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

Chapter 6: Order Management

Order management is a close associate of the master production scheduling (MPS) function in all companies. Order management team members are the people who respond to customer requests and promise deliveries to customers. In many organizations, order management reports to the sales team, not the MPS department, although there are exceptions to that. (In Chapter 17, you will read about The Raymond Corporation s approach, where order management does report to the MPS team.)

In order for order management to do the best job for both the customer and the company, it needs to be closely aligned with the scheduling process. This means the rules of engagement need to be clear and well understood and the available to promise (ATP) discussed in the last chapter well communicated. Order management should have knowledge of and access to the ATP screens in the system. The other key to this success is understanding the time fences and being able to translate the rules of engagement within these time frames. A typical time fence arrangement is depicted in Figure 6.1. This illustration will be used as the model to describe the normal characteristics of each time fence.


Disciplines are an important part of a successful MPS process in any organization. Since order management is the group that usually makes the promises to customers, it is critical that these people, more than anybody else in the organization, understand the rules and why they are in place. It is important to also note that...