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In a job shop, it is common for several jobs to wait in a queue for processing at each work center. The order in which the waiting jobs are processed can have a profound effect on the number of jobs waiting in the plant, the number of jobs that are delivered on-time, the time the jobs spend in the plant, the work-in-process inventory, and the average lateness of deliveries to customers. Therefore, the sequencing of jobs at work centers in an important decision. Since thousands of sequences must be determined every week in an average plant, it is important to develop simple and practical rules for job sequencing.

Job sequencing rules, or dispatching rules are used for sequencing jobs at a work center. A few of the common rules are:

  • Earliest due date rule (EDD) – job that is due first is started first. Used when companies are sensitive to due date changes.

  • Shortest processing time rule (SPT) – this gets the most work done rapidly a ...