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MRP: 5 Common Manufacturing Problems and the Solutions

MRP: 5 Common Manufacturing Problems and the Solutions


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MRP: 5 Common Manufacturing Problems and the Solutions

Feb 25, 2019

Aptean Staff Writer
Man and woman on shop floor

The manufacturing industry has had to come through difficult times over the past two decades, but there are still many hurdles and issues to overcome. If you're a manufacturer, it’s worth taking a critical look at your set-up to make sure you’re not missing any opportunities to improve.

In this blog we'll take a look at five core manufacturing problems that can be caused by outdated, outgrown or inefficient control systems and discuss how material requirements planning (MRP) tools within a sophisticated industry-specific ERP solution solve them.

1. Poor Inventory Management

Close control over inventory is vital for profitability and efficiency. Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing has made good control processes even more important: if you don’t carry large stocks, you need to know what you have and be able to reorder it as and when needed. But the benefits of effective inventory control extend beyond pure production efficiencies, and include aspects such as minimizing wastage and spending—both of which can impact on the bottom line.

Modern MRP programs can deliver these efficiencies, but they have to be designed for the job. Resource planning software is not an install-and-forget solution, and if you don’t keep it updated, the resulting MRP issues will cause even more manufacturing problems in the future.

2. Inadequate Quality Control

Customers have always had the ability to be unforgiving, but never more so than in today’s climate of instant feedback and social sharing. Today manufacturers need to ensure that quality control is designed-in and built-in from start to finish. Though this is not inherently easy to achieve, it’s essential to have systems capable of preempting or responding to manufacturing problems quickly and efficiently. Here again, efficient resource planning is going to help – particularly with errors stemming from communication issues, or recurring causes – so that your business can address and deal with them quickly.

3. Supply Chain Problems

There was a time when manufacturers sourced almost everything they needed – whether raw materials or components – from local suppliers. However, in the modern world it’s possible and often beneficial to source further afield, e.g. for lower cost. There can, however, be multiple problems with this global supply chain including: price fluctuations, reliability issues and quality control among others. You need modern controls to monitor suppliers, receive updates around the clock and react instantly if and when problems come. Today’s manufacturing ERP programs provide the data, integration and automation to enable the decisions to be made quickly and efficiently.

4. Data Management Failures

Businesses generate masses of data, but all too often this invaluable resource is used ineffectively—or not at all. Information about everything from raw-material pricing to supplier performance is now readily available. The opportunity to gain insights from such data could, however, be wasted, and any benefits from these insights lost if your business has the ‘MRP problem’ of having limited or outdated IT systems. However data, when correctly collated and analyzed by modern fit-for-purpose ERP software, can provide manufacturers with real and measurable advantages.

5. Ineffective Process Management

As the saying has it, “constant change is here to stay”—and the pace of change now seems to increase every year. The 21st century has many drivers for such change: these include the speed with which information is exchanged, the increasing generation of data, widening customer expectations, and the relative ease with which new products can be introduced into the market.

To cope with these factors, it’s essential for manufacturers to have clear control of their processes: without this, isolated ‘quick fixes’ to respond to changing demands can go on to cause costly manufacturing problems. That makes investment in the right kind of manufacturing ERP systems business-critical—because it’s only with the right system that processes can remain managed yet adaptable to meet new challenges and evolving environments.

Finally, we all need to be aware of the importance – and inevitability – of being more connected. A business environment where everything is linked seamlessly together calls for software with a future, not locked in the past. The days of relying on homemade spreadsheets or software fixes are disappearing, as even small manufacturers are choosing today’s proven ERP products to be successful. As importantly, companies are seeking trusted IT partners to help them thrive and survive in the changing manufacturing industry into the future.


  • Look at your production processes honestly and see where the inefficiencies lie.

  • If growth or quality issues cause problems for your manufacturing business, don’t waste time—commit now to invest in improvement.

  • Get experts in MRP systems to look at your processes and provide a detailed and costed analysis.

At Aptean, we know manufacturing. From computers and electronics to fabricated metals, our ERP is designed to conquer the challenges discrete manufacturers facetoday and every day.

Want to find out how Aptean Industrial Manufacturing ERP can help your business? Contact us today to chat with one of our experts or schedule a demo.

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