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Development of a Production Planning Tool
Biobest is an expert in pollination and biological control. Among other things they are specialized in the production and transport of live insects and mites. These help agricultural organizations around the globe to apply effective pest control strategies. These insects are produced in Morocco and shipped to Belgium (replenishment) before they are processed, packed and distributed to the global market.
Before insects are ready to be replenished to Biobest Belgian’s facility they must be produced in Morocco. Since it takes several months to grow the insects, production decisions must be made well before any customer demand is known. Determining the right production quantities is essential. Insufficient production output leads to lost sales and too much production leads to product waste and wasted labor.
Groenewout has developed a production planning tool to help Biobest enhance their decision-making process for the production quantities. It includes a variety of parameters and nuances such as:
- Expected yield of the production process, which is different for each insect and week in the year.
- Part of the expected yield should be reserved to start up the new production batch. This complicates the production planning as each production cycle must yield enough output for the customer demand and the production demand and so on.
- Variability in customer demand
- Variability in production lead-time
- The tooling enhanced the decision-making capabilities for their production quantities by providing data driven suggestions. Before the introduction of this planning tool, produced quantities were based only on the experience of the staff.
- The tooling includes powerful visuals which provide the users with feedback and enables them identify the effects of different production planning parameters. In particular, the tool is excellent to make better long-term decisions as it helps the users to look farther ahead.