Over the past several months, we have published a number of articles and blog posts concerning MRP, its origins and its role – if any – in lean manufacturing. More than any other topic we raise, it brings out comments and opinions, as the manufacturing community wrestles with the role of this huge driver of how manufacturing has been managed over the last few decades. With over a billion dollars expected to be spent on ERP systems in the next year, and with thousands of MRP/ERP applications already in place, the significance of this discussion is great.
While we will eventually organize the material concerning MRP in a more structured manner, for now I am using the blog pages to bring together the various MRP related articles, as well as some of the more interesting emails I have received on the subject. In particular I want to thank Gene Thomas of Configuration Management Solutions and Joel Wisner from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas for their valuable additions to the discussion, which you can read in the comments below.
I would like to invite the entire manufacturing community to weigh in on the subject. The goal is to eventually compile the best of all of our thinking into a comprehensive white paper on the role of MRP in lean that can be of value to us all.
Following are links to the documents that we have published in the past:
Farewell To APICS – my blog post discussing the decline of APICS in their influence on manufacturing which I ascribed to their reluctance to replace MRP with lean manufacturing as the core of their body of knowledge
Kevin’s Recent post The False God of the Almighty Algorithm
My article MRP R.I.P.
I urge everyone to read the insightful additions made by Gene Thomas and Joel Wisner in the comments, and to add any comments of your own that might advance all of our understanding of this very important topic.