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Manufacturing Execution – Let SAP Do the Heavy Lifting

By Sean Stokke October 1, 2019 by Sean Stokke
SAP Heavy Lifting

In this series of manufacturing execution, we will start to look into some of the pitfalls of the production planning process. Furthermore, how utilizing SAP as the sole source of information, or one system of record, as we like to say, serves to drive efficiencies throughout the supply chain. Imagine if you could harness the power of SAP, letting it do the heavy lifting, alleviating the production planners from mundane tasks that hamper productivity.  What if you could replace your fancy spreadsheets with SAP, and get the same level of visibility you had before, all with one system of record?  This is all very possible and all within your grasp, if you are willing to take the journey and use SAP as the ERP system it is intended to be.

If you are like me, at one time you have undoubtedly created a multitude of extremely in-depth master scheduling tools in your career… all outside the SAP system. Each of those tools was something to applaud and even cherish. Even today, I still speak of such tools to help breakdown our clients’ perception that SAP is not capable of being the planning tool in which they seek to replace. Occasionally, basking in the glory of consistently evolving my solutions to solve business issues and internal requirements. I have sought out praise for doing so in every iteration of my ever-expanding use and knowledge of Excel and received it every time.  Becoming known as the “problem solver”, as my daughter would say and excelled in my career for being so.

This is known as the culture of reactive planning and working outside the system. This philosophy plagues businesses from small to large alike as it severely hampers scalability and productivity. As well as, leads to broken processes and loss of efficiencies, as none of my solutions have ever harnessed the power of SAP’s integrated environment.

Ditch the Spreadsheets and Allow SAP to Work for You

What if you spent that same amount of time and resources working with, not against SAP?  When you replace your spreadsheets and allow SAP to truly work for you, I assure you that SAP will trump any solution you have created. Including, all standard transactions that will integrate and resonate throughout your supply chain.

SAP’s production planning process is something to be admired. Anyone who has lived and breathed as a planner in SAP’s graphical planning table will tell you that there is no better solution for scheduling your resources. Of course, this all relies on if your business rules align with your master data and the work centers, routings and BOMs are set-up correctly.

By investing inaccurate master data and mapping SAP to your plant scape you will allow the system to do the heavy lifting. Allowing your end-to-end supply chain to rely on MRP and exception messages, you will also gain the visibility required to drive the production planning process for your organization. Release yourself, most importantly your business, from the chains of your undoubtedly creative and unintegrated solution to start harnessing the power of SAP’s production planning module.

This series based around manufacturing execution addresses working in one system of record, relying on accurate data within SAP, and the insights of working in a connected environment.

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