planners job is to ensure that there is sufficient supply of materials and
productive capacity to
manufacture products within the time demanded by the market place.
Where the product range is limited and
fixed, the task is clear.A “Master
Schedule” can be set for
each end item, which purchasing and manufacturing can respond to through a periodic MRP explosion of
demand.If lead times are long, then
there is the option
to hold finished goods stocks.
Lean Manufacturing introduces the make
to order challenge where production lead times are contracted within the lead time offered to the
market.Many companies go further by designing product ranges
that can be configured to customer order.
Clearly, the old planning techniques
can no longer cope.Orders must be
taken, configured, made
and shipped in a time that most MRP systems cannot react to.