Capacity planning

Capacity planning

*Capacity planning is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. [ [ Definitions: Capacity Planning and Capacity Strategy] , North Carolina State University, 2006. Retrieved January 10, 2006.] In the context of capacity planning, "capacity" is the maximum amount of work that an organization is capable of completing in a given period of time.

A discrepancy between the capacity of an organization and the demands of its customers results in inefficiency, either in under-utilized resources or unfulfilled customers. The goal of capacity planning is to minimize this discrepancy. Demand for an organization's capacity varies based on changes in production output, such as increasing or decreasing the production quantity of an existing product, or producing new products. Better utilization of existing capacity can be accomplished through improvements in Overall Equipment Effectiveness. Capacity can be increased through introducing new techniques, equipment and materials, increasing the number of workers or machines, increasing the number of shifts, or acquiring additional production facilities.

Capacity is calculated: (number of machines or workers) x (number of shifts) x (utilization) x (efficiency).

The broad classes of capacity planning are lead strategy, lag strategy, and match strategy.

Lead strategy is adding capacity in anticipation of an increase in demand. Lead strategy is an aggressive strategy with the goal of luring customers away from the company’s competitors. The possible disadvantage to this strategy is that it often results in excess inventory, which is costly and often wasteful.

Lag strategy refers to adding capacity only after the organization is running at full capacity or beyond due to increase in demand (North Carolina State University, 2006). This is a more conservative strategy. It decreases the risk of waste, but it may result in the loss of possible customers.

Match strategy is adding capacity in small amounts in response to changing demand in the market. This is a more moderate strategy.

In the context of systems engineering, capacity planningcite book | author = Neil J. Gunther| title = "Guerrilla Capacity Planning," | publisher = Springer| date = 2007 | | id=ISBN 3540261389] is used during system design and system performance monitoring.

Capacity planning for Information Technology

The relevance of System and Application Capacity Planning has been recently highlighted by the adoption of the ITIL methodology and Real Capacity Issues such as heat and power in Data Centres.

Vendors supplying analytical and discrete event capacity planning products for servers include BMC Software, HyPerformix Incorporated, Metron, Neptuny, PerfCap, Positech, and Teamquest Corporation. Examples of a network capacity planning vendors are [ VPIsystems] , NetQoS & OPNET Technologies: note that vendors only sell tool-sets and software enablers: considerable experience is required to implement and understand the results and limitations from any capacity planning software.


# Hill, Joyce (2006), [ Capacity Requirements Planning] . Retrieved January 10, 2006.
# Krajewski, Lee J., & Ritzman, Larry P. (2005), "Operations Management: Processes and Value Chains". Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall
# Lazowska, Edward D (1984), "Quantitive System Performance", Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-746975-6

ee also

* Manufacturing resource planning (MRP II)
* Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
* Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

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