New Production Planner combines theory and practice

At the end of July, Production Planner Jenna Elonen enjoys exceptionally calm days at work. The summer maintenance week has closed the production and turned the busy and crowded office into a perfect venue for academic research.

As a production planner, Jenna is responsible for production planning and operating the company MES (Manufacturing Execution System). That comprises a variety of tasks regarding resource planning, scheduling, and handling different types of disruptions and exceptions. Another high-priority task is to finish her master’s thesis about sales and operations planning.

I’m studying the development of S&OP process (Sales and Operations Planning Process), in other words, all the things that take place after the order impulse and before production.

After a few weeks of initial brainstorming and data mining, the maintenance week offered Jenna a perfect chance to get into writing. Her amazing plan is to finalize the thesis by the end of the year.

Or during the first quarter, at the latest.

This gives a good first impression of her skills, but let’s confirm. What is your best professional asset?

I am very persistent. I never leave things midway but complete them. Rather than give up, I will think of all the possible solutions or people to ask for advice.

As a final year Mechanical Engineering student at Tampere University, with her major in manufacturing and prodution automation, Jenna was looking for a possibility to combine work and her thesis. The vacancy of production planner at Tasowheel was a perfect match. She joined the team in April and felt herself at home from day one.

Production Planner Jenna Elonen is finalizing her Master’s thesis about Sales and Operation Planning Process.

Everyone welcomed me and I easily found my own spot. I was immediately involved in projects and given a chance to make an impact.

Jenna had formed a positive first impression of Tasowheel a few months before in terms of a school project.

We got an assignment to automate a manual assembly line. I was impressed by how easy it was to communicate with Tasowheel representatives. They always made sure we got all the information we needed to complete the assignment.

Still, onboarding also included a positive surprise.

The high level of digitization was something I hadn’t foreseen. Throughout the studies, university instructors warned us of the piles of Excel sheets that companies still rely on for production planning.

So, what is it that inspires you in production planning?

Everything. It is such a diverse area; you must manage large entities. I’m into the developmental aspects, such as how to maximize production, reduce lead time, and improve the processes.

Next, Jenna wants to develop her industrial know-how and put her theoretical insight in practice.

Now that I already have a good idea of the production process, I want to deepen my understanding in machining. During the first months, I grasped a basic idea of machining at Tasowheel, but regarding turning, for instance, my main practical experience is based on some university courses.

Constant learning, ambitious studies and busy days at work require good unwinding tactics. For Jenna, recharging every day is easy.

I have two dogs waiting for me at home. We take long walks and train herding, obedience and rally, activities that require my 100% presence and focus.