About Planning Functionality
The planning system takes all demand and supply data into account, nets the results, and creates suggestions for balancing the supply to meet the demand.
For detailed information, see Design Details: Supply Planning.
For all the fields that are mentioned in this topic, read the tooltip to understand their function. Hover over a field to read a short description.
Demand and Supply
Planning has two elements: demand and supply. These must be held in balance to ensure that the demand is met in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
- Demand is the common term used for any kind of gross requirement such as a sales order, service order, component need from assembly or production orders, outbound transfer, blanket order or forecast. In addition to these, application allows some other technical types of demand - such as a negative production or purchase order, negative inventory, and purchase return.
- Supply is the common word used for any kind of replenishment such as inventory, a purchase order, assembly order, production order, or inbound transfer. Correspondingly, there can be a negative sales or service order, negative component need or sales return – all of which in some way also represent supply.
Another goal of the planning system is to ensure that the inventory does not grow unnecessarily. In the case of decreasing demand, the planning system will suggest that you postpone, decrease in quantity, or cancel existing replenishment orders.
The planning system is driven by anticipated and actual customer demand, as well as inventory reordering parameters. Running the planning calculation will result in application suggesting specific actions (Action Messages) to take concerning possible replenishment from vendors, transfers between warehouses, or production. If replenishment orders already exist, the suggested actions could be to increase or expedite the orders to meet the changes in demand.
The basis of the planning routine is in the gross-to-net calculation. Net requirements drive planned order releases, which are scheduled based on the routing information (manufactured items) or the item card lead time (purchased items). Planned order release quantities are based on the planning calculation, and are affected by the parameters set on the individual item cards.
Planning with Manual Transfer Orders
As you can see from the Replenishment System field on a SKU card, the planning system can be set up to create transfer orders to balance supply and demand across locations.
In addition to such automatic transfer orders, you may sometimes need to perform a general move of inventory quantities to another location, irrespective of existing demand. For this purpose you would manually create a transfer order for the quantity to move. To ensure that the planning system does not try to manipulate this manual transfer order, you must set the Planning Flexibility on the transfer line(s) to None.
Contrarily, if you do want the planning system to adjust the transfer order quantities and dates to existing demand, you must set the Planning Flexibility field to the default value, Unlimited.
The planning parameters control when, how much, and how to replenish based on the various settings on the item card (or stockkeeping unit - SKU), and the manufacturing setup.
The following planning parameters exist on the item or SKU card:
- Dampener Period
- Dampener Quantity
- Reordering Policy
- Reorder Point
- Maximum Inventory
- Overflow Level
- Time Bucket
- Lot Accumulation Period
- Rescheduling Period
- Reorder Quantity
- Safety Lead Time
- Safety Stock Quantity
- Assembly Policy
- Manufacturing Policy
The following order modifiers exist on the item or SKU card:
- Minimum Order Quantity
- Maximum Order Quantity
- Order Multiple
Global planning setup fields on the Manufacturing Setup page include:
- Dynamic Low-Level Code
- Current Demand Forecast
- Use Forecast on Locations
- Default Safety Lead Time
- Blank Overflow Level
- Combined MPS/MRP Calculation
- Components at Location
- Default Dampener Period
- Default Dampener Quantity
For more information, see Design Details: Planning Parameters
Other Important Planning Fields
On most supply orders, such as production orders, you can select Unlimited or None in the Planning Flexibility field on the lines.
This specifies whether the supply represented by the production order line is considered by the planning system when calculating action messages. If the field contains Unlimited, then the planning system includes the line when calculating action messages. If the field contains None, then the line is firm and unchangeable, and the planning system does not include the line when calculating action messages.
The Warning information field on the Planning Worksheet page informs you of any planning line created for an unusual situation with a text, which the user can choose to read additional information. The following warning types exist:
The emergency warning is displayed in two situations:
- The inventory is negative on the planning starting date.
- Back-dated supply or demand events exist.
If an item's inventory is negative on the planning starting date, the planning system suggests an emergency supply order for the negative quantity to arrive on the planning starting date. The warning text states the starting date and the quantity of the emergency order.
Any document lines with due dates before the planning starting date are consolidated into one emergency supply order for the item to arrive on the planning starting date.
The exception warning is displayed if the projected available inventory drops below the safety stock quantity.
The planning system will suggest a supply order to meet the demand on its due date. The warning text states the item's safety stock quantity and the date on which it is violated.
Violating the safety stock level is considered an exception because it should not occur if the reorder point has been set correctly.
Supply on planning lines with Exception warnings is normally not modified according to planning parameters. Instead, the planning system only suggests a supply to cover the exact demand quantity. However, you can set the planning run up to respect certain planning parameters for planning lines with certain warnings. For more information, see the description for the Respect Planning Parameters for Exception Warnings field in the Run Full Planning, MPS or MRP article.
The attention warning is displayed in two situations:
- The planning starting date is earlier than the work date.
- The planning line suggests to change a released purchase or production order.
In planning lines with warnings, the Accept Action Message field is not selected, because the planner is expected to further investigate these lines before carrying out the plan.
Planning worksheets and requisition worksheets
As described in Planning, you can choose between two worksheets for most planning activities, the planning worksheet and the requisition worksheet. Most processes are described based on the planning worksheet, but there are a couple of scenarios where the requisition worksheet is preferred.
The Requisition Worksheet page lists items that you want to order. You can enter items in the worksheet in the following ways:
Enter the items manually in the worksheet and fill in the relevant fields.
Use the Calculate Plan batch job. This calculates a replenishment plan for items and stockkeeping units that have been set up with a replenishment system of Purchase or Transfer. When you use this batch job, the program automatically fills in the Action Message field with a suggestion for an action you can take to replenish the item. This could be increasing the item quantity on an existing order or creating a new order, for example.
If you have used the Calculate Plan batch job from the Planning Worksheet page to calculate a replenishment plan, you can use the Carry Out Action Message batch job to copy purchase and transfer order proposals from the planning worksheet to the requisition worksheet. This is practical if separate users are responsible for handling production orders and purchase/transfer orders.
You can use the Drop Shipment action to fill in the requisition worksheet lines. This action uses the Get Sales Orders batch job to determine the sales order lines that you want to designate for a drop shipment.
You can use the Special Order action to fill in the requisition worksheet lines. This action uses the Get Sales Orders batch job to determine the sales order lines that you want to designate for a special order.
Requisition worksheet lines contain detailed information about the items that need to be reordered. You can edit and delete the lines to adjust your replenishment plan, and you can further process the lines by using the Carry Out Action Message batch job.
For details about planning with locations and transfers, see Planning With or Without Locations.