Rapid Planning: Empowering Planners with Next Generation MRP


MRP has been a mainstay of manufacturing systems for 40 years. MRP evolved from simple inventory planning systems to become the heart of the MRPII systems which eventually became ERP. While the applications surrounding it have become broader, more sophisticated and web-based, MRP continues to operate in the loneliness of the Saturday night batch window quietly exploding bills of materials and logging exceptions for hours.

During this same 40 years, manufacturing business processes have seen countless changes and improvements including JIT, TQM, Six Sigma, Flow Manufacturing, Lean Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management. Although much logic has been added to MRP to deal with new manufacturing processes, it has not been able to keep up with the real-time pace of today's supply chain. As a result, planners have devised ingenious ways to trick MRP to handle new processes but often need to dump the output into spreadsheets of their own design in the hope of wrestling thousands of exceptions to ground.

Oracle's new Rapid Planning application is just what companies still running MRP have been waiting for! The newest member of the Value Chain Planning product line, Rapid Planning is designed to empower planners with comprehensive supply planning that runs online in minutes, not hours. It enables a planner simulate the incremental impact of a new order or re-run an entire plan in a separate sandbox. Rapid Planning does a complete multi-level bill of material explosion like MRP but plans orders considering material and capacity constraints. Considering material and capacity constraints in planning can help you quickly reduce inventory and improve on-time shipments.

Rapid Planning is an APS application that leverages years of Oracle development experience and customer feedback. Rather than rely exclusively on black-box heuristics, Rapid Planning is designed to give planners the computing power to use their industry experience and business knowledge to improve MRP. For example, Rapid Planning has a powerful worksheet user interface with built-in query capability that allows the planner to locate the orders she is interested in and use a mass update function to make quick work of large changes. The planner can save these queries and unique user interface to personalize their planning environment.

Most importantly, Rapid Planning is designed to do supply planning in today's dynamic supply chain environment. It can be used to supplement MRP or replace MRP entirely. It generates plans that provide order-by-order details with aggregate key performance indicators that enable planners to quickly assess the overall business impact of a plan. To find out more about how Rapid Planning can help improve your MRP, please contact me at john.bermudez@oracle.com or your Oracle Account Manager.

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Oracle Value Chain Planning enables best in class processes including demand sensing, shaping for profitability, fast event-driven scenario simulation, supply chain risk management, sales and operations and integrated business planning, comprehensive trade management, integrated order orchestration and promising, and multi-enterprise planning and collaboration.

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