A frozen zone is the scheduling time horizon during which no alterations to the master production schedule are allowed.
This provides more balance and control to the master production schedule.
According to Gartner(Global research and advisory firm), all organizations face one critical problem. That is the planning and execution of sales orders.
Organizations do sales and operations planning in the unfrozen zone, that is liquid zone, and do sales and operations execution in the frozen zone.
These two zones are separated by a time fence. Outside the fence, that means in the liquid zone you can change the purchase order and production plans.
But inside the fence (frozen zone) you can not change the purchase orders and production plans. You have to work in the real world.
How do you unfreeze the frozen zone?
It is difficult to deal with unexpected orders, delays in shipping even if you planned and forecast carefully. Dealing with this problem is not possible with a planning tool.
You need a supply and operations execution(S&OE) platform’s automation tool to support and control your supply chain inside the time fence.
With the help of this automation tool, you can unfreeze your frozen zone effectively.
- This tool helps you to get a clear vision of shortages and alerts you with early warnings.
- It allows you to take preventive actions by discovering issues immediately.
- It helps the people in the supply chain to interact with each other.
- It centralizes communication and keeps the track of discussions and decisions.
- It allows you to boost your operations with the help of analytics of previous data available to you.
Frozen zone example
You know in the frozen zone, the production order is fixed for a set period of time. After updating the production order, generally the first calendar month is considered as frozen zone.
At this time period, you can not change or cancel the number of products in the production order. You can change the number only when it is mutually agreed upon by both vendors and buyers.
Frozen planning period
A frozen planning period is a time interval at which the organization does not alter its supply plan for products. The frozen planning period is very important to avoid short-term alterations in the plan.
Usually, the frozen planning period will be the addition of review time and lead time for products. The recommended time period is 1-2 weeks.
A frozen planning period helps to bifurcate the different domains like demand planning, supply planning, and execution.
Get more definitions about Frozen zone and other ERP related terms here.