Master Scheduling

Overview

Master Production Scheduling (MPS) is a planning system which serves several important purposes:

  1. Increases visibility into future demand
  2. Provides capability for anticipating future demand
  3. Drives the plan for lower level components (i.e., material requirements) based on the forecast

Typically, MPS is used to plan for items having "independent" demand. Independent demand items are defined as those items which derive their demand directly from customer requirements through sales orders. By contrast, "dependent" demand items are normally purchased items and subassemblies. The demand for dependent items is derived indirectly — that is, based on the demand for their parent items in a bill of materials.

In this article, we will demonstrate xTuple ERP's MPS functionality, using a production plan called COLLECTORS-2016. We have linked a planning item, COLLECTORS-LINE, to this production plan. Both the plan and the planning item are included in the data for the xTuple ERP demo database.

Note: The scenarios described in this section refer to items and other data found in the xTuple ERP demo database. The demo database is available for download from the xTuple website.

The bill of materials for the COLLECTORS-LINE planning item is composed of three MPS planned items, each of which have the following quantities per:

  • BTRUCK1: .5
  • RTRUCK1: .3
  • WTRUCK1: .2

Our production plan for the COLLECTORS-LINE planning item currently contains forecast periods for three months of 2016. In the example we will be using, we will actually adjust the dates and quantities for these periods to accommodate demand that is anticipated in late 2015, earlier than originally expected. To accommodate a current date that will be different from the date on which this section was written, you will be instructed to use date offsets of +28, +58, and +88 days. So, for example, if we forecast 1,000 units of the COLLECTORS-LINE planning item for November 2015, the planning system will create orders for 500 BTRUCK1's, 300 RTRUCK1's and 200 WTRUCK1's. (See the quantity per values shown above for each item in the COLLECTORS-LINE bill of materials). The COLLECTORS-LINE itself is a logical construct, and, as such, no planned orders will be created for it.

Note: In our scenario, we will be forecasting using a planning item—a special type of item used to defined families or lines of products. However, the system also allows you to place individual MPS items on a production schedule.

Updating and Releasing Production Plans

To begin the process of understanding how MPS works, we will first update and release our production plan (i.e., forecast). To access the master list of production plans, follow these steps:

  • Pull down the "Schedule" module menu
  • Select the "Production Plan" submenu
  • Select the "List" option
  • Click on the "COLLECTORS-2016" production plan
  • Then click the EDIT button

Now that we have opened the production plan for editing, we can drill down and modify the scheduled date and quantity for the COLLECTORS-LINE planning item. As you recall, COLLECTORS-LINE is the planning item whose bill of materials we discussed above. To begin, follow these steps:

  • Select the first scheduled line item
  • Click the EDIT button
  • The following screens will appear:

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List Production Plans Screen

  • Enter a "Planned Date" that is +28 days from today (hit TAB to see the what the date is)
  • Enter "1,000" in the "Qty." field
  • Click the SAVE button
  • Repeat the previous step for the other two line items on the production plan
  • For the second line, set the date to +58 days from today with a quantity of 2000
  • For the third line, set the date to +88 days from today with a quantity of 3000
  • On the production plan screen, change the "Start Date" field to today's date
  • Click the SAVE button

Now that we have finished updating the production plan, we are ready to release it. Production plans must be in a released state ("R") if they are to be considered when the MPS planning system is run.

Please note that if the current date is beyond 2016, you will need to edit the COLLECTORS-2016 schedule and set the "End Date" to at least 28 days into the future.

