“Making Promises You Can Keep”
It happens all too frequently: Your sales rep is standing in your office door, and wants to know if you can produce a “quick” order for a big customer. The shop has been pretty full lately, but you know that forgoing this order is tantamount to treason for the customer relationship.
What do you do?
1. Accept the order blindly and disrupt the whole shop schedule.
2. Review the MPS-generated available to promise ATP, and offer a delivery date that isn’t acceptable to the customer.
3. Have the software calculate whether you can produce the product within the current schedule by utilizing available material and capacity.
Does number three (3) sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. With Direct Fulfillment, you can either look up the quantities that are available within a particular time frame, or calculate when you could supply those quantities in the future. It is all at your fingertips in the order management system.
And, the Direct Fulfillment feature can also be used in these circumstances:
Purchased items- Not only can you check the inventory available in stock, but you can also calculate a delivery date even when you are out of stock and need to issue a purchase order.
Configured products- You might expect that calculating promise dates for configured products would be difficult, and it is. Fortunately, Direct Fulfillment includes this feature, which makes it quite simple to calculate promise dates for your configured orders.
Quotes- Direct fulfillment also allows you to create quotes. Then, if the customer accepts, you can release the order to the shop. Quotes do not show on the actual production schedules until the order is confirmed and released.
How easy is it to use?
There are just three simple steps to calculating a promise date:
1. Create a new order, or select a line from an existing order.
2. Right click and select “Calculate Promise Date.”
3. Choose “Accept This Promise Date”, and the order is placed.
How does it work?
Direct fulfillment (DF) will first check the ATP (Available to Promise) for the quantity being ordered, and return that date as a proposed promise date. The operator can either accept the date, or if the date is not acceptable, the option is presented to calculate another delivery date by forward-finite-scheduling a shop order. Before starting the forward-scheduling process, DF checks the availability of all needed materials and compares lead times of all materials that are not available and the longest lead time is used as an offset to the scheduling process. Also provided is an offset factor to be used for additional plant flexibility. For example if the date is June 1st and the offset factor is 3 days, the start date would be June 4th. If there were three materials without enough stock available on June 4th and one of the materials had the longest lead time of 10 days, the forward finite scheduling would begin with June 14th.
For configured goods, the DF works the same way only it checks component availability based on the configured BOM. For purchased items, the DF uses the lead time of the vendor to calculate a promise date.
Once the order is calculated and accepted, Direct Fulfillment goes on to create all the necessary records to process the order. Special orders no longer mean running around the shop with special paperwork. Everything appears on your schedules as if it was part of your normal production process. Even purchased parts run through your normal purchasing processes. Special orders now become combined into your everyday standard processes.
Direct Fulfillment provides you the ability to provide concrete answers to your customer requests. You no longer have to guess, or risk making a promise that you might not be able to keep. Direct fulfillment provides the information you need, and then automatically creates all the records necessary to process that order. Nothing is more accurate, easy or efficient.