MRP (Material Requirements Planning) is not as responsive or efficient as we’d like it to be. A new approach takes the best features of MRP and adds on lean and constraint-based features to make it more demand-driven and more effective for today’s manufacturing challenges.
Dropping inventory below the optimum amount causes shortages, whereas holding more inventory than necessary will result in waste. The main reason for keeping inventory is to save time, so lowering it will adversely affect the condition that the inventory is there to manage. You should go back to why you made those decisions in the first place.
Lead time is arguably the most important factor in manufacturing and distribution. To a great extent, it determines how you set up your business, what inventory you carry and where/why, what you can offer to your customers, and how agile and responsive you can be to changing conditions and changing demand.
Companies that don’t do a detailed forecast are greatly limiting their ability to marshal their resources to meet customer demand effectively. They will likely be caught with too little or too much inventory at some point, the need for expediting or overtime, and some disappointed customers and lost sales.
Business and profits can increase in the coming year, new products can soar to unexpected heights, inventories can shrink (in a good way) and productivity can reach an all-time high. Now here’s the bad news: none of these things will be delivered into the stocking hung on the fireplace mantel by some jolly fat man in a soot-stained red suit.