Advantages and Disadvantages of FCFS Order Scheduling
Martin Pahulje - October 19, 2021
One of the most critical aspects of supply chain management is order scheduling. Ensuring that orders are placed and completed quickly and efficiently is vital to maintain customer satisfaction and keep operations running smoothly. There are a variety of methods for order scheduling, each of which come with their own benefits. One of the most common methods is first-come-first-serve (FCFS) scheduling. FCFS is an operating system scheduling algorithm that automatically executes queued processes in order of their arrival. The first order placed is the first that will be completed, independent of the required processing time. This method of order scheduling can be very advantageous for your organization, but it does have a few drawbacks. To help you choose the scheduling method best suited for your needs, we will discuss this further.
Commonly known as the easiest of the CPU scheduling algorithms to utilize, FCFS is a common practice for many manufacturers and supply chain organizations. To help you understand how FCFS could optimize order scheduling in your organization, we will discuss its four key benefits: simplicity, user-friendliness, ease of implementation, and sequence integrity.
The greatest benefit of FCFS order scheduling is its simplicity. Orders are completed in the sequence that they are placed, making scheduling and process extremely straightforward. There is no debate or calculations required to determine the queue of orders; they are simply to be completed in chronological order.
Hand-in-hand with simplicity is how user-friendly FCFS is. As calculating the algorithm for orders is so simple, it is easy for team members of any experience or skill level to manage order scheduling and write and understand code with ease. This is very beneficial in saving time and labor as scheduling can be performed quickly and easily. Furthermore, errors are significantly reduced because the process is so foolproof.
Easy to Implement
Another benefit of the simplicity of FCFS is how easy it is to implement into your preexisting systems. FCFS order scheduling can be quickly and easily implemented into any scheduling system that your organization possesses, with minimal time, effort, and expenses. Once you decide to implement FCFS, shortly thereafter, you will be able to utilize it. There is a very minimal cost or weight to adding this scheduling method to your portfolio of capabilities.
First Come First Served
Perhaps the most obvious of advantages of FCFS is in the name itself. Orders are processed in the exact order that they are placed, which serves as a straightforward and fair way of processing. There is no debate on whether or not an order should be moved forward or backward in the processing chain. As a result, customers understand the wait for their orders. After all, we are accustomed to this form of order scheduling in our everyday life. Consider when you are in the grocery store: your products are checked out in the order that you arrived at the checkout queue. Even though a wait is not ideal, you understand how the process works, and you are willing to be patient.
While FCFS can be very advantageous to an organization seeking simplicity in its order scheduling processes, it does have a few drawbacks that must be considered. Because FCFS is so simple, it does not offer some of the more complex features of other order scheduling methods. We will discuss these drawbacks, including; long waiting time, favored CPU over I//O processing, lower device utilization, and incompatibility with time-sharing systems.
Long Waiting Time
A reasonably significant disadvantage of FCFS is its long wait times. Because FCFS is a non-preemptive CPU scheduling algorithm, it exclusively processes orders in the order they arrive. This means that a subsequent order cannot begin processing until the order before has finished executing. Once a process has been allocated to the CPU, it will never release the CPU until it is completed. This means that if the first order placed has a considerable burst time, all orders behind it are forced to wait for its completion, no matter how small their burst times may be. Additionally, once an order is placed and begins execution, it cannot be stopped. This means that an order that needs to be canceled or adjusted cannot be if already allocated to the CPU. In a world that demands flexibility, this is not ideal.
Lower Device Utilization
Because FCFS is so simple, it tends not to be very efficient. This goes hand-in-hand with extended waiting times. If the CPU is preoccupied with one lengthy order process, all other orders are left sitting idle, and this can cause a significant backup. Because the CPU can only handle one order at a time, FCFS utilizes a minimal portion of your system’s capabilities, rendering it very inefficient.
Favors CPU Over I/O
Another disadvantage is that FCFS highly favors CPU over I/O. This means that the algorithm is more compatible with central processing units (CPU) over input/output (I/O) systems. For organizations utilizing I/O systems, this could be a deterring attribute.
Not Ideal for Time-Sharing Systems
Finally, the FCFS algorithm can be particularly troublesome for time-sharing systems. For time-sharing systems, it is essential that each user get a share of the CPU at regular intervals. Because FCFS is a non-preemptive system, this is not always feasible. Again, it could leave dependent systems idle and waiting, which is not ideal for keeping operations running smoothly and efficiently.
First-come-first serve order scheduling can be highly beneficial for organizations looking for a quick and easy solution to order processing. Because the concept is so simple, it is very user-friendly, allowing team members of all levels of familiarity to work with the system and conduct its functions. But, organizations must understand the full capabilities of FCFS before implementing, and this includes its limitations. Simplicity can result in inefficiency, which brings wait times and lowered device utilization. Before choosing to implement FCFS in your organization, you must understand all of its features and determine if it is a good fit for your needs. Order scheduling is a necessary and vital process for all organizations. Finding the right solution for you is key to achieving efficiency.
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