MRP GROUND SCHOOL
Identify the data elements required to plan and track production and inventory and perform gross to net calculations; discuss MRP with other professionals using terminology correctly.
By way of introducing the subject, I handed out a short story about a conversation I had with an engineer. I was coaching him in the use of our MRP system. After the class read the story, we discussed his reaction and their experiences with the MRP system. I asked each person to introduce themselves and to share their expectations for the class. The story is as follows:
A strange thing happened on my way to the shop floor the other day. A new group of people started using our MRP system. Not just one or two new hires, but an entire company signed on all at once.
The company I work for, USBI, a division of Pratt and Whitney, refurbishes and assembles the non-motor components of the solid rocket boosters for America's Space Shuttle at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Refurbishment of some of the line replaceable units (LRU) is contracted out to Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE). The TBE engineers and technicians are in house. The LRUs are refurbished and tested here in our facility. My cubicle shares a mutual wall with Chris, a TBE engineer. So it made sense to me for management to decide that our contractor use our MRP system to plan, control, and track their production activity.
What happens when you take competent engineers and technicians who are successfully processing hardware with a manual system and dump them into a mature MRP system? Culture shock.
A team that used PCs to generate paper that directed all necessary activity was asked to feed the mainframe MRP system hundreds of pieces of data just to get a work order to the floor. Those of us who grew up with the system no longer challenged why the computer was insisting on some obscure data element (like issue unit of measure). Now we had a whole new group that had access to the MRP system, but did not have an understanding of how the MRP system planned, controlled, and tracked parts and operations.
To Be Continued
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