A latest sales forecast (LSF) over a time frame of a year and more represents the input for the Midterm Planning. To create a cost optimal purchase plan for the next three to twelve months, the following major constraints must be considered:
A tactical SCM planning workframe within the ORSOFT Manufacturing Workbench – using planning books for planning production quantities and detailed order editors for make-or-buy decisions – supports the midterm planner. S/he can also evaluate the resulting resource utilization and thus take capacity restrictions into account. This is supported by conflict indicators as well as separate resource utilization planning books.
The tactical SCM planning workframe helps optimize inventory levels and maintain production quantities and procurement quantities, as well as future raw material prices.
At any time in the midterm planning process, the planner can start the cost calculation function. It calculates future product cost based on the projected future raw material costs, future inventory level, planned production and purchase quantities and resource utilization. As a result, the updated values for marginal and full costs per month are visible in a separate browser. They are used as a guideline for the sales department when negotiating sales prices and volumes with prospective customers.
The basis of midterm planning are the same resources, planning recipes, and other master data stored in the ERP system as used on the detailed scheduling level and for production execution.
The only difference is the level of detail in the resulting operational data. From planning level to planning level, the data objects cover shorter time frames and the information is enriched with more details.
The midterm planning process creates process orders for each month. These process orders define the input and output material quantities – on overall plant material level – and the allocation to a specific production resource with the resulting capacity requirement.
The result of the midterm production planning is also used by the individual production units along the supply chain – e.g. base component production, blending and filling – as a guideline input for the detailed scheduling of their production. The targeted inventory level for the various base components ensures a stable operation including the satisfaction of seasonal peaks. The supply of raw materials is planned and safeguarded for the operation.
With the help of this kind of planning, the raw material supply is safeguarded for a time frame of approximately one year. Bottlenecks are identified in an early phase of planning and can be managed by the Tactical SCM department before problems will occur.
A tremendous advantage of the solution is the product cost projection for the finished goods based on crude oil derivative price development. This feature enables the sales force to immediately react to future product cost developments.