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planning and scheduling

Rhythm Wheel Design

Before the Rhythm Wheel can be used for scheduling, it has to be designed. In the design phase, the Rhythm Wheel is configured and all relevant parameters are determined, which will set the framework for successful execution. The design of the Rhythm Wheel can be divided into three sub-phases:

Strategic design phase

In the strategic design phase, the product portfolio is analyzed to identify products best suited for the Rhythm Wheel concept. Based on the underlying product portfolio, the optimal Rhythm Wheel strategy is defined. The operations strategy, the particular products as well as the supply chain characteristics are considered.

Tactical design phase

After the products for the Rhythm Wheel have been chosen, all relevant parameters for the Rhythm Wheel are determined in the tactical design phase. These are the cycle length of the Rhythm Wheel and the Inventory Replenishment Level (IRL) for the stock keeping points. Besides the IRL, certain products on the Rhythm Wheel can be made-to-order or triggered by forecast. The cycle length is the duration the Rhythm Wheel needs to produce one complete sequence. The IRL is the required stock level to cover demand and its variability during one Rhythm Wheel cycle.

Operative design phase

In the operative design phase, the behavior of the Rhythm Wheel in execution is anticipated. As demand is usually not stable and not perfectly predictable, the Rhythm Wheel has to deal with demand and supply variations. Cycle length boundaries have to be defined to prevent the cycle length from reacting nervously to demand and supply variability.