Manufacturing Requirements Planning 



When we review the traditional purchasing organization we find many inefficiencies. A good example is when the customer calls to increase the demand. Typically the customer MRP planner calls the buyer who in turn calls the sales person who then calls his MRP planner. If there are any questions, such as will a partial order meet the requirements, the dialog can move back and forth through the chain consuming huge amounts of time and effort. The buyer and sales person provide no value. Wouldn't it be much easier for the two MRP planners to talk to one another?

If the planners talkback and forth, what does the buyer and the sales person do? The buyer should refocus his/her energy on leading teams to work on cost reductions, quality improvements, lead time reductions and on time delivery from the supplier. This means getting to know the supplier much better which the buyer now has time to do. This process benefits both supplier and customer.

The sales person is no longer required to sell the account. However, there is a job to be done. That job is technical liaison. The customer still needs someone to support them technically. This adds value and must be done to stay competitive.

Other Reengineering Applications

The list of how to reengineer MRP II goes on almost endlessly. In fact, if you follow Hammer and Champy's recommendation, the instant you have no more ideas you can use from other companies, you need to start with a clean sheet of paper and start creating your own method to reengineer how the company operates. There should be no holds barred. In fact, if you looked at the basic concept of MRP II, it is looking forward to determine what the companies resource requirements are going to be and effectively communicating this throughout the company to assure a high quality product, produced on time, in the shortest time, and at the least cost. That makes the reengineering MRP II clean sheet really clean.

Getting Started

Once individuals inside the company realize that their MRP system is in need of reengineering they are often uncertain how to get started. This is indeed a serious question, because unless there is complete top management support or better said leadership to change how a company operates, there will be minor if any change. The question is how to get top management to understand that huge improvements can be made if they change the way they utilize the MRP II system to help control the business. Education is the only way the understanding can be achieved. Education can come in many flavors. One method is to get management to attend a class taught by experts that have experience using all the reengineering concepts we have talked about and many more. Another option is to do an assessment of your MRP II system again by an experienced group. This group will also be able to quantify the improvement to the bottom line that the assessment identifies. A third method is to visit another company that has successfully implemented many of the above ideas to see how a Class A MRPII company can operate. In fact, the best method is to do a combination of all three. Pick whichever one that you think management is most likely to participate in and start there. If all else fails get documentation of the results other companies have achieved and present that to top management. Often it takes a long time to get management's attention but persistence and good timing usually win out.

Properly operated MRP II processes allow a company to surge ahead of the competition. Starting with a process that many companies have proven to work, is not only a good approach, but the right approach. The real road block to applying reengineering to MRP II is mastering the art of change implementation.


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