5 Check Points for an MRP

#5: Sharing Electronic Documents

With today’s world becoming more paperless, the need to store and share electronic data is growing.  The challenge for an MRP systems lies in getting the appropriate digital documents out to various manufacturing functions and systems on the shop floor.

A fabrication-friendly MRP system will have the ability to provide parts, CAD drawings, and related material documents to the floor.  This will significantly “lean out” the process by allowing others to view products without involving engineering, and to re-order these products when needed.

Five Check Points for an MRP:

Check Point #4: Planning

Capacity planning is number one when it comes to MRP system selection.  Almost any MRP systems will provide a schedule to meet a particular “due date”.  However, the most over-looked variable in the shop floor production equation is the availability of a given piece of fabrication machinery.

Job over-runs, back-logs, and machine down-time happen.  A good MRP system provides clear visual references along with alarms to show each machine’s capacity and availability.  A greatMRP system (one developed specifically for the fabrication industry) will provide alternative run times, or shifts to meet jobs requirements.

Five checks for a Solid MRP

For a growing number of manufacturing facilities the trend is to replace large ERP systems with a more focused MRP.  These systems make it possible to have a single large database and connect the functional software needed within a specific manufacturing shop while maintaining a connection throughout the entire manufacturing facility (while still having powerful focused software).  

Check Point #1: User Interface

The most important part of any software is the usability.  This is especially true when it comes to choosing an MRP system.  MRP systems differ than other software platform because they are often used by the entire company.  Most software packages such as CAD, SPC, or Accounting, is used by a small highly trained group within a company.  MRP is widely used, and must be intuitive.  This means a user that enters orders must be able to use the system with the same efficiency as the individual that is planning out the entire operation.  This often is not the case, and is the reason many MRP systems are unsuccessful to gain the support of every department within an organization.

Top 10 Software Function #10: MRP

Companies are looking inward scrutinizing tools, processes, and practices in order to accelerate production while eliminating waste and unnecessary costs. Today software technologies are available to automate processes, integrate applications, and bridge interoperability gaps.  Those not fully leveraging such tools are losing ground every day. Here are the ten most important software functions for competing in today’s sheet metal manufacturing industry.


MRP manages virtually all business and manufacturing processes. Capabilities generally include tracking work from costing and quoting, through the ordering process, scheduling work on the shop floor, planning work outside of CNC cutting, purchasing raw materials and other production items, and ultimately invoicing the customer. A modular MRP architecture (such as SigmaMRP: www.sigmamrp.com) allows selection of needed capabilities and the ability to grow the system along with the business.


Software is the fuel powering sheet metal fabrication from this moment on.  Its future impact will increase exponentially bridging applications and automating manually intensive, complex, and incompatible processes and applications. The results are unprecedented and sustained improvements to productivity and ultimately the bottom line.

Fortunately leveraging this automation does not require a collection of disconnected software systems and providers but rather stems from a common, synergistic nesting-based source.  Visit www.sigmanest.com to learn more.

SigmaMRP Webinar

An Introduction to SigmaMRP

  • February 7, 2013
  • 2:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Registration                                                                                                                 Reserve your spot by e-mailing us at: marketing@sigmanest.com                                We’ll provide details and log-in information!