World Class Master Scheduling: Best Practices and Lean Six Sigma Continuous Improvement

Chapter 3: Master Production Schedule Integration with Enterprise Resource Planning


It has often been said that the most influential positions in a manufacturing operation are the plant manager and the master scheduler. That puts the master production scheduling job into perspective for some and makes the point that the master production schedule (MPS) is the score and the master scheduler the orchestra leader for the manufacturing symphony. To best start this next discussion, it is important to set the stage by examining the process within which the MPS resides in high-performance manufacturing environments. That process model is enterprise resource planning, more commonly known as ERP.

New names for ERP are invented every week by software companies or consulting firms trying to sell their wares. Some new acronyms stick and some do not. Being in the business of sorting this stuff out, I prefer to stick to the ideas I have seen add value. In the years I have been involved with process improvement, I have determined that some of these process methodologies are, in fact, legitimate. Three specifically are: (1) Class A ERP, (2) lean, and (3) Six Sigma. There are some specific goodness factors embedded in each of these approaches, and an argument can even be made that although these process models are best done concurrently, the initial focus might best be done sequentially, even if quite quickly. Because the MPS is such a major component of the ERP business model and especially important within Class A ERP performance, the emphasis at the start of this discussion is...