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Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

What Is MRP in Manufacturing? 

Material requirements planning (MRP) is one of the most common real-time material management systems used in manufacturing to calculate all materials and components required to produce goods in the most efficient manner. This system is considered a push-type of inventory control in which demand forecasting is utilized to determine the level of customer demand. The MRP process focuses on three stages: taking inventory of existing equipment and materials, selecting and identifying missing pieces, and then requesting or purchasing their production. 

How to Do Material Requirement Planning in Manufacturing:

Here are the three steps to execute MRP in manufacturing facilities:

  • Recognizing quantity parameters: Evaluate your factory to determine what inventory is on hand, how much is already tasked to existing order, and how much can be stored for future manufacturing. 
  • Analyzing MRP calculation: Review all components required for production and create recommendations to optimize flow of materials. 
  • Fulfilling the production orders: Define and organize an optimized plan in which inventory is managed and organized according to purchase orders. 

What Are the Benefits of MRP?

The main focus of MRP in manufacturing is to ensure that all equipment, parts, and components are ready when needed so production can run according to schedule. MRP is considered a demand-oriented system, meaning the system only works efficiently with factories that track flow of demand in an effective manner and collect data accurately. Once implemented, MRP can empower factories in several ways. 

Here are some benefits of MRP:

  • Cut costs and optimized management of inventory
  • Increased productivity of staff
  • Optimized scheduling
  • Enhanced manufacturing efficiency 
  • Applicable in nearly any manufacturing environment

What Are the Drawbacks of MRP?

Like most systems, there are also drawbacks. Here are a few disadvantages of using MRP process:

  • Reliability on demand forecasting: Since MRP processes rely on demand forecasting and accurate data, it only makes sense that this process wouldn’t be fit for a company that doesn’t use any demand forecasting data to predict production. And in MRP, data integrity is essential. 
  • Little-to-no flexibility: MRP in its simplest form is quite restrictive and narrow, not leaving much room for adjustment once the manufacturing plan is set. 
  • Customization restrictions: Lack of flexibility leads to little variation in production meaning that facilities that integrate MRP will find it difficult to manufacture unique or specific products. 
  • Costly: MRP analysis and planning is an expensive integration. Most companies that are able to implement MRP have capital to back the set-up, training, and integration. 
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