Epicor ERP for MRP
Are you utilizing your software’s material requirements planning (MRP) functionality to its fullest potential? If your company is disappointed in your ERP system and has found that the software is just not living up to your expectations, that should be one of the first questions asked. Too often, this disappointment arises not from the software itself, but from your actual business process. Look close into your ERP’s production module and ensure you are using your MRP system to maximize efficiency. Many modern ERP systems like Epicor have robust MRP capabilities that can combine the complex functions of material ordering, demand planning and inventory management. With just one piece of software, your business can organize production schedules and stock levels in line with lean manufacturing best practices.
Because production and inventory management are crucial to your manufacturing success, a refined MRP strategy will go a long way in creating substantial ROI. Proper material requirements planning is crucial for business success, whether you are manufacturing machine parts or automobiles. Although different industries may have their own specific requirements and varying best practices, the importance of the inventory management and planning capability that an MRP system offers cannot be overstated for any business.
Excess raw material can provide a hindrance to a manufacturer—particularly if you are working with perishable items, or your warehouse doesn’t have the space to store the surplus. Lean principles recommend that manufacturers cut down on waste, and your raw materials are one of the most important sources of time and cost wastage to target. Your ERP software can be leveraged to help you become a master of material ordering. With the help of ERP, your company will only pay for what you know will be manufactured and then bought.
Your material requirements planning center will be responsible for processing the Bill of Materials (BOMs) required throughout the assembly process. A manager can simply enter the BOM required for a desired product, and your ERP system will be able to make sure that everything you need—like machinery and raw material—is in place before movement on a production line begins. The ERP will communicate the exact materials needed in line with your BOMs and communicate this to your suppliers for you, ordering only the products you need when you ask for them. Do you have a report that predicts a future demand increase? You can just input that predicted demand, and the new raw materials can be sourced efficiently and ordered through your ERP!
One fundamental best practice that can help manufacturers avoid the waste of surplus production is demand planning. After all, if you overestimate how much product you will need, you end up with too many raw materials, overloaded production lines or inventory taking space in a warehouse. This headache can be alleviated with the help of stringent MRP practices.
After all, your ERP isn’t just good for real-time manufacturing management; it’s also the best at collecting historical data. Your system will track varying demand for your products over time and business quarters, arming your company with data-driven predictions for the future. Forecasted demand, backed by historical sales data, means that you have more power and knowledge than ever to accurately forecast your schedules. If one product normally sees a jump in sales during a quarter, you will know to increase your raw materials order and free up production lines to meet that new demand.
Maintain Data Purity
One crucial factor to successful inventory management and demand planning is clean data. Material requirements planning encompasses a significant part of your ERP production module and is directly responsible for many crucial processes that directly affect your customers and your bottom line. That means that it’s the last place that your company can allow any margin of error in data. One wrong number or mixed-up date can mean a huge order of raw materials or a late shipping date to an important client. Using ERP to put double checks in place within the MRP module can enforce your data clarity.
Consider putting one of your organization’s ERP super users up to the task—and ensure that best practices are widely, and strictly, disseminated. Time zones and languages can be weak spots when it comes to data sharing, so ensure you're maximizing your ERP functions to maintain data integrity across global or statewide operations. Once you combine the power of pristine data with a powerful MRP system, the sky is the limit for your manufacturing business.
The MRP process is a key piece of your production planning. MRP helps users balance the complex relationship between material ordering, scheduling, product delivery and inventory management. ERP software exists to simplify and automate your business processes—but you must fully commit to making the most of your MRP functionality to generate impressive ROI.
If you’re looking to implement an ERP system with robust material requirements planning capability or need to strengthen your current system, contact an expert at Datix today. Besides being an Epicor Platinum Partner, we have over 20 years of experience in refining systems and technological processes to transform businesses around the world. From start to finish, we execute enterprise software projects and provide ongoing support to maximize the value of your investment. Get in touch with our consultants to elevate your business processes!