We’re Here – Jim Fitser

In our previous posts for the We’re Here series, we spoke to Pecora’s functional leaders about the challenges of sourcing materials during severe shortages, developing optimized formulations when the availability of raw materials are unknown, and what it is like to have responsibility for an entire organization under these unprecedented circumstances. In today’s installment we will talk to Jim Fitser, Pecora’s Material Planning and Inventory Control Manager.

Jim is responsible for managing our finished goods inventory and developing the production schedule that supports on-going customer demands. This is no easy task and is certainly not without its challenges. Many factors are to be considered when developing an efficient and optimized schedule. This requires analyzing and planning to historical trends, considering upcoming Sales forecasts, working other departments such as Sales in order to develop schedules, and of course allowing for the unplanned emergency jobs that seem to come out of nowhere. Lack of readily available raw materials add a new level of complexity to an already sometimes tedious assignment.

We sat down with Jim to discuss some of the challenges his team is facing and what he is doing to mitigate these issues.

Q: What issues have you been experiencing within the Planning and Scheduling Department?

Jim: Our issues actually began in 2019 when a fair amount of raw material problems started to occur. With the addition of covid, global shipping disruptions, unforeseen environmental disasters, and personnel drawbacks, it has been difficult to schedule production.

Q: How have you worked around these issues?

Jim: The situation has resulted into a day-to-day operation, but we are able to plan production one week in advance. This is all dependent on the raw materials we receive that week. We have been coordinating with sales and production on shortages and working to spread the pain out across the company, distributors, and customers. 

Q: Has communication been affected between scheduling and other departments?

Jim: The best part about Pecora is our ability to adapt when needed and ramp up communication. There has been a lot of back and forth between scheduling, production, research and development, and procurement. All of which has been positive.

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