Skip to main content

Do You Understand What Your MRP System is Doing?

It's always a trick when it comes to operating an ERP or MRP system... knowing what it is trying to do.

I was in a situation today where there were at least three frustrated parties, all frustrated by the output of their MRP system.

Changes had been made to their master BoMs (Bill of Materials), this had been done correctly.

The Stores Team were frustrated by a lack of change to the information, they couldn't see the change.

The Planning Team were annoyed too. They could see that the changes hadn't taken effect either.

None of the three parties realised that they had to delete the kitting orders from their system and re-create them in order for the new information to appear.

Now, you're probably thinking that this information would appear in time and you would be right. Unfortunately these guys would have had to wait about four months if they hadn't followed through with the right actions.

My point here is not to try and explain a basic principle of MRP, but that if you are getting stuck with your own system a quick phone call to your MRP vendor can save a lot of time.

MRP systems don't work on magic, make sure you understand your system's logic!

If you are getting stuck with the outputs of your MRP system then please stop going round in circles and find out why your MRP system is doing what it is doing.

MRP systems can be brilliant when they are setup and used properly (and an absolute nightmare if they aren't!).

If you recognise any of the above frustrations I urge you to make a call to your vendor today,

Giles


About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.

Discover practical improvement strategies to drive up productivity for both you and your business. Access the free tools today - click here

Popular posts from this blog

Where there is a (performance) gap there is a concern

I had a really good day yesterday working with a client's team.

The team has issues. Plenty of issues. Some are managerial issues, some are people issues and some are production issues.

When I first met the team they didn't know what to do with their issues, so I started by helping them to see more issues.

Issues everywhere, they didn't seem very impressed.

And then we captured the issues as 'concerns' into the tried and tested 'concern cause countermeasure' format and followed the process:

Concerns probed for root causes and root causes converted into countermeasures.
Soon they realised that some of their root causes dealt with numerous concerns and they gained momentum.

Yesterday we pulled another one of their processes apart and identified all of the gaps. The gaps became concerns and we fed them back into the process. Now they have a practical action plan (of countermeasures) to upgrade the process in question.

What do you do with your performance gaps? …

Continuous Improvement and the Five Legged Race

Many improvement projects need the buy in of several people before they can progress. Amongst these people there will be some that have a firm view of what needs to happen and are keen to make progress. Some of the people won't be sure and they will need more time. Other people might not be that interested and have other priorities they want to focus on.

None of this is wrong.

It is an observation of mine and one that I see repeat on a regular basis with the businesses that I come into contact with.

But, if we take the principle from the observation we have an interesting improvement strategy (one that I personally use when I get stuck with my client's improvement projects).

You might have worked out the approach from the title of this blog post, but it is analogous to a three-legged race (or four, five, nine...). If someone in the group moves in the wrong direction and / or at the wrong speed then the whole group falls over.


In the example I gave at the start it is no differe…

Do you have time to prepare (in order to become super productive)?

I had a funny conversation a few weeks ago with a team that was complaining about one of their colleagues spending 'ages' preparing their workstation within their factory. I meet a lot of people that spend too long preparing (and effectively procrastinating) so I was intrigued by their comment. It turns out that this individual didn't spend too long but rather his colleagues dived into their work without thinking through what the best way to work was...

The slower to start gentleman did in fact prepare his work area. He was also able to produce a far greater amount of work in the same time period because he had invested in a smarter way of working than his counterparts. The time spent preparing his working area was valuable and not overdone.

This example reminds us of the importance of the second S in 5S (set in order) and how workstation design is critical if we want to maximise the productivity of our teams. Whether this is a physical work area in a factory, the filing s…