Item MRP settings are essential

Item MRP settings are essential because they determine time to shipment targets and the supply pipelines that replenish inventory.  These settings are vitally important no matter how many stock items you may have.

At first glance, applying MRP settings to thousands of items may seem a daunting task, but when you examine how settings are actually maintained, it is a much smaller-scale effort that is well within any planner’s capability to manage.  Let’s break down how settings are established and maintained.


P items can be mass-updated by default supplier

Each P item is assigned to a default supplier.  Most items sourced by a supplier have the same Lead Days, so even though you may have thousands of P items, you most likely have a relatively small number of default suppliers.  You can filter the MRP Settings screen by default supplier and then enter the same Lead Days against all or most of the items.  You can also export the grid contents to a spreadsheet, copy and paste the desired Lead Days against all items, and then use the P Items – MRP Settings import utility to import the values.


Many M items have the same Job Days

Most companies typically have far fewer M items than P items.  Among M items, many have similar processes and can therefore be given the same or similar Job Days allocation.  The actual number of Job Days decisions is therefore much smaller than the number of M items.  Job Days allocations are not subject to frequent revision.


The Stocking (Safety Factor) order policy settings remain fixed


Many items planned for stocking can be assigned the Stocking (Safety Factor) order policy, which uses a fixed monthly Safety Factor setting to calculate the Reorder Point that triggers stock replenishment.  This is a “set it and forget it” stocking method because there is no need for periodic review of monthly usage.  This order policy is suited for lower value items where minor over-stocking has minimal impact on working capital or storage space. 


Supply Days intervals are rarely subject to change

All stocking order policy items are given a Supply Days interval to calculate the Min Order quantity that determines the size and frequency of jobs or POs.  A substantial number of items will be given the same Supply Days interval and once it is established, it is rarely changed.


Use MRP analysis codes to schedule monthly demand reviews

The item settings that should be reviewed on a periodic basis are the monthly Sales or Usage and Safety Factor buffer maintained against items with a Stocking (Monthly Demand) order policy.  Higher value, more critical items benefit from more frequent review, whereas lower value, less critical items can be reviewed less often. 


Use the MRP Analysis Codes screen to create analysis codes that are then scheduled for settings review at periodic intervals.  Items are assigned to appropriate analysis codes.  The screen indicates when analysis codes are due for review and the Action button is used to initiate a settings analysis for its associated items in the MRP Settings screen.