Choosing the right system to help plan your purchasing is critical. MRP software is a key part of ensuring that you have the right materials coming into your business at the right time so that you can manufacture the goods you need, in the quantities needed. Having the right solution can make a huge difference in your ability to manage inventory and keep your manufacturing processes moving smoothly.
MRP software, also known as material requirements planning software, is a specific type of inventory management software that can help manufacturers manage key details of their planning processes, including:
MRP software helps provide better insights into what materials your business needs, when you need them to appear, and how much of each one you need on hand to hit your goals. MRP software may also offer some analytic tools that will allow you to compare data forecasts to actual performance.
MRP software offers several key advantages for your business.
Depending on your manufacturing processes, you may need to keep up with any number of raw materials that go into your final pieces. Not only that but you may also need to use the same materials for more than one final product, which can mean dramatically different ordering needs. With MRP software, you can keep up with the immediate and ongoing needs of your business. With your MRP software, you can also track your ongoing material needs, which means that you can streamline ordering over time.
In some cases, you may note that your material needs change over time. For example, you may need to ramp up manufacturing in anticipation of the holiday season or increase production of vital goods well before you know they’ll be needed moving into the busy season of your year. MRP software can help with data analysis and prediction, including helping you keep a closer eye on how those trends may change over time. As you analyze the data collected by your MRP software, you can also get a look at how demand changes over time: demand cycles, the ebb and flow of needs for specific goods, and more.
Your business can only support a certain volume of inventory at any given time. You may only have a specific amount of space where you can store inventory, or a set area where you can keep products once they have been manufactured. If you attempt to go above that capacity, you may end up with a higher overall degree of waste: products you cannot ship out in a timely manner or raw materials that you cannot use before they go bad. With your MRP software, you can develop a better overall understanding of your capacity, which can make it easier for you to keep up with ordering.
Keeping up with inventory often relies heavily on overall scheduling. You may need to schedule when inventory moves in and out of your warehouse or manufacturing facility carefully, whether you’re trying to make sure that you have needed raw materials on hand or managing the movement of manufactured items through your supply chain. Your MRP software can help make scheduling easier and more effective.
Many of the decisions you make for your business are highly data-driven. With the right data, you can keep up with demand changes, manage shifting priorities, and even make note of the latest supply chain trends and how they have the potential to impact your business. Your MRP can help you collect and analyze that data, which may put you in a position to make more effective decisions about future purchasing, storage, and more. Furthermore, you can compare actual data to your data forecasts, which can help you determine the effectiveness of your forecasting protocols and give you more insights into how you may want to make those decisions in the future.
The multi-site MRP key is that it allows you to track inventory demands and needs across multiple sites on the same platform. Many demand planning or inventory management solutions will allow you to keep up with inventory at a single site but might not offer the resources you need to manage data across multiple locations at the same time. With multi-site MRP, you’ll have greater insight into inventory at every location.
Your sites can hold different inventory levels based on their storage capacity. A multi-site MRP can keep up with the space available at each location, providing you with greater overall insight into how much room you have to store key items. In addition to helping you understand how much you can produce, knowing your capacity can give you more information about how much room you must store items as you prep for potential supply chain challenges or shortages.
If you notice a product’s lifecycle coming to an end, you may want to slow production at all sites. At the same time, you may want to carefully judge what product you already have in stock. In some cases, you may want to start working down that inventory, including offering sales on items that you might need to move out. By looking at your inventory across multiple sites, you can ensure that you do not end up with too much excess on hand.
Multi-site MRP allows you to transfer inventory more efficiently between one site and the next. Your software can help you determine what you have on hand at each site, from the specific products you may already have created and need to move between sites to the raw materials available at each site. In addition, it can help you figure out the most efficient way to ship them between one and the next if needed.
At StockIQ, we offer a multi-site MRP solution that can help you more effectively track and manage raw materials, completed inventory, and more. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive inventory management solutions.