How to Plan Your Production Lines Efficiently

Categories: Resource Planning, Management Tips
I’m going to show you how to utilize your production lines (or any other resource) to the max by using the features already available in Ganttic. Naturally, I’m talking about the utilization feature.

What do we mean by ‘utilization’
In our case, the utilization is a numeric value to indicate the resource's workload. Based on that, the workload can then be either increased or decreased to utilize the resource’s full capacity. In our opinion, all resources should be utilized by 100%. Any less, and you’re wasting money - plain and simple.
There are two different ways to use the utilization feature in Ganttic: one, that’s in the beginning of the resource row showing the utilization based on the time range and second, which shows the utilization based on a specific resource.

Time range based utilization

In order for the utilization to show the correct values, you must first set the parameters for it to be calculated, so you should start by logging in and clicking ‘settings’ in the lower left corner. In the ‘settings’ menu, there is a sub-menu designated ‘Gantt settings’. Click on that! The thing we are most interested in, is the ‘WORKTIME’ section.

Let’s presume that the workday is a ‘standard’ work day, i.e. the week is 40 working hours long: nine to five, Monday thru Friday. For that, you should tick the checkboxes from Monday thru Friday. To set the working hours, select ‘worktime start’ to be 9 and ‘worktime end’ to be 17 (we use the so-called military time, 17 being 17:00 or 5PM).
Please note, that If you don’t need to see the time besides working time, you can also check the checkbox designated ‘Show only working hours’ - that way you’ll see only working hours in the Gantt chart. The utilization is not affected by this.
To see the utilization feature in action, tick the checkbox designated ‘Enable utilization features’.

Now by navigating out of the settings view to the ‘Resources’ view, you’ll see a percentage in the beginning of each resource. That resource is calculated based on the view and task combo, i.e. based on what’s the period you’re looking at and how many tasks a resource has, the utilization is calculated.
For example: if the period you’re looking is one week (40 working hours) and you create a task that’s 8 hours long, the utilization will show 20%, because ⅕ of the available work time during that week, has been used up. If you were to change the view to the current day the task has been assigned to, the utilization will show 100%, because the available work time for that day (8 hours) has all been used up.

Specific resource based utilization

This feature does not require changing anything in the ‘settings’, but it does need activation. For this, you have to be logged in.
Open the resource group’s menu. The last item in that menu is ‘show utilization’. Click on that to activate the feature. After you’ve clicked it, the menu will close automatically. Now open the menu again. The last item on that menu is named ‘diagram type’. Choose color. Now, a horizontal colored bar will appear over every task in your Gantt chart. If you haven’t created any tasks, create one.

The significance of the colors are as follows:

  • blue: the utilization of the resource is 0% - 25%
  • green: 26% - 50%
  • yellow: 51% - 75%
  • orange: 76% - 100%
  • red: 100%+

The utilization of a task can be changed from the task information window, changing ‘busy time’. If your resources are normally utilized 100%, the resource based utilization can also show you double bookings, if you have overbooked someone: the resource based utilization will turn red.

So either you’re looking to keep a bird’s eye view on your resources’ utilization or you want to go into more detail, Ganttic has both things covered. Either way, you can make sure your production lines (or any other resource) is being used to the max. 
Interested in seeing illustrations? Just click here!

By Indrek Kuldkepp