Traditional databases are notoriously slow in processing the voluminous amounts of data that are required to run...
material requirements planning to forecast materials' production, procurement or inventory. For companies that use them, the lag means losing out on business opportunities or reacting slowly to a disjointed supply chain. MRP on SAP HANA, or MRP Live, is intended to change that. The system can provide more up-to-date supply and demand information, which in turn drastically cuts down the data processing and helps planners proactively solve logistics bottlenecks instead of being forced to react to sudden supply chain disruptions.
However, companies transitioning to SAP HANA should know that since the platform is relatively new, it still does not offer all the features of traditional MRP on SAP ERP system, or MRP Classic. MRP Live is continuing to evolve, with more features added on a regular basis. However, materials planners will need to know what they can plan using MRP Live and which materials will need to be planned in MRP Classic.
Despite that caveat, MRP Live is far speedier than its predecessor, enabling planners to execute materials planning on shorter planning cycles so that the materials' demand-and-supply situation is visible almost on a real-time basis. Moreover, the system enables planners to identify and take actions on urgent issues. To support planners' work using MRP Live, the MRP Cockpit offers several dashboards that enable them to monitor key performance indicators such as delayed materials deliveries from vendors, delayed shipments to customers or expected materials shortages. MRP Live also offers functionality to selectively plan materials or a group of materials, which was not available in MRP Classic. MRP Live enables planners to simulate "what-if" scenarios in real time to provide a preview of required capital tie-up, required production capacities and inventory controlling. These features are the same as those available in the SAP Long Term Planning simulation tool.
Where MRP Live is missing functionality -- for example, planning materials of special procurement types are still not fully available in MRP Live -- the system switches to MRP Classic to plan relevant materials. Special procurement types include subcontracting (outsourcing), interplant transfer and direct procurement or production.
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