APICS is the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management.

APICS Operations Management Body of Knowledge Framework, Third Edition

6.5 Dispatching

Dispatching is the selection and sequencing of available jobs for individual workstations and the assignment of those jobs to workers. Dispatching also can refer to the loading and scheduling of trucks to meet shipment objectives.

6.5.1 Priority rules

Priority rules, sometimes called dispatching rules, are the specific instructions for assigning priorities to jobs at a work center. Some commonly used rules are first come, first served; earliest job due date; earliest operation due date; and shortest processing time.

6.5.2 Critical ratio

Critical ratio is a special type of priority rule that uses current status information and calculates a priority index number by dividing the time to a job's due date by the expected elapsed time to finish the job.

6.5.3 Input/output control (I/O)

I/O is a technique for capacity control that monitors planned and actual inputs and outputs of a work center.

6.5.4 Kanban

Kanban is a method of Just-in-Time production that uses standard containers or lot sizes with a single card attached to each. It is a pull system in which work centers signal with a card that they wish to withdraw parts from feeding operations or suppliers, indicating the need to replenish or produce more. A second card may be used to signal the movement of material.