Upcoming Meetings

WSU Engineering Open House

May 05, 2017
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Experiential Engineering Building
4110 E 17th St North
Wichita, KS 67208

WSU Engineering Open House

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Tour of Lawrence Dumont Stadium

May 09, 2017
5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Lawrence Dumont Stadium
300 S Sycamore St
Wichita, KS 67213

Tour of Lawrence Dumont Stadium

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Apics News

Heineken to Keynote Best of the Best S&OP Conference 2017
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The 2018 APICS Board of Directors Nomination process is now open
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APICS Enters Partnership with JD.com, Establishes Corporate Advisory Board with Industry Leaders in China
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Interested in an APICS certification?  Click here to find out how to get started

Welcome to the APICS Wichita Chapter!2016 C-BAR award

Are you interested in getting more involved with the operations of the Wichita Chapter?  We have two board positions open (VP of Marketing and President-Elect).  No experience is necessary.  For more information, contact Sandy Jessop at president@apics-wichita.com.

Volunteer opportunity - We need three people to help with judging WSU student projects at the Engineering Open House.  For more information, click here.

APICS Wichita President’s Message -  March 2017

MRP Technology Roadmaps: Capitalizing on your MRP system

“We have an MRP system.”  Most companies have an MRP system to help manage the business. The question I have is this: Are you using it to its fullest potential? SAP, Oracle, Infor and other MRP systems are continuously refining and updating their systems to be more user friendly and functional based on consumer feedback. When was the last time you attended a user conference for your MRP system?

I would equate attending a session like this to further developing oneself. Do the people in upper management get there because they stopped learning and developing themselves? Or do you see the people getting promoted as the people who read, develop, discuss new ideas, and are at the top of their game – continuously bringing value to the company? The same can be said about your MRP system. If you bought it 20 years ago or even 5 years ago and haven’t done much more, then you are considerably behind the times.  The user conferences expose you to the latest technology offerings as well as provide an opportunity to talk with other users and share experiences, talk through issues and solutions.

I have helped develop Technology roadmaps and/or implementation plans for SAP, Ariba, Logility, and now Infor driven systems. For the most part, the companies already owned the foundation and several modules. They simply had not implemented all the capability required to drive the right outcomes from the system.

Reviewing the number of excel spreadsheets or external databases used to forecast, enter sales, schedule, manufacture and ship the product is a good gage for how effective your MRP system is. The end goal should be to effectively utilize your MRP system where everything is in the system – where nothing is in an excel spreadsheet outside of the system.

If you are counting more than 5 excel spreadsheets and data bases, then I would suggest you are not capitalizing on your MRP system. The first step is to bring in the MRP consultant for a week and talk through the processes by function. What does it currently take to do the job? Where are the pain points? How is the system supposed to work? How do you get it to work the way it should? What modules do you currently own? What modules should you own to completely eliminate the need for external databases and spreadsheets? How long (years) does your technology roadmap need to be?  What will you gain if you implement a new module or better yet, the full technology suite (more automation, ability to handle more with less people, less shortages, ability to turn on cycle counting, better scheduling/manufacturing, etc)? Lay out your technology roadmap and utilize the week with the MRP consultant to create the business case for project funding.

Currently, I am working on implementing an Infor-XA technology roadmap that includes Forecasting (enabling Sales to consume the forecast and electronic review remotely by sales, MAPE by product family), Repetitive Manufacturing with item locations (enabling cycle counting and eliminating a 3 day physical), Material logistics (enabling min/max across distribution centers), Visual planner (enabling scheduling to see raw material issues on an early production run, capacity of the line by product so we can’t unknowingly over schedule the line which creates back orders to customers resulting in increased freight costs and poor on time to ship). The last part of our roadmap will include a Transportation management system which will allow us to see costs immediately and prevent the need for a pre- or post freight audits.

As you can see, fully utilizing your MRP system can be impactful. To what degree really depends on what you are willing to invest in both time and money. The least you should do is bring in an expert to review if you are getting the most from your MRP system. 

Sandy Jessop