The Plan module brings together the information held in your Assemblies, Buy, Make, Sell and Store modules and uses it to determine what items are required to satisfy your production plan.

The planing process consists of a large number of simple calculations, as follows:

Create your plan

Your forecast production plan for completed assemblies is entered into Herschel. Alternatively you can use your current sales order requirements as your plan, or a mixture of sales orders and forecasts.

Explode assemblies

Herschel looks at the assembly for each product in your plan and explodes it to create a complete list of component parts needed.

Calculate requirements

Using the leadtimes for the component parts, Herschel works backwards in time from the date the completed product is required, calculating when each component item will be required. This produces a list of exploded requirements.

Suggest orders

Using various ordering rules (decided by you) Herschel analyses the list of exploded requirements, compares them with the current stock on shelf, and works out what orders should be raised to produce the component items needed. A list of suggested orders is created. Note that Herschel does not raise actual works or purchase orders. Suggested purchase orders are given the prefix MP and suggested works orders the prefix MW.

Suggest actions

The list of suggested orders is compared with your current purchase and works orders. Herschel decides what actions should be taken to ensure that the current orders will match those suggested by the planning process. A list of suggested actions is created. Possible actions are:

· Raise a new purchase or works order.

· Reschedule an existing order.

· Possibly cancel an unnecessary order.

Generate action reports

Various reports listing the suggested actions are created.

Carry out the actions

The actions suggested in the reports are examined by your production and purchasing departments and carried out as necessary.

The planning process is repeated on a regular basis to ensure that your orders reflect your current production plan. Many companies run the planning process on a weekly basis, some daily - it depends on how closely you want to monitor your company’s situation.