Demand and capacity planning is essential for success within the manufacturing industry. A lack of planning can cause chaos, particularly for those who create custom orders or wish to implement new manufacturing strategies like lean. For manufacturers to achieve their full potential, it is essential for businesses to take the steps necessary to have realistic and achievable plans formulated for the near- and long-term future.
But it is not possible to plan adequately if your data is inaccurate or not up-to-date. For example, a forecasting system must have an accurate sales history, and for distribution requirements, a planning system must have accurate inventory balances. Furthermore, a capacity planning system requires accurate plant capacity and product structure information. All this data can be precisely managed by integrated manufacturing ERP systems, enabling the enactment of flawless demand and capacity planning, among other things.
Supply chain planning systems come in various forms of delivery: standalone ones or integrated into ERP systems. Systematic processes plus having accurate data from the system can assist in the forecasting and production planning in the weeks ahead, which will also help reduce or minimise potential issues.
Having changeable dynamic data such as the shop-floor inventory of finished goods, intermediates (WIP) and raw materials, can help manufacturers manage their demand and capacity planning. Other useful statistics include sales demand, planned downtime and resource availability.
A planning system will also need to be updated periodically with static information. This can include component requirements for different products, processes, new warehouses or transportation options and new plant resources with their operating features.
However, forecasting and planning can be extremely complex if data needs to be pulled from multiple databases across numerous servers.
Instead of having a standalone supply chain software, an integrated ERP system will provide fundamental business functions and can be used by a range of departments. Therefore the business data within the system will be up-to-date and accurate at all times.
ERP systems can be used to execute lean and agile strategies because it helps to manage and monitor inventory in different ways, as well as help with forecasting and planning. It helps with demand and capacity planning at every level, and it's a great tool for planners and decision makers. Also, there is nothing worse than trying to execute a new strategy without accurate, up-to-date figures for your inventory.
If you are interested in implementing an ERP system, a great option is WinMan ERP Software; a highly scalable and leading class business solution for a broad range of manufacturing and distribution companies - it is the perfect choice for companies implementing a Lean strategy.