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Fine Tuning (MRP) Work To Lists

The other day I got into a good conversation about trying to get the last pieces of the shop floor performance puzzle put in place. Utilisation and efficiency are up, but the on time delivery performance is just lagging a little bit behind. We had done some good work at the management level of the business with regards to the MRP system and now the production team had decided it was time that they had to put their mark onto the system too.

Finally this business has a single work to list that they can refer to, instead of multiple paper based lists floating around the shop floor. The confusion has now gone and, as I said earlier, performance generally has gone up.

The shop floor teams know their skill levels best. They know what cycle times can nest together well to increase the number of machines that can be run at the same time. They know the queues and difficulties faced by the other teams. If they take the small amount of time required to properly use their work to lists, they can determine the most effective flow of product through their shop floor departments . By the way, they are running low volume high variety parts through their shop floor.

So, these teams are now determining how to optimise the MRP work to list using some simple planning rules that they are establishing. The rules won't detract from the work the management team have done, they will complement them. It will allow the final reaches of the performance figures to be realised (the last 5% to 10%), but they have to be involved.

When you run a project that affects all levels of your business it makes sense that you get all levels involved at some point. The insight and knowledge from each level needs to be fed into the project in order to make the best decisions. If you have an MRP system that doesn't work the way it should then it may be time to re-think who is involved with helping to make it work.



Giles Johnston
...fixing MRP systems and re-engineering business processes

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