A guide to manufacturing master plan for supply chains in Africa

The manufacturing process is chaotic by nature, but with the right master plan, supply chains across Africa can utilize resources and maximize the entire process for a high throughput rate.

The manufacturing process is a highly volatile process. And things can get out of hand when no order exists. This will often lead to waste of resources, potential defects, and poor quality control.

However, the opposite is the case with a master plan.

So, what is a manufacturing master plan?

A manufacturing master plan is a document that details a comprehensive outline and framework of the production or manufacturing process. The manufacturing master plan must align with the supply chain or organizationโ€™s goals.

This would include quality expectations, resource allocation, product details, and other criteria that matter to the business and its customer relationship.

The manufacturing master plan is the ultimate road map for the manufacturing team, and it will help guide them in their activities within the department.

Why is a manufacturing master plan important for African manufacturers and supply chains?

The manufacturing master plan is critical for reducing and optimizing the entire manufacturing process. There are several other benefits of the manufacturing master plan for businesses and supply chains across Africa.

๐Ÿญ. ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป: The manufacturing master plan enhances production scheduling and sequencing to reduce lead time and enhance delivery reliability.

๐Ÿฎ. ๐—–๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—น: When there is order in the manufacturing process, reducing waste and allocating resources efficiently is much more possible. These will ultimately help with cutting down the cost of the entire process.

๐Ÿฏ. ๐—•๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐˜: With the master plan, the manufacturing process has a structure. With the structure, it increases the efficiency and throughput of the entire process. It has the ability to increase the manufacturing capacity.

๐Ÿฐ. ๐—˜๐—ป๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ: When applied properly, the production team will make fewer errors, which helps turn out products with better quality. This also helps reduce the cost of ensuring quality control in other areas of the supply chain.

๐Ÿฑ. ๐—™๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜‚๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€: With a master plan in place, the manufacturing process is more responsive to market demands, customers, and potential disruptors. It can also adapt without having to sacrifice efficiency.


Guide to drawing up a manufacturing master plan

Earlier, we iterated that the manufacturing master plan will depend on the nature of the business, industry standards, and location. So, there is no one size fits all approach.

However, there are some activities that must be done before drawing up a manufacturing master plan.

1. Define or understand the business objectives

Before starting off on the master plan, it is important to understand the business objectives and what matters to it. Not all businesses want the same quality, and not all want the same number of throughput.

Because a manufacturing master plan is unique to each business, it is important to know the objectives and capabilities of the particular business before setting up one. This will ensure the master plan completely aligns with the business and supply chain. It can be the beginning of a profitable manufacturing process.

2. Assess current manufacturing and supply chain operations

For new businesses, this may not be necessary. However, for existing manufacturing and supply chain operations, this step will help ascertain the strengths and flaws of both. Without the facts, you donโ€™t want to assume both operations are bad or good.

Assessing both is necessary because they give you insight into how the operations are carried out. You want to know the sourcing, logistics, and inventory processes. This will help draw a master plan that works well for both.

If you make the mistake of assuming, your manufacturing master plan will be flawed. Correctly assessing all aspects of both operations helps draw up a plan that leans on its strengths and fixes its weaknesses.

3. Conduct market analysis

This step is primarily about understanding the market and how the supply chain interacts with it. It takes into account demand forecasting, customer preferences, and trends in the market.

The step also helps identify the competition and opportunities the business and the manufacturing process could leverage. This could include quality standards, lead times, and what the product can do.ย 

For example, a phone manufacturer will want to install more hardware features if its product falls behind others in the market.

4. Determine the production capacity needed to meet up with market demands

After conducting the market analysis, the next step is determining if the manufacturing capabilities can meet up. If it cannot, then there is a problem that needs immediate attention.

There are important questions to ask here, such as why? Why is the production capacity below what is necessary? Is it a capital issue or a negligence issue? What can be done to bridge the gap? The answers will determine how you will go about fixing it.

5. Set quality standards

Quality is everything for the manufacturing process and supply chains. Having a set quality standard and procedure for accomplishing it greatly streamlines the quality control measures.

When the system ensures robust quality measures at the highest level, it helps other departments streamline the quality checks, which speeds up the supply chain process.

Setting and enforcing these standards reduces losses and damages, saving the manufacturing business or supply chain tons of money.

6. Safety protocols

Workers’ safety is a priority for any manufacturing process and must be a primary feature in the master plan. But that’s not all. Although less important, the safety of the machines and products must also be considered, especially because they are quite expensive to maintain. It feels like a no-brainer to consider managing or keeping a close eye on them seriously.

7. Risk management and contingency plan

Certain risks are associated with the manufacturing process, including chemical spills, electrical hazards, and poor maintenance of vehicles. Any of these risks can be problematic, so identifying them is crucial. There should also be a comprehensive contingency plan in place to help mitigate these risks when they occur.

8. Local regulations and customs

The entire process has to be aligned with local customs if there are any. It will prevent disruptions and downtimes from the local authorities.


FAQโ€™s on the guide to manufacturing master plans for African supply chains

๐—ค๐Ÿญ: ๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ด๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜‚๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป?

Technology integration lowers expenses, increases productivity overall, and improves efficiency through automation and data analytics. It puts manufacturers in a position to embrace Industry 4.0 techniques and compete globally.

๐—ค๐Ÿฎ: ๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜‚๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป?

The master plan incorporates sustainability, which includes energy efficiency, social responsibility, and ecologically friendly methods. It guarantees morally and responsibly conducted manufacturing operations.

๐—ค๐Ÿฏ: ๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ฎ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜‚๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜?

A manufacturing master plan may include essential components such as community engagement, corporate social responsibility (CSR) implementation, and social and economic development. It promotes wholesome relationships and the development of the community.



The manufacturing master plan has the ability to catapult manufacturing businesses and supply chains in Africa to a whole new level. However, this will depend greatly on how they go about it and what they factor in.

The list mentioned in this article is not exhaustive and provides these supply chains with the right parameters to look out for.