The Features Adapted from Manufacturing Planning & Control [MPC] System Concepts
 
   

There are many product features whose theoretic framework is available in Manufacturing Planning and Control Systems literature in the public domain. The concepts are taught at the Masters level in foreign universities. There are organizations in the world that promote this knowledge. There are forums where professionals exchange ideas and where eminent scholars and practitioners regularly write papers on various aspects of these subjects. However, the real limitation with any theoretic body of knowledge is converting it into practical and working application that solves real world problems in a commercially viable context. That's why we feel a lot of pride in searching for, accessing, modifying and converting this academic knowledge into specific software product that solves real problems of the clients.

 
 
The Bill of Material Editor
 
 
Much is known about a Bill of Materials (BOM) Editor in the Manufacturing Planning and Control Systems (MPC) literature. It is a product recipe creator that defines the processes, raw material consumption, process lead-time and stages of manufacturing to produce one unit of final product. It is the most important input to the MRP. However, we discarded traditional BOM editors and created a special editor that directly takes all product information from the product configuration without needing a human being to create a BOM for each new product. This clever adaptation allows thousands of apparel and home-textile product BOMs to be automatically created. Other ERPs do not have this facility; therefore they just cannot cope up with apparel product BOMs.
 
     
The Material Requirement Planning
 
 
This planning technique was invented by Mr. Joseph Orlicky in USA and has been around since last 35 years and serves as the driving engine inside all notable ERPs. However, with variant materials, variant lead times and a product that comes in many sizes and colours (such as apparel and home-textile product) a classic MRP could not work. So we did a lot of modifications to the original MRP technique, until it could work for this industry. Other ERPs have still not done that yet and that's why despite having an MRP engine they still cannot plan apparel and home-textile manufacturing.
 
     
The Capacity Requirement Planning
 
 
This well known capacity planning technique has been widely known in the MPC circles since mid-80's and is what makes a simple MRP (Material Requirement Planning) to be called an MRPII (Manufacturing Resource Planning). This technique is again available in most Western ERPs. However, this technique assumes that the workload for doing each process in an order is made known to the system through configurable load-conversion formulae in the set-up data. However, apparel products, by their very nature, have variant lead-times, and that’s why, permanent load-conversion formulae don't work. Instead, each product load has to be calculated afresh. Thanks to our product engineering modules, there is a steady and accurate supply of this invaluable data, enabling the CRP to work perfectly. Other ERPs cannot handle variant process loads and therefore the CRP inputs are wrong and inconsistent with reality. The CRP thus loses integrity and believability and is soon discredited by planners.
 
     
The Finite Schedulers
 
 
This is a mature planning technique that comes as a part and parcel of top end packaged ERPs. These schedulers plan start and stop times of each process for the shop floor. The caveat is that the process-lead time is known with accuracy. As we have seen in the case of a generic CRP above, the lead-time is not known. Hence these finite schedulers cannot work in this industry. Our product engineering modules solve this problem and make our finite schedulers effective for this industry.
 
     
The Rough Cut Capacity Planning Technique (Master Scheduling)
 
 
Here again is a very mature body of knowledge also known as master scheduling or RCCP. This technique brings realism in creating production targets in terms of end products. It also serves as an order acceptance decision-making tool. We heavily modified this tool to meet the order acceptance demands made on CEO's by their foreign clients. They need to take this decision very quickly without knowing much about product specifications at that time. Our adapted tool serves this purpose very well.
 
     
Two Manufacturing Planning Systems Instead of One
 

 

We broke down the long and complex manufacturing process of this industry into two separate end products. The first manufacturing aim is to produce fabric. This involves yarn dyeing, weaving, knitting, dyeing and fabric finishing. The second manufacturing produces garments. It uses the former as an input raw material and involves cutting, embroidery, printing, sewing, washing, finishing and packing. By breaking the manufacturing problem into two distinct but sequential manufacturing processes i.e., the fabrication and the garment factory, we simplified the complex problem into two manageable chunks. Thus we use two MRPs in tandem instead of one. This is truly an innovative adaptation of the basic MRP techniques. This solution is also consistent with the reality on ground. Some manufacturers buy the fabric instead of producing it. Whereas others are more vertically integrated; they manufacture both fabrics and garments or home textile products or even both.
 

© 2009-2010 Algorithm Consulting (Pvt.) Ltd. All Rights Reserved