Demand Driven – The Knowledge Balance: Part 6 – Lost Generation

The overall theme of this series of articles is to discuss the distribution of knowledge related to Demand Driven Planning (DDP), and to the transformation to a Demand Driven Operational Model (DDOM). The intention is not to educate about details of the Demand Driven body of knowledge, or to explain the data calculation points around DDMRP or DDSOP. Nor to give comparisons (or highlight differences) between DDMRP, traditional MRP, Lean, and JIT.

My approach is that there are already regular posts that address those topics in detail. However, they tend to provide or share information among those who are already knowledgeable of Demand Driven concepts and principles. Whereas this series or articles is focused towards looking at who needs to know what, in order for more corporate entities, and Operations professionals, to gain an awareness of what being Demand Driven is really about.

In this context, I discussed the role of client companies, software suppliers, and implementers. Where the level of detailed knowledge required rests more with software suppliers and implementers. Herein, I would like to mention one potential area of disconnect that could inhibit those two players from attaining the requisite knowledge.

For example, let’s take the comparison between traditional MRP and DDMRP. To compile a list of points for this topic, a detailed knowledge of DDMRP data configuration and calculation logic is required. But the same can be said of traditional MRP. An obvious comment perhaps.

Which brings us to the Lost Generation. I remember that the course material for the five exams in the APICS ‘Certified in Production and Inventory Management’ (CPIM) program included manually calculating through an MPS grid and a multi-level MRP grid, based on given data sets. This was a requirement to achieve certification.

I considered it essential knowledge to have, as an ERP implementation consultant, in order to validate that MRP calculation results were correct. Or to trouble-shoot if the client team had questions about their MRP calculation results.

However, with the pace of new technological advancements, combined with the view that traditional MRP has become somewhat outdated, the knowledge of how to calculate multi-level MRP, both manually and in alignment with ERP system settings, is progressively disappearing. Hence the lost MRP generation. Which is a point that also came up for mention as I recall, in the Certified Demand Driven Planner (CDDP) course content and marketing materials.

For demand driven professionals to fully understand the data and calculation logic of DDMRP, they need to already know the calculation logic of traditional MRP. And by extension, to be able to make accurate comparisons between traditional MRP and DDMRP. Therefore, Demand Driven professionals, especially those not of the older MRP generation, need to ensure and safeguard their knowledge of traditional MRP.

Stay tuned for the next article in the series!


Damien Dockery (CDDP)

Demand Driven – The Knowledge Balance: Part 5 – Software Functionality