Alba Consulting - ERP (MRPII) Systems

Consulting services in ERP/MRPII systems, lean manufacturing and operations management.





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We have implemented and identified three systems for three different market segments, and we tend to stay with these, since they are all excellent systems and all have a large installed user base.  They are:

  1. DBA Classic, an excellent and fully functional system which costs about $6,500 (plus hardware) for 10 users.  This system is ideal for companies of about 30 to 200 people and has over 5,000 installations worldwide.  We have installed this system 5 times.
  2. JobBOSS, another excellent system, which costs about about $35,000 for 10 users.  This systems has over 4,500 installations worldwide, and is ideal for companies which have complex machine scheduling requirements.  Installed this 3 times.
  3. MAS90/200 is another comprehensive and very popular system, currently installed with over 30,000 companies, and costs about $35,000 for 10 users..  It is not as robust as DBA or  in the manufacturing arena, but where complex machine scheduling or loading is not required it is an excellent system.  Installed this 3 times.

MRPII (Manufacturing Resource Planning) is a term coined by the late Oliver Wright to represent an integrated information system, which covers business processes from order entry through to shipments.  However, the term ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is now used to emphasize the fact that these systems are to be viewed as company (or enterprise) wide systems.

ERP (MRPII) is an area that is probably least understood of all the manufacturing operations' disciplines.  It is usually summarily discounted with a comment, such as “we don’t make little red carts here”.  Comments like this only indicate an ignorance of the company’s overall business cycle, and also ignore the fact that most manufacturing companies follow a fairly consistent business process of market research, design, selling, purchasing, manufacture, assembly, shipping, costing and billing.  Processes need to be streamlined and integrated throughout the company, not just in manufacturing.

In our opinion a properly implemented system is essential to the on-going success of a company.  The key to success is not in the software (in fact there are many excellent ERP packages available), but in the business process knowledge of the people installing it.  For example, the way part numbers, Bills Of Materials (BOMs) and Charts of Accounts (COAs) are set up can have a significant bearing on the success of the implementation. 

Differences in manufacturing processes are often misunderstood by consultants and companies alike and this can have a significant impact on the ease of use of the system.  For example, a company making say, high value, high variety, low volume components in low to medium size lots, will use the Shop Floor Control modules quite differently than a company making low value, low variety, high volume in large size lots or utilizing flow production.

Finally, we tend to look at ERP systems as just a common pool of information that allows all of us to do our job more effectively.  The information is dynamic, on line, up-to-date and available.

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