What is Frozen Zone in Production Scheduling?

What is Frozen Zone in Supply Chain

The “frozen zone” is the manufacturing area reserved for products already in stock or under processing in production scheduling. It is essential to keep this area as small as possible to avoid delays and disruptions in the production line.

This blog post will explore what it is and how you can manage it effectively. We will also discuss some of the benefits of doing so. Thanks for reading!

A frozen zone is the scheduling time horizon during which no alterations to the master production schedule are allowed. That provides more balance and control to the master production schedule.

Frozen Zone

According to Gartner(Global research and advisory firm), all organizations face one critical problem. That is the planning and execution of sales orders.

Organizations make sales and operations planning in the unfrozen zone, the liquid zone, and execute sales and processes in the frozen zone.

A time fence separates these two zones. Outside the fence, that means in the liquid zone. You can change the purchase order and production plans.

But inside the fence, 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 challenging to deal with unexpected orders and delays in shipping even if you plan and forecast carefully. Unfortunately, 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 it effectively.

  • This tool helps you 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 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 examples

Here, the production order is fixed for a set period. So after updating the production order, generally, the first calendar month is considered a ‘frozen zone.’

You can not change or cancel the number of products in the production order at this period. You can change it only when both vendors and buyers agree on it.

For example, suppose a factory produces widgets and has a frozen time from midnight to 6 am. In that case, it will not make any widgets during that period regardless of customer demand.

Frozen planning period

Frozen planning period

A frozen planning period is when the organization does not alter its product supply plan. The frozen planning period is crucial 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 period is 1-2 weeks.

A frozen planning period helps to bifurcate the different domains like demand planning, supply planning, and execution.

What is a frozen period?

The frozen period is when a company cannot change its production schedule. This term is usually used in manufacturing, where it’s crucial to maintain a consistent flow of products.
If something goes wrong with the production process and needs to be fixed, the frozen time prevents workers from making changes that disrupt that flow.

How to identify the frozen zone in your production schedule?

To identify it in your production schedule, look for any timeframes listed as unchangeable or set in stone. This could be due to contractual obligations, raw material availability, or other factors. Once you have identified those timeframes, everything else can be considered part of the frozen zone. This means that any changes to the schedule during this period will need to be communicated and coordinated well in advance to avoid disruptions.

Conclusion

Production scheduling is an integral part of any business. It determines when and how products will be made, ensuring that the company can meet customer demand while still making a profit. There are several different production scheduling methods, each with its benefits and drawbacks.

One method that has been gaining in popularity in recent years is frozen zone production scheduling. But what is it? And what are the benefits and drawbacks of using this method? In this blog post, we’ll answer these questions and more.