Effectiveness of the MRP System and the End Users Satisfaction
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- Word count: 3330
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MRP (Material Requirement Planning) system effectiveness is defined by the degree to which it accomplishes the laid down objectives which are set prior to implementation process. The system success is based on the effectiveness with which it assesses and evaluates the multidimensional process of implementing the high cost management information system. (Godwin, J.1991 pg1).There is hierarchical system of approaching evaluation of an MRP because it is a step by step analysis which calls for consistency. (Cross, F. 1991 pg 21)
To satisfy clients with your MRP, there are two approaches that need to be considered:
2.1 Goal – centered.
Set well laid down objectives of the manufacturing organization or the end user. These task objectives are better achieved if a criterion is thereby set to be a check on the possibility of attaining these objectives.
At the end of the process, the attained performance should balance the objectives so as to consider the MRP system as a success. The costs incurred should match the benefits accrued by the manufacturer while still keeping in touch with the costs that the end user had budgeted and his or her benefits on employing that technology.
2.2 System- resource
System- resource with the normative states attained and the main focus is the viability of the system in carrying out a task. It should not lead to arising of conflicts between users and manufactures. This view ensures that the product brings inner satisfaction and user is contented by the quality of services he or she enjoys.
The kind of satisfaction enjoyed by the end user can be further categorized by summative and formative evaluation. (Cross, F. 1991 pg 31)
Summative evaluation is based on how best it attains the objectives of both the system manufacturer and end user. Formative evaluation on the other hand checks the quality of the services provided to the end user. It is continuous with the use of the MRP system and it adopts and copes well with the other existing systems. It should develop ability of the organization to achieve objectives while still maintaining the standards of operations.
To enhance the ability of the organization to attain its objectives, the MRP system should have the efficiency to utilize its resources of workers, machinery and materials available to deliver the information system to the end user. To the user, it should increase the effectiveness of the users and the units of the user applying its use. This can be assessed by indications like increased revenue returns or higher profit levels attained although the users do not expects results immediately. (Godwin, J.1991 pg 18)
Systematic transformation of processes due to an MRP system affecting the decision making, changed organizational processes and changed user performance as they embrace the new technology. In the end timeliness is improved in processing information so as to win wide acceptance of a product (Cross, F.1991 pg63).
2.3 MRP systems failure
MRP systems fail to win end user satisfaction due to mostly failed evaluation of its effectiveness before embarking on its production and subsequent distribution. Some of the common reasons for failures are:-
- Lack of adequate and clear definition of the objectives to be met and the accomplishments expected to be measured unto. There should be quantifiable assessment of the initially specified objectives to match the stated expectations of end user personnel. Employing different objectives to evaluating the system instead of sticking to the initially stated ones. This has the tendency to focus on tangible quantifiable objectives which are efficiency oriented at the expense of qualitative measures that dictate the satisfaction a product brings to the organizational end users. Quantitative measures on the other hand are more concerned with ensuring the benefits accrued by system manufacturing the products are cost effective. The stem focus should not be on the amounts and costs of resources to be utilized during the production process. Intangible costs to be incurred and benefits to be accrued should also be considered. (Cross, F.1991 pg 53).
- Changing the objectives and initial measures set to evaluate the MRP system so as to suit the evolutionary shifting of previously held objectives and variedly changing environment suitability of the users and the development personnel at the production plant. The required maintenance practices greatly influence the evolving needs of the user. If the objectives were not initially agreed upon, then chances are that the objectives to evaluate the system will be different to those stipulated as the process started.
- Varied individual perceptions on laid down measures and objectives- participants should have a realistic mutual acceptance in their concerns. Manufactures should not try to influence the viewpoint for decision making if they need to have a collaborative agreement that will win acceptance of the end user. Mutual agreement grounds mostly are poorly set and accomplishing the objectives is difficult. (Lancrate, V.1997 pg 76)
To evaluate a systems effectiveness calls for prior definition of objectives to achieve and the measures to be set prior. This ensures that even if it takes too long, in the end the stipulated measures will be followed as the value of information planned is realized when it is put to use. Evaluation should focus on a wide scope of performance to include both the qualitative and quantitative measures as both are inclusive and produces significant results. (Godwin, J.1991 pg 32)
MRP system implementation processes are dynamic in nature and decision makers should keep in pace with technical changes on the user processes. There should be institutionalization of change so that it is easier for the clients to utilize MRP system without much difficult through training and workshops on new technologies.
Differences in evaluator view points need to be accounted for so that we use them to assess the effectiveness of the system as we emphasize on importance of primary client view point. Apply the most efficient means of evaluation at all levels within the system and also the end user processes. There is a conceptual hierarchy in evaluating MRP system effectiveness and end user efficiency. (Cross, F.1991 pg 120).
- Review of quality assurance: These are set by the MRP system operations personnel to check on the technical capabilities and assess their technical quality. These standards are compared with the acceptable operational procedures. Quality assurance is the back borne of the MRP system to maintain standards as well as keep the end users assured on the quality and best procedures are followed.
