Page 53 - MetalForming September 2016
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 a complex process that requires good analytical skills and strategic thinking. However, many companies place the wrong person in charge, often using buyers and simply calling them planners.
Remember: Planning is a strategy and purchasing is a task. The individual in the planning role may not be familiar with the principles of supply and demand or know how to interpret MRP- system information.
With the right policies and planning fundamentals in place, it’s time to focus on forecasting. Good forecasting isessentialforMRP,enablingaplanner to accurately anticipate what the com- pany will need to successfully manu- facture and deliver products. The only way to do that is via a forecasting mechanism and model. A lack of prop- er forecasting results in no planning. MRP becomes reactive instead of proactive—not an MRP strategy, but simply purchasing.
Regardless of the industry or prod- ucts manufactured, all production planning requires a BOM, which drives
operations, purchasing, manufacturing and logistics. Data from a manufac- turingBOMinformERP,MRPandthe manufacturing execution system. BOM inaccuracies, such as ordering the wrong parts or the wrong quantities, can result in significant problems, especially for companies operating with a lean strategy. A complete and accurate BOM improves decisions related to inventory levels, operational efficiency and shipping.
Main suppliers are crucial to effec- tive MRP. Without their cooperation, there will be no materials to make products. It’s critical to involve key sup- pliers in MRP beyond simply sending them purchase orders. A close rela- tionship with suppliers provides a bet- ter view of the supply chain and creates supplier agreements that work well for both parties, ensuring a ready supply of raw materials for production.
Potential MRP pitfalls highlight the need to establish good metrics and business analytics. There’s an old say- ing, “What gets measured, gets done,”
and incorporating appropriate metrics into an MRP system provides the means for identifying weak spots in manufacturing processes as the first step toward addressing potential prob- lems and bottlenecks. Metrics enable manufacturers to measure planning accuracy, improve MRP, and facilitate the continuous improvement critical to optimizing MRP and ERP systems, and streamlining operations.
Benefits for Big and Small
Some manufacturers might hesitate when it comes to selecting an MRP system, thinking, “we’re a small com- pany—aren’t MRP systems for large enterprises?” Not necessarily. Small operations making even relatively com- plex products definitely benefit from an efficient MRP system to help coor- dinate the complicated scheduling of materials, labor and processes. Large enterprises dealing with large volumes of manufactured goods also benefit, regardless of how simple or sophisti- cated the product mix. MF
mechanical and CNC vertslides to produce
a variety of metal and wire formed parts from simple stampings to complicated assemblies using a multitude of options such as tapping, welding, and automated assembly. Represented in North America by Gibraltar Corp.
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