Rough cut capacity planning is the process of converting the master production schedule into requirements for critical resources.

It often includes labor, machinery, warehouse space, supplier’s capabilities.

Rough Cut Capacity Planning


The concept behind the term Rough cut capacity is that it is the total amount of material required to fulfill the gross requirement of a company.

It does not consider scheduled receipts or the on-hand inventory; it just calculates the rough cut amount needed to satisfy the gross requirement.

Preparation and planning of the master schedule planner use it later, responsible for managing the resources and materials required.

Rough-cut capacity planning is an easy and simplified technique that does not involve many hidden values or inventories.

Thus, it is a streamlined capacity planning, which is more intuitive, organizational, and preliminary.

The concept of Rough cut capacity planning software usually comprises matching or balancing the assets available, with the demands arising at the moment.

A firm needs to convert its demands into capacity, labor, materials, orders, and finished goods inventory. It needs to balance its assets and plan accordingly.

It is a model that targets establishing a computational relationship between production designs, process sheets, consumption of raw materials, time available, labor availability, and so on.

Rough cut capacity planning flow chart

Types of capacity planning

Types of Capacity Plan

In the case of capacity planning, it needs lots of consideration. Hence capacity planning is based on two types,

  1. Short term capacity planning
  2. Long term capacity planning

In the case of the short-term plan, the main goal is to increase the production capacity by a few folds and handle the pressure of irregular, unexpected shifts in the face of increased demand.

To manage increased demand, it needs plenty of changes, but the foremost is to increase production hours, which means overtime for the employees.

Setting up extra facilities and acquiring more materials is also a way to proceed.

A lot of employees are happy doing overtime, which means extra bonuses and increased wages for them.

Overtime can go on for a few days or even a few months. Depending on the rush, and also on the other aspects of production.

In the case of long-term capacity planning, it is a cumulative effect of numerous short-term effects. Increasing shifts temporarily to meet immediate demands can, in the long run, add to the production capacity if continued.

Opening up a new facility, for example, or an increase in hiring and investing in proper training also adds up to the rise in production capacity in the long run.

Adding capital equipment and modifying the production plan is also another opportunity to increase production capacity.

Some manufacturing firms can efficiently delay demands by backlogging, queuing demands, or managing an anticipatory inventory that takes care of sudden rises in order during particular periods.

It allows the firm to perform at its own pace smoothly.

Three methods of Rough cut capacity planning (RCCP)

Methods of Rough-cut Capacity Planning
  • Capacity Planning Using Overall Factors (CPOF)
  • Capacity Bills
  • Resource Profiles

Example of Rough cut capacity planning

Let us take the instance of a factory that produces two items, boots, and sandals. An MPS calculation takes place before the production of the pieces begins.

The amount of material required is calculated and also the number of working hours necessary.

A rough-cut capacity planning includes charting out the,

  • staff-hours required to fulfill the job
  • the units required
  • several days that will be needed to complete the task eventually
  • the amount of material needs to be purchased.

This chart would not consider any inventory management details or scheduled receipts to arrive later. Hence a rough cut capacity planning schedule is simple, intuitive, similar to organizational planning to chart out the requirements in a rough estimation.

Some of the advantages and disadvantages of rough cut capacity planning are mentioned here.

Advantages and Disadvantages


Advantages of Rough cut capacity planning
  • Boosts project management: You can easily identify which work should start first and which work you can start later because of rough cut capacity planning. Hence you and your team make sure about your work priority. In this way, it improves your project management.
  • Improves resource management: You can get a clear idea about the resources available and the number of working hours required for each process in each workstation. Hence you can quickly identify the more workload or less workload and adjust the capacity by increasing or decreasing the shifts, increasing the number of workstations.
  • Decreases manufacturing lead time: Rough cut capacity planning helps the manufacturer find out the issues in the manufacturing process and allows him to address the problem immediately. Hence it reduces the manufacturing lead time.
  • Reduces costs: You can forecast how many training projects can be taken on in a given period when you know about your team’s capacity. That helps to bring down costs by reducing the waste on the training team. 
  • Helps to find training demands: It allows you to check out the training demand depending on the available resources like working hours, budget, and skills.


  • It can consume time if your organization is large.
  • It needs more discipline. You should update the schedule consistently otherwise, there will be a lack of discipline.

Difference between RCCP and CRP

  • In the beginning planning stage for the master production schedule, RCCP( rough cut capacity planning) is usable. Whereas CRP (capacity requirement planning) is usable for final capacity check for master production schedule.
  • RCCP gives rapid feedback, CRP gives feedback slowly.
  • CRP is more precise, whereas RCCP is less precise compared to CRP.


There are various advantages and disadvantages involving the concept of rough cut capacity planning technique, but all over, it is considered a safe starting point.


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