Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

12.5.2 Action Messages

Intended learning outcomes: Describe various possible action messages, or exception messages.

An action message, or exception message, is an output of a system that identifies the need for and the type of action to be taken to correct a current or potential problem ([ASCM22]).

The MRP technique essentially yields planned orders with planned gross requirements for their components and loads at the work centers. The order completion date is calculated so that at least part of the batch will be used in a higher-level order or for a sales order as soon as it is produced or procured. For this reason, the start date of the production or procurement order should always be met. Exception messages should thus report the following problems associated with orders:

  • Planned orders whose start date has passed
  • Planned orders whose start date will pass in the immediate future, such as within a week
  • Open orders that should be speeded up or slowed down due to changes in the projected available inventory or too-fast or too-slow progress of the production or procurement order

The main problem with exception messages is that there are so many of them. Sorting and selection of exception messages is important to ensure that the right people receive the right messages. The most urgent messages should arrive first. Sorting and selection can be performed at the least according to the classification of items into groups and subgroups that reflect the structural organization of the planners. The ABC classification is another possible sorting criterion.

Some dependent demand is not due at the start date of an order, but at the start date of a later operation. Therefore, to obtain accurate dates for dependent demands, a scheduling technique should be used that calculates the start date of each operation. This will also reveal the planned load at the work centers, which can then be compared against planned capacity. See also Chapters 13 and 15.

The planners check the number and order quantity of the proposed orders. If the proposals relate to purchased items, they also select the suppliers. Proposals for new orders must then be released — see Section 15.1.

Course section 12.5: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes