The manufacture of upholstered furniture provides an excellent opportunity to analyze the effect of a comprehensive communication system on classical production management functions. The objective of the research is to study the scheduling heuristics that embrace the concepts inherent in MRP, JIT and TQM while recognizing the need for agility in a somewhat complex and demanding environment. An on-line, real-time data capture system provides the status and location of production lots, components, subassemblies for schedule control. Current inventory status of raw material and purchased items are required in order to develop and adhere to schedules. For the large variety of styles and fabrics customers may order, the communication system must provide timely, accurate and comprehensive information for intelligent decisions with respect to the product mix and production resources.