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Towards an integrated Workload Control (WLC) concept: the performance of due date setting rules in job shops with contingent orders

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Production Research
Issue number15
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)4502-4516
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Workload control (WLC) is a production planning and control concept developed for make-to-order companies. Its customer enquiry management methodology supports due date setting, while its order release mechanism determines when to start production. For make-to-order companies, due date setting is a strategically important, complex task where unconfirmed jobs place demands on capacity which are contingent on a quotation being accepted by the customer. Yet most prior WLC research has begun at the order release stage with a set of confirmed orders with predetermined due dates. In contrast, this paper focuses specifically on customer enquiry management and uses simulation to compare and contrast the performance of 11 due date setting rules in a job shop where part of the workload consists of unconfirmed or contingent orders. The best results are achieved by a finite loading rule which explicitly considers the workload of contingent orders when estimating lead times. This enables demand to be levelled over time, allowing due dates to be short and reliable – thereby improving both the competitiveness of a make-to-order company and the customer service level it is able to offer. Future research should focus on integrating customer enquiry management, and its due date setting rule, with order release control.