What is MRP software?
MRP software refers to software systems that are automated, and which are used for the purpose of manufacturing resource planning. The aim of MRP software systems is to ensure that material and production planning processes are fully-automated, and simple.
How is MRP Software Beneficial To Manufacturers?
Ideally by implementing such a system successfully, it allows firms to free up the time it would take for humans to perform the tasks manually, meaning that their time and attention can be focused on other key areas of the business.
MRP systems also allow companies to make sure that they have enough of the materials that they require for production, and at the exact time that they require these materials.
Furthermore, MRP systems make it possible to track the expected delivery times for products, as well as enabling firms to function with much lower material and product levels within their factories.
Moreover, the ever-changing and developing nature of information technology, together with the increasing amount of automated processes within manufacturing allows firms to fully-automate production and material planning, as well as perform calculations swiftly, and accurately.
Additionally, the advanced versions of MRP software that are available now are able to make revisions/amendments to quantities of purchased materials, and they can also calculate demand automatically.
According to research by MRPeasy, it’s estimated that about 50% of small-sized manufacturers are still utilizing manual methods, such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, and in some cases, even pencil and paper!
The Main Benefits Of MRP Software Solutions
The planning that is required for components and materials in manufacturing can be achieved much quicker with MRP software, in comparison with the manual approaches we mentioned previously.
If we take Excel as an example, we can confirm that it enables smaller types of firms to base all of their operations, from purchasing materials to the distribution of products, all in one place. However, this type of system is not as flexible and might not have the features that would be required for a larger manufacturer to operate effectively.
For instance, something straightforward like the communication flow between a sales department and the manufacturing side, and then to the HR department and onwards takes time.
Therefore, by using a form of specialized MRP software (or Manufacturing ERP), firms can solve this potential problem of delays in communication or time wastage, as they can use a single interface within the software to facilitate communication between departments with ease, as well as the added benefit of several users being able to use the system simultaneously.
It is very easy for important files and data etc to get lost or accidentally deleted when firms are using spreadsheets or pencil & paper solutions for their day-to-day operations. This is especially true if a company has many different types of clients, suppliers, and product categories.
MRP software solutions eradicate this problem by offering cloud-computing and web-based software solutions. Now users can access information from anywhere with an internet connection, and on a range of different devices (e.g. desktops, mobile phones, tablets etc).
For example, if a salesperson were to use the system to create a new sales contract, they could easily enter the necessary details into the system whilst being with the client, and could then arrange the purchasing and manufacturing instantaneously. This type of communication flow is performed through a secure, user-friendly, web-based application.
If there are many different people or groups involved in the supply chain, it can be tricky to make sure that all the information related to the pricing of components, the amounts of components and materials, and the information for suppliers is actually accurate and kept up to date.
It might be possible to do so if a company is very small and doesn’t have a lot of suppliers, however, as businesses grow, it will get increasingly more difficult to keep track of this information. This is also true in regards to keeping track of customer information.
MRP software can rectify this issue as it provides functionality for warehouse management, capacity planning, inventory control, and much more. Moreover, this software can provide the latest information for the current state of products, the planning progress of material purchases, and more.
MRP software is inexpensive and gives manufacturers a range of advantages that improve their processes. There is an extensive amount of products available within the market for small and medium-sized manufacturers.
In addition, some might even say that some of the largest ERP software providers already have MRP within their own systems, and that this means that the use of a separate software on factory floors simply isn't necessary.
However, the largest, most well-established, and more successful manufacturing companies within the markets could easily afford completely customizable, and multi-purpose ERP systems from providers such as Oracle, or SAP.
And they could incur the cost and time it takes to integrate such systems too. Moreover, they would also be able to create teams of specialized workers who could implement and manage these complex systems.
This is simply not necessary for small or medium-sized manufacturing companies. Yes, they might lose out on a few features here and there, but the large costs and the huge amount of time it would take to implement such systems would not be worth it in the long run.
Therefore, it’s a much better idea to use a simpler MRP software that is specifically designed to meet the needs of these companies. MRP software contains all of the things that manufacturers require in order to assume complete control over their logistics and manufacturing in terms of material flows.
Finally, as we mentioned earlier, MRP software costs significantly less in comparison with the larger providers available. Additionally, the setup costs are pretty inexpensive, and the software is easy to install and use from the first day.