To release the production plan, follow these steps:

  • Open the "List Production Plans" screen
  • Right-click on the COLLECTORS-2016 production plan
  • Select the "Release" option from the right-click menu
  • Note that the status for the plan has changed from "U" (un-released) to "R" (released)
  • Click the CLOSE button to close the production plans screen

Running MPS

Because our production plan has been released, the MPS planning system will recognize it when MPS is run. The next step is to run MPS by planner code, as follows:

  • Pull down the "Schedule" module menu
  • Select the "Scheduling" submenu
  • Choose the "Run MPS" option
  • Check "All Planner Codes," "All Sites," and enter a "Cutoff Date" that is 1 year in the future (+365), as shown below:

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Run MPS by Planner Code

  • Click the CREATE button
  • Wait while MPS runs in the background
  • Screen will close when MPS is finished

Note: In a production environment, you can select the SUBMIT button to send the MPS run to the batch manager for processing. Since the batch manager is not available for demonstration databases, please do not use this option.

Displaying Results of an MPS Run

Once the MPS run is finished, we can go look at the planned orders generated by the run. To view the results of an MPS run, follow these steps:

  • Pull down the "Schedule" module menu
  • Select the "Reports" submenu
  • Select the "Planned Orders" option
  • Confirm that the filter is "Default"
  • Confirm that the MORE option is unselected 
  • Click the QUERY button, to get results as shown below:

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Planned Orders Display

The planned orders by planner code display shows us the top-down nature of the forecast. Notice how the planned quantities match the quantity per ratio for each planning item component. Also notice how the orders are grouped into three separate date buckets.

Displaying MPS Detail for an MPS Item

We can understand how our new planned orders fit into a broader context by examining the MPS detail display. To access the MPS detail screen, follow these steps:

  • Pull down the "Schedule" module menu
  • Select the "Reports" submenu
  • Choose the "MPS Detail" option
  • Select the WK_REL_FORW_8 calendar
  • Click on the BTRUCK1 item in the item sites display
  • Information about BTRUCK1 will be displayed, as shown below:

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MPS Detail Display

The example shows the MPS detail for the selected item based on the calendar selected. In this case, the calendar being used shows the next 8 weeks relative to today in weekly increments.

Now that we have generated the planned MPS orders, let's see the impact these will have on the plan for material requirements planning (MRP) items.

Running MRP

To see how MRP will respond to the MPS orders we created, it will be necessary to run MRP. To run MRP by planner code, follow these steps:

  • Pull down the "Schedule" module menu
  • Select the "Scheduling" submenu
  • Select the "Run MRP" submenu
  • Choose the "by Planner Code" option
  • Check "All Planner Codes," "All Sites," and enter a cutoff date that is 1 year in the future (+365).

Info: If you are testing this MRP scenario in an xTuple demo database and want to get the same results as described in this tutorial, you should review the quantities on hand of the components of the BOMs associated with the MPS items so that there are shortages necessary to create MRP planned orders.

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Run MRP by Planner Code

  • Click the OK button
  • Wait while MRP runs in the background
  • Screen will close when MRP is finished

Displaying Results of MRP after MPS Run

Once the MRP run is finished, we can go look at the planned orders generated by the run. To view the results of an MRP run, follow these steps:

  • Pull down the "Schedule" module menu
  • Select the "Reports" submenu
  • Select "Planned Orders"
  • Use the default settings and click the QUERY button

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As you can see, the MRP run generated multiple planned orders which were not present after we ran MPS initially. The reason for this is simple: The extra orders are MRP orders generated to satisfy the demand created by the MPS orders. Essentially, we forecasted demand and then discovered what materials would be needed to meet that demand—net existing quantity on hand (QOH), other demand, existing supplies, and expected receipts.

If you want to filter out MRP or MPS items, you may do so on the planned orders by planner code screen by following these steps:

  • Click the MORE button (if not already selected)
  • Select "Planner Code" from the blank drop-down menu
  • Select "MPS-MPS Items" or "MRP-MRP Items"
  • Click the QUERY button

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Planned Orders Display

  • Click CLOSE to exit the display.

If you want to continue further and act upon the advice provided by the MPS and MRP planning systems, you can proceed by right-clicking on a specific planned order and releasing it. For more information on releasing planned orders, see the "Basic Business Process Flow" chapter of the xTuple ERP Demo Guide.