- Review budget performance: The budget allocated by the MRP system should prior to the start of the project be adhered to but if there is need to expand on demand and achieve better results, then more funds should be allocated and vice versa so as to cut on costs which are ultimately incurred by the end user. If end users consumption of the resources is high then the mechanisms for allocating more funds to help meet the growing demand need to be put in place. (Lancrate, V.1997 pg 82)
- Attitude survey of the user: These are gathered through filling in questionnaires by the users or by conducting interviews aimed at establishing the perceptions by the user towards MRP functions and the support in terms of information they supply. These aspects are quantified by taking views on reports quality, how timely the delivered services are and the MRP communications about the effectiveness of the applications.
- Evaluating of computer performance: The performance of the hardware in a computer tells how efficient it is and how it enhances or limits an organizations production capability.
- MRP systems measurement of productivity: The system determines the productivity of its personnel and dictates aspects as programmer’s codes per time per line. The number of key strokes on a specified unit time during data entry.
- Monitoring of service level: The user and the MRP system initially have to set objectives and terms of service prior to embarking on production of hardware applications or software. These terms need to be monitored to ensure that MRP system and the user personnel stick to their agreed upon services. These are geared at reducing error rates in applications and times of response. Systems should provide support services in a timely manner and show up when changes are requested as user systems. (Lancrate, V.1997 pg 27)
- Post installation reviews: PIR ensures that the system meets the laid down requirements earlier defined. The systems should provide the services which it was supposed to provide. Any developments on the process should also be checked by the system personnel to ensure standards are met for efficiency and satisfaction of end user requirements.
- Analysis of costs and benefits: Careful evaluation of the implications of the capital budgeting so as to assess if there are returns on investments by the MRP system. The benefits accrued due to income from efficient organizational performance and the levels of savings cut operational expenses.
MRP systems need to do the following on new systems to promote standard competition:
- Keeping focus on customer requirements
- Increase flexibility in attaining measurements
- Have a link between operations and the results reflected by the finances
- Change with customers requirements and be dynamic to suit the markets
MRP companies should motivate rather than be rigid in its operations and outdated channel of production. They should hear when end users standards are not met. Analyze the critical moves so as to make timely adjustments. The management goals of MRP systems have a prejudice that they are strategy related but only based on performance in the past periods. Effort duplication arises when one system keeps separate databases due to lack of sufficient consultations which each one of the personnel has own part of contribution to make.
To fit in today highly competition markets in manufacturing there is need for efficient planning of means of population by proper scheduling of processes that ensure that production is streamlined while increasing profits in the long run. On the side of the end user efficiency is achieved through capacity utilization and reducing the time required to complete tasks so as to complete jobs in time.
Success of this starts by informed initial planning by people in site location and determination of its capacity so as to decide the scope of plant operation and therefore schedule the manpower for proper utilization of available resources. Elaborate research and consultation help in assessing the stocks that can be produced and determine by probability the uncertain demand. To attain superiority in controlling manufacturing processes in the market, industrial managers and plant engineers need to put in place measure that reduce operation cost while still satisfying their customer requirement in a time gap seen as convenient to the both parties. (Godwin, J.1991 pg 64).
There is need to first have decision and technicalities of production made prior to onset of the process and also make decisions on the business requirement so as to check the cost benefit analysis. Therefore such decision will continue to be made during the production cycle and after so as to ascertain if the objective has been achieved in MRP system design which dictates if future expansions will be accommodated for continuity to take market leadership
After design, development of the system as described in the design follows and finally implementation. Planning principles are related to the space layout which is incorporated to design programs to fit in the previous, present and factors expectation planning technology control operation of the military and the submitting space vehicles and other sophisticated processes which can risk human life.
Careful assessment ensures safety and success of planed operations. (Lancrate, V.1997 pg 53). Industrial management of small companies have paid huge price so that they sound “Hi-tech” and impress customer but this does not always work because they fail to check their customer base and production capability and materials available to increase their production capacity. Suitability of the new program system needs to check if they are needed before small firms commit themselves to the new technology. If end users requirement are low volume products, then adapting automated produces with out redesigning the organization saturation.
Small organizations have their own unique aspects and attempts so as to automate the manual and traditional process may not be effective both on enhancing production and cutting on the costs. (Sule, R, 2009 pg 87). The aim of investing in MRS system should not be to fit in the state of the art but should be in interfacing the newly acquired processes with the prior establishment setting which are old fashioned. The recipient wishing to apply the MRP system should first ensure that the location environment is conducive and that other factors can be automated as well for union in application.
End user organizations have the weakness of failing to discuss information system failures while they suffer due to applications they install with inadequate information. They feel that public will distrust them if they air their problems.
Frailties of MRP systems manufacturing software’s:-
- Plant flexibility is inhibited while increasing the costs of maintenance.
- MRP systems software’s are very productive in large volume operations with many shifts. Their quality my also be below average.
- The effectiveness is hard to determine and benefits to be enjoyed are unsure. Thus MPR systems report biased benefits
- The measure of improvement in quality of the processes and savings to be made can not be expressed since no cash value can be attached to quality.
