays, he criticized Ben Jonson for doing this, saying: "The preposition in the end of the sentence; a common fault with him, and which I have but lately observed in my own writing." Later, in a letter to a young writer who had asked for advice, he wrote: "In the correctness of the English I remember I hinted somewhat of concludding [sic] your sentences with prepositions or conjunctions sometimes, which is not elegant, as in your first sentence."
Dryden does not state why he finds this to be "not elegant." And yet somehow this completely unexplained, tiny criticism, buried in his mountain of works, lodged itself in the grammarian mind, and continued to be taught for hundreds of years later. This casual little comment would arguably be Dryden's most enduring creation.