Before You Go Live, Maximize the Benefit from Your MRP Output

  • by Gary Byrne, Managing Editor, Financials Expert and SCM Expert
  • July 25, 2017

In a brief interview at SCM 2017, Beverly Desjardins, solution architect at itelligence North America, answered some questions related to her session on how to use material requirements planning (MRP) results to improve the stability of your system.

In your session one of your segments was on how to use material requirements planning (MRP) results to improve the stability of your system as it relates to sales, planning, production, purchasing, and overall logistics execution. Could you explain some of the key steps involved in this process?

One of the common misconceptions that seem to come along with MRP is that MRP is for the planning department. I debunk that concept by explaining some of the messages and how to tie the MRP exception messages to business values. Having all functional areas that are represented within the exception messages manage their messages and then having them communicate frequently, at least weekly, to all of management from top to bottom in a very elementary approach (aka a grading technique) — this approach finally helps the business more clearly understand the very importance of their MRP system. This technique brings awareness and accountability while improving the performance of the systems and end users from all functional areas.  

You also discussed how MRP exception messages allow you to improve overall system hygiene and performance. Could you provide some points to consider with regard to MRP exception messages?

One of the key points first off is to make sure people not only just manage their red, yellow, and green lights but also use binoculars to get into the details. When you get into the details of the messages, you then understand the quantity of the messages that exist. Ideally, you do not want any exception messages; hence, zero to no messages means you are on top of your supply chain and utilizing your system optimally. Additionally, one of the detailed tabs holds dated information. I have seen many clients, and some have items within that list dated 10 years or better. This old data not only clogs the stock requirements list, causing confusion to the end users, but also affects planning. All data in the system is considered when the MRP job runs; even outdated data affects current data.

Gary Byrne

Gary is the managing editor of Financials Expert and SCM Expert. Before joining WIS in March 2011, Gary was an editor at Elsevier. In this role he managed the development of manuscripts for Elsevier’s imprint responsible for books on computer security. Gary also has held positions as a copy editor at Aberdeen Group, a Boston-based IT market research company, and as an editor at, a publisher of content for the IT community. He also gleaned experience working as a copy editor for International Data Corp., a Framingham, MA-based IT market research company. He earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Suffolk University in Boston. He enjoys traveling, sailing as a passenger onboard schooners, and helping his wife, Valerie, with gardening during summer weekends. He’s a fan of all the Boston sports teams and once stood behind Robert Parish in a line at BayBank. He felt small and didn’t ask for an autograph. You can follow him on Twitter at @FI_SCM_Expert. His online footsteps can also be found in the SAP Experts group on LinkedIn.

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