MRP vs APS, What's the Difference

Materials Resource Planning (MRP) and Advanced Planning and Scheduling might be considered to be cousins in the area of Manufacturing Planning. But while similar, they have wildly divergent capabilities. While  many people feel MRP is adequate (and it may very well be in certain situations) APS is a game changer that increases the efficiency of manufacturing exponentially. 

Let me give you an example to illustrate the point. With MRP, we know what we have to order to make what products and what we have to order to create all of the sub-assemblies that go into the final product. While that data is at our fingertips, in order to figure out what we can promise our customer and when, we have to do a bit of research. This may involve one or more employees and one or more days to find out. Even then, because the full manufacturing schedule is not consulted, we could be wildly off. This takes up unnecessary time and effort and can open the door to unhappy customers or lost sales, because the customer wants an answer today, not two days from now.

With APS, the system will do all the research for us. We're sitting at a computer terminal and the customer is asking us when his order can be produced and we have that information for him within moments. We don't have to check inventory to see if we have the parts stocked to make the order, or find out what projects are already scheduled, we don't have to check the capacity of the plant, send someone down to check scheduled production equipment so as to schedule in the order. All we have to do is input a bit of information and the system checks everything we need to know to get an accurate date that we can promise our customer. 

To find out more about APS, go to our website.

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