- MPR systems is being replaced by more simpler and cheaper software’s in use nowadays since it is in effective in low production companies.
Produced commodities are less accurate in precision prior described if the conditions are volatile MPR systems should first consider the long-term goals of the firm when reviewing the incorporation of a software to its end user and such should be in harmony with business strategy of the organization so as to save costs while eliminating possible resistance.
The software to be installed should perform all the purposes stated in its communication software for example a robot that does welding while smoothening and painting should perform all the three processes on it’s own without just doing the welding while painting is done manually by some of the personnel. To avoid failure of MPR systems, there is need to first create awareness on the demands of the software, explore the changes required both economically physically and psychologically. The past and future of the end user is considered, the prevailing economic situation, social status and external forces shaping its production capabilities.
Adaptive changes needs to be made so that old settings if production are not interfaced with a recent technology. The changes to be done should first be analyzed before engaging the software. (Sule, R., 2009 pg 43).Social implications to the workers determine if a system works if flops because their perceptions are crucial on the software. If they feel that it will be a threat is their job security, then they may work towards the system failure.
Their altitudes should be considered because they represent the most important asset in a firm. New systems should not lower the morale of the workers as this can adversely lower production. Enhancing the skills of the workforce helps workers to participate in operations and that prides them because it amounts to boredom when they only stand and stare while a few professionals run the show. (Godwin, J.1991 pg 34)
The new software should be compatible with the users’ hardware. Software should easily interface with the existing database and software so as to cut on the costs for installation and operation. (World Consultancy, 1999 pg 31)
Flexibility of the software is crucial especially if the manufacturing company is still expanding. The software should expand and contrast as desired so that the manufacturer does not incur unnecessarily higher expenses in maintaining higher capacity software while wishing that it will expand with time and utilize the software in future. Flexible software allows company to expand or contract as operations and business allow so as to cut down on unnecessarily costs. (Network world, 2003 pg 54)
To as certain in marginal gains, the new system total costs should first be established and could include: new system cost, cost and time consumed in replacing the old system, time required for employees training on the system, frustrations of the user, costs incurred in supporting the system, costs incurred while feeding the data into the new system, other supplementary software required for running the new system and the subsequent decrease in production. Where possible and if production is low volume then invest in humans since they are more flexible and easy to teach and can beat any artificial intelligence.
Quality improvement is based on how you harness your work force rather than the technology employed. Working machines perform poorly on tasks requesting vision and recognition of voice, taste, smell and touch. Avoid abrupt changes because they lower production and tear your hard earned image. Avoid automating a naturally manual process. As the old adage say, “to be a successful builder, you have to first consider what the house will cost you”. Wastes are highly condemned because losses on resources reduce the value delivered to our customers. Products should be produced in the required amounts, with the right timing as materials in the same way are utilized efficiently with equipment, available workforce and space. (Sule, R, 2009 pg 23)
Offering support by the MRP system should be during the installation process and throughout the cycle of production stages to monitor if the system satisfies end user wants. Optimization of customers requirements not only makes the system develop increase its profits base but it also increase its capacity to satisfy the varied needs of the customer client virtualization should be the guiding principle in attaining recognition as a supportive, interactive business leadership. Increased infrastructure access should be accomplishes by the system personnel.
New devices released to the market should be accompanied by deployment of technical staff to help in system installation and maintenances to the end user. End user expenses should be assessed and increased. The productivity and end user satisfaction is determined by technical staff to accompany. The software’s required and hardware should be earlier advised by the personnel staff. (Godwin, J.1991 pg 22)
The adopted means of production should be end user environmental compatible and friendly. This in turn ensures high productivity in individual level and organization as a whole delivers its objectives. (Network world, 2003 pg 17).Improved services can be attained by first fixing the infrastructure so as to reduce cost of operations. All the expenses should be checked to ensure that there is return on investment (ROI) in a timely manner. Six months is the prescribed period for return for 50% of capital expenditure; other wise it is not timely success.
The need for new approaches is to align our levels with the changing business requirement. System integration for complex applications should be well advised and guided and subsequent application can be canceled if means are not available and expertise is limited human resource need to be unified with technology so as standardize the automation of manufacturing processes without necessarily holding inventory for sport to increases productivity. Customer information is crucial for making other decision on MRP system needs like planning of shipping of products to different localities after tracking orders already made. (World Consultancy 1999 pg 26)
Cross, F.K, Lynch, L.R (1991) Measure up! .Wiley Blackwell. Moscow
Godwin, J.U. (1991) Evaluating Manufacturing Software in Small Strategic Consideration. Wiley Blackwell. Moscow
Lancrate, V.D (1997) World Class Production and Inventory Management.
Network world. (2003) IDG Network world.
Sule, R. D. (2009) Production Planning and Industrial Scheduling .Wiley & Sons. New York
World consultancy. (1999) Administrating SAP R/3: the production and planning module. World Consultancy Press. Geneva