A Manufacturing Resource Planning System Case Study (Embroidery)

As-is Assessment

Typically, a manufacturing firm has multiple aspects to look after with regards to its operations. For production planning and control, data needs to be collected and recorded somewhere. Excel being easy to use, easily available, no technical know-how required and being flexible is the preferred choice for most. And so it has been for the client as well.

Initially things get automated to an extent and it’s a sigh of relief. But few months down the line, the tell tale signs of its failing start to appear. Excel more often than not ends up being a poorly managed, fragile database which lacks consistency and robustness for sure if used without proper control and restrictions. But a software application suited to the requirements of an organisation and its management can easily overcome these issues and do much more. It can not just serve as a robust database but also be a one touch operation for all the operations of an organisation. No need for a multitude of applications that don’t even talk to each other just to get done with the basic functions of your organisation.

While there is a plethora of ERP systems available in the market, they often turn out to be an additional burden by being an overkill. Digitalising operations is beneficial provided, its done the right way. It takes time for an organisation to adapt and orient its operations as far as digitalising is concerned. Hence, its best to take small steps initially. A tailor made application is bound to suit your operations and benefit the organisation more compared to a one size fits all software package for obvious reasons. And the change is managed gradually but progressively. If things are done the other way round then the organisation is forced to change their operations as per the software and bear additional costs for doing so, for instance, spending on training or else abandon ship and declare the cost of purchasing the software as sunk cost. But progressing slowly and steadily can ease out the transition and better yet, you can get features made on demand which may not be there in the market for offer at all. Eventually, one will have the choice of either continuing with your own style of doing things or considering the behemoths. But the latter is definitely not recommended for a beginning.

As of date, the client is using excel for maintaining its operations data. Every managerial function has its own worksheet and tables, which makes it difficult to track performance and hence improving it. The client seeks to obtain a more consolidated view of the organisation’s operations.

Objective and scope of the project

The objective and scope of this project is to provide the client with a customized manufacturing resource planning system to systematize as well as digitize their operations in order to equip their management with consolidated data. This will not only help the management to get better insights into the operations but also help them improve the overall efficiency. The system will also help get rid of redundant data without losing any data, so that data maybe presented in a more meaningful way.

Application structure and functionality

The proposed application will have a dashboard as the landing page, shown below. For illustration purpose, dummy data has been used. It will have the following features:

  • Calendar on the left hand side for quick date wise monitoring of operations.
  • A snapshot of the top 5 orders below it.
  • A section named Notifications is placed in the top centre, under which you’ll have 3 subcategories namely, Outstanding orders, Alerts and Reminders. They are explained later in this document.
  • Under that, you have my tasks list in which you may jot down your own personal to-do list, not shared with anyone, and conveniently tick it off when done. You may also use it to simply note down any observations you may have.
  • Next on the top right hand side we have a quick update on how well the organisation is doing by way of key performance indicators (KPIs) used. You may use your or we can suggest them, if you like.
  • Below it, is a visual representation of the performance again based on a chosen parameter of concern to you.
  • The application is further divided into sections or modules shown as tabs in the image above. They are:

  • Lead Management Module/ Client Management module (Optional)
    • Leads
    • Clients
  • Opportunity Management Module (Optional)
    • Sample Scheduling
  • Order Management
    • Past
    • Present
    • Future
    • Order Scheduling
  • Inventory Management
    • Raw Materials Inventory
    • Work In Progress Inventory
    • Finished Goods Inventory
    • Total Inventory
  • Production Management
    • Production Capacity
    • Production Scheduling
  • Order Completion Management
    • Quality Assurance
    • Dispatch

In each of these sections, except where it does not make any sense, the administrator (essentially the management) of the system will be equipped with 4 functions:

  1. Planning – Allows to plan for future
  2. Operations – Get access to actual figures from the shop floor
  3. Monitoring – Compare planned and actual values as well as monitor key performance indicators that are of concern
  4. Reporting – Generate reports in Excel and CSV format in pre-defined formats. Customised reports can also be opted for although it will lead to increase in cost.
Lead Management Module/ Client Management module (Optional)

Lists out details of all leads received so far and whether it was converted or not. If yes, what was the order value.
A list of client details can also be incorporated here for easy reference.

Opportunity Management Module (Optional)

This section is also optional though it will help bring more clarity. If we choose o scrape it off then, sampling schedule which is a part of this module will become a subpart of the next module that is order management.

All sampling opportunities/ orders will be listed here alongwith their specifications and due date. If approved after providing the prospective client with embroidery samples then it moves to orders else to leads with a remark in front of it, such as order cancelled after sampling.

All sampling orders alongwith their status will also be kept maintained.

In addition, loss can be calculated and shown here.

Order Management

This will have the entire order database and the orders can be prioritised based on their importance or urgency. The orders will be classified as:

  • Past Orders
  • Present Orders
  • Future Orders

The criteria for this classification will be:

If delivery due date is gone by, yesterday or before, then it will be a past order. And if the delivery deadline was not met it will be notified as an Outstanding Order as mentioned before.

If the order is under progress, then it will be a present order and any negative deviations observed as compared to the plans will be notified as Alerts.

If the order is yet to be scheduled and/or produced it will be classified as a future order.

All orders will be shown as belonging to one of the three categories. In addition, present or future orders maybe reordered as per desire / change in plans.

Inventory Management

Here under the assumption that no packing material inventory nor maintenance, repair and operation (MRO) supplies such as lubrication oil, nuts and bolts, office supplies etc. are significant enough to be recorded, inventory management will record data under the following heads in a timeline fashion that is, date wise, as is the case usually:

  • Raw Materials Inventory
  • Work In Progress Inventory
  • Finished Goods Inventory
  • Total Inventory

You may notify us if we are mistaken in our assumption, or you may wish to record data for packing material and MRO supplies as well.

This will serve as a planning and control tool mostly.

Production Management

This section is subdivided into two subsections:

Production Capacity

Facility layout as shared by the client alongwith specification of machines in them will be mentioned here. The operation time of each type of machine multiplied by the number of machines of that type will give the production capacity for the type of work they handle. Scheduling maintenance work can also be done here. Maintenance work hours can be subtracted from the total capacity for that day and production scheduling can carry out accordingly. This will allow to be prepared for taking a hit in production that day. Logs of machine downtime and faults can also be maintained for each machine in this module.

Production Scheduling

This essentially depicts which machine gets what done and by when. The key idea here is to get it done in the shortest possible time period. Accordingly, automation maybe implemented here suggesting a shortest possible production schedule keeping under consideration other constraints also like order priority etc. However, it should be thought of at a later point in time as discussed at the end of this report.

Order Completion Management

This section is also subdivided into two subsections:

Quality Assurance

This subsection will record all finishing work and take care of ensuring quality. All orders off machine will be shown here till the time they are ready for dispatch.


This subsection will record all finished goods ready for dispatch. Once dispatched the order is marked complete.

Another Optional feature that maybe opted for here is a follow up procedure on completed orders. Examples: ensuring order has been received, feedback from clients, further orders etc.