A Manufacturing Resource Planning software (MRP) is aimed at bringing together a whole range of business operations into a single, one-stop solution. A good MRP software will streamline the running of the entire manufacturing process, all the way from raw materials to the finished product.
With the potential of covering everything from estimating to scheduling, and purchasing to shipping, it can also feed into customer management and accounting systems to provide an overview of the entire business. This can offer significant benefits for management – with accurate, updated information about every step in the process, it will be possible to make better business decisions. You can also respond more rapidly to problems or changes in the market.
Let’s take a closer look at how MRP software is an essential element for the success of every manufacturing company.
Features of MRP Software
Manufacturing software can streamline even the most complex of manufacturing processes.
Generally, MRP gives manufacturing companies assistance when it comes to overall management. Tasks that help businesses improve their efficiency and productivity are the focus of the system. Some of the most important features or modules of the software include scheduling, production and inventory control, and capacity planning. MRP also allows companies to improve the way they report costs.
The features often vary according to the software package businesses choose. However, most MRP solutions will include the following:
- Production control
- Cost reporting
- Capacity planning
- Bills of material
- Inventory control
Essentially, these are the core elements of most MRP solutions. A state-of-the-art software, however, is likely to offer you the following features:
- Sales analysis
- Tool Management
- Change control
- Accounts payable
- Purchase ledger
- Warehouse management
Nevertheless, regardless of how big or small a company is, a good manufacturing resource planning software is an essential aspect of a business or organisation’s success, especially in a tech-driven world.
Although manufacturing resource planning works on its own as a system, it can also function as one of the components of enterprise resource planning (ERP). Its predecessor, MRP 1, was used for a variety of functions like inventory, bills of materials, and other such tasks related to materials requirements.
MRP II, on the other hand, is a combination of techniques or processes that serve as resources for manufacturing businesses, specifically for planning needs. It’s designed as a centralised system for companies to come up with better decisions regarding cost control, scheduling, and inventory management. MRP II is detailed, computer-based software that delivers the needed data in real time. In other words, it covers wider grounds than MRP I because it also takes care of a company’s daily inventory needs and accounting requirements.
As such, manufacturing resource planning is created to take care of the overall operational needs of a company – and this includes its employees.
Advantages of Using Manufacturing Resource Planning Software
One of the biggest advantages of using MRP II software is the standardisation of the company’s processes. The system allows users to automate the business’ most vital areas and aspects. This ensures a smooth and efficient flow of the process.
After the processes are executed, it will be easier to monitor and manage performance. This will help managers identify which areas need improvement. Additionally, this can lead to the creation of employee guidelines that can greatly help continuously improve efficiency and overall performance.
Secondly, inventory records will be more accurate. This, in turn, leads to better inventories control, as well as a significant improvement in the scheduling aspect.
In addition, all the information provided by the software will help business leaders to efficiently plan and predict in advance – this is essential if the goal is to increase profits. And since efficiency is significantly improved, businesses will be able to save on costs.
Choosing the right manufacturing resource planning software
Businesses may not be able to predict the effectiveness of a manufacturing resource planning software, but there are things that can be considered before choosing and purchasing one.
- MRPII over ERP
The first thing you need to decide is whether your company needs an MRP system or if it would be better to go with an ERP system. An enterprise resource planning software is intended mostly for large enterprises.
ERP specialises in providing data management services for businesses that require heavy and complex systems. It is also quite pricey. So if yours is a smaller company, MRP II should be your first choice. This system performs functions and carries features similar to that of ERP but is not as heavy or complicated.
- Inventory Control
Choose an MRP II software product that does not only allow you to monitor your stocks or inventory, but one that also guarantees real-time access and control of it. This is an essential factor to consider if you want to ensure your purchases are done at the right timing and for the right reasons.
In addition, this also helps ensure your stocks don’t run out and that all deliveries will be completed on time. Likewise, this minimises extra stocks, which in turn helps prevent the piling up of expenses. The inventory features you should watch out for include real-time adjustments of stocks, products and raw materials tracking, and the ability to set an ROP or reorder point.
- Reporting Cost of Production
You don’t want to work with loads upon loads of spreadsheets, do you? So, it is essential for your business to use MRP II software that allows you to properly track or monitor cost of production. If you are able to accurately determine costing, coming up with sensible decisions for pricing will be easy because you are allowed to monitor in real time.
Go for MRP II software that can help you come up with the right pricing for your products.
- Capability for Production Planning
Production planning is an important aspect of all manufacturing businesses. While it is true that having the right materials is essential to ensure efficient operations, human resources are also a vital element. You’ll need a well-trained, highly disciplined team that won’t be easily rattled when requirements (or schedules) pile up.
As such, you should go for MRP II software that does not only provide production scheduling but also task scheduling as well.
A good MRP II system offers seamless integration of important business functions like production, inventory, and sales. In addition, it would be ideal if the system allows you to determine your orders on what the company’s manufacturing needs are.
Look for a system with a dashboard that features an integrated workflow.
If you do not want work or manufacturing disruption—and if you want to benefit from the continuous advancement in technology—you should go for a cloud-based MRP II system. This will give you the guarantee that you can get full access to your business processes anytime of the day wherever you are—even if you are mobile or regardless of whether the manager is busy in his desk or is out on leave.
Cloud-based MRP II software is also beneficial for your company since remote work is getting more and more popular and accepted. With the solution in the cloud, even if your team is working in different locations, they can still access all essential data and continue working even when they’re mobile.
- User-friendly Interface
It is also important to choose manufacturing resource planning software that has a user-friendly interface. This means your system can be easily understood by anybody, even those who aren’t tech-savvy.
A user-friendly MRP II will be extremely popular to your team because it will allow them to enjoy working and doing their tasks—because the simplicity of the system makes working a convenient experience.
Never go for complex systems just because you want to impress. Go for what is simple, convenient, comfortable, efficient, and effective.
Finally, choose MRP software that aligns, connects, and integrates with some programs and online services such as those used in the e-commerce industry or software like QuickBooks, which makes some tasks simpler.
Integration adds more convenience and encourages efficiency and productivity.
Manufacturing companies are faced with a multitude of tasks from day to day. With MRP II or manufacturing resource planning software, businesses can perform better without having to add more work. Large enterprises will benefit the most from MRP II, but small and medium ones can also enjoy the many advantages of said software—especially if they know how to choose high-quality manufacturing resource planning systems.