Material Requirements Planning Packages: An Evaluation
Material requirements planning (MRP) systems first became available in the late 1960s. Until recently, there has been a proliferation of MRP software and software suppliers of various levels of sophistication and cost, all claiming to allow managers better planning of dependent manufacture and inventory systems. The potential user faces the problem of selecting, from among the many proprietary MRP packages, a system which best matches the requirements at any preferred cost. The process of assessing and selecting software has in the main been performed in conjunction with or wholly by consultants, some of whom are less than impartial. The selection process has been further aggravated of late owing to the recurring problems of software suppliers exiting from the MRP market. This research proposes a framework for assessment of all MRP packages, a method that can be performed with limited expert knowledge required by the user. The report identifies the data requirements of these frameworks and compares MRP packages available and supported in the UK. The suggested method of comparison has been made after analysis of the results of an MRP and MRP II software circulation questionnaire that was constructed and mailed to suppliers in the UK. The research aims to identify MRP systems and MRP-driven systems operating at differing functional levels and to provide a quick and inexpensive means of selection of a cost-effective MRP package for a range of constrained budgets.
KeywordsPotential User Software Supplier Material Requirement Planning Shop Floor Control Master Production Schedule
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