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Showing posts with the label MRP Systems

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 MR

'Making MRP Work' - now available in paperback

Available now in paperback Another week and another update about my books! Making MRP Work , my guide to improving how your MRP / ERP system can work for your business is now available in paperback format.

Do you have a 'MRP Mindset'?

Over the years I have worked with a fair number of businesses that had thought that implementing a MRP system would solve a lot of their problems. Instead, they found themselves: No further ahead with their on time delivery problems. No better off from an inventory management point of view. Still lacking teamwork across the business. Feeling frustrated with their system and creating spreadsheet workarounds. Stuck with higher levels of admin tasks, for no obvious gains...

At some point you need to trust your MRP system!

I was talking to a business the other day that had a good MRP system in place within their very large business. But, they weren't truly using it! They had set up most of the parameters, and the system was certainly working as expected, but they still weren't using it the way they should. They didn't trust it!

A good ERP system needs more than just training

I was engaged in a really interesting conversation this week about ERP systems and the need for training. We discussed the training gap that was evident and then got talking about the other things you need in a business in order for ERP to 'fly'...

Starting Messy? Don’t Worry - Just Make Sure You Start!

Planning is central to the success of any continuous improvement project. A good plan, however, is not always terribly visible to those struggling to implement that improvement! Just knowing how to get from A (problem needing solving) to B (implemented improvement), can make managing change a simpler and more effective endeavour.  But what can you do when you just don’t know where to start? When you are trying to coordinate the activities of numerous departments / individuals, to help get any given change made, a plan is absolutely essential. Sure, they can take time to create, but this is time well spent. “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!” ― Brian Tracy (Canadian entrepreneur and author) I agree with this quote. I have heard many a client complaining about having to take time and put resources into creating a plan. And then wax lyrical when that plan delivers desired results! Act

Making MRP Work - Slideshare Link

This is the modified slideshow from my presentation delivered to the Advanced Manufacturing Forum earlier today. It includes ten points to help you get more out of your MRP system. Giles Johnston ...optimising MRP systems and re-engineering business processes

Effective MRP needs senior buy in

Over the past year I have been involved in a number of MRP projects ; systems to help drive manufacturing operations. Most of these projects have involved working with businesses that have already done the hard work of specifying, selecting and installing the software. Similarly, staff have been trained – it’s all ready to go live!  So, if a business is still operating in chaos and / or is not achieving the results needed from a system like this, well there’s a problem! But what is the issue? In my experience it is often lack of ‘buy-in’ to the project by senior members of staff. And yes, this really does make all the difference.

MRP Audit (Download) Now Available

After numerous successful MRP / ERP improvement projects I have now pulled together the most widely applicable parts and created a rapid audit 'download'. This quick to use tool can help you to find out what the gaps are with your MRP system, in terms of it being used effectively day to day. To mark the release of this product you can save 50% off the normal selling price by using the discount code MRP  when prompted at the checkout. This code is valid until the 5th of October 2014. To view this product visit: Giles Johnston ...optimising MRP systems and re-engineering business processes

Making MRP Work: Presentation Slides

New slideshow uploaded to Slideshare. Hopefully it will give you some ideas if you are developing your own plan to get your MRP system working properly. Giles Johnston ...optimising MRP systems and re-engineering business processes

Show Me The Data

I was giving a potted history of my working life to an undergraduate Engineer yesterday. After a few minutes I noticed the haunting theme that was running through my stories, about the need for good data to make informed decisions .

Can I Set My Watch By You?

One of my clients said the other week 'it's just about creating some good habits, isn't it?' He was talking about the outcome of the work we were doing together and largely he is right. Businesses are driven by habits, or routines. The ability to spot them, develop them and then do them is critical for effective day to day management.

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.

Making ERP Housekeeping Happen

In a previous post I referred to developing ‘housekeeping’ routines that can help keep your business data in tip top shape (allowing more effective operations to ensue). One question that gets posed to me when this approach is implemented is ‘how do you get people to take them seriously?’

Why Live With Dirty Data? [Part Two]

When implementing a business system, such as an ERP system , it is recommended that the maintenance of clean data is understood and defined. If you read my post about my parent’s fridge freezer then you will know about the long delay in receiving the product due to missing order information. Computer based systems work brilliantly when they are full of useful, relevant and accurate information. They don’t work as well when they have holes in their data. This is where the use of housekeeping routines can become really effective.

Why Live With Dirty Data? [Part One]

Over the Christmas my period I visited my parents. One of the discussions that came up was the long delivery time for a replacement fridge freezer that they had ordered online. As we were driving I spotted a store that belonged to this particular retail chain; we paid them a visit. It turned out that the delivery lead time is less than five days on average, so far my parents had waited over two months. The order my parents had placed was missing one piece of information and this had put the order into limbo. It was only after we made this enquiry that the missing piece of information was requested by the retailer. A two month delay for ten seconds of interaction!

Are Your Production Peaks Hidden?

One of the biggest reasons that a business delivers late is due to an uneven order book. Huge peaks in some weeks and next to nothing in other weeks. Getting a grip over this situation can make a massive difference in your quest for consistent on time delivery (without the headache). There are usually two steps to resolving this situation; balancing out what you already have and stopping it from happening again. The first step, re-balancing your order book, can be straightforward or a large task, depending on the type of work you produce and the complexity of the process it has to go through in order to complete the work. Whatever situation you are in it is essential that you complete this exercise to its logical completion. Many businesses re-balance the first few weeks (which contains overdue orders that have built up over time) and leave it at that. A few more weeks down the line and these businesses are back to where they have started (they just moved the biggest peak bac

Do You Have Too Many Workcentres?

When I am trying to figure out why a client's MRP / ERP system isn't helping them to deliver their products on time, their workcentres often creep into the equation. The configuration of workcentres can make a big difference to effectively managing a shop floor environment, but even before that is understood the volume of workcentres is a serious consideration to be thought through. Splitting up your manufacturing facility into workcentres is never a right or wrong decision. The quality of your thinking about this however will affect the ease of managing the flow of production and the following pointers are listed here for those of you who may be in a bit of muddle with work to lists, routings and capacity planning. Things to consider: Like the resolution of a digital camera, having too few workcentres won't allow you to manage bottlenecks. Try to avoid having one workcentre called 'factory' or too few that won't allow you to see what is happen