“En route” to DDMRP
Behind the buzz word
I discovered Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP) in 2014, as I regularly try to stay on top of Supply Chain techniques. There was a lot of buzz around it, and I finally went through the Demand Driven Planner certification in 2016 (CDDP -Certified Demand Driven Planner), and then attended the next level CDDL training (Certified Demand Driven Leader) immediately afterwards.
As is commonplace with any new Supply Chain technique, a lot of arguments are thrown. We all know that LEAN does not like MRP, which doesn’t like TOC, but loves S&OP, which itself loves Forecast, however stays away from Kanban, etc.. The same warm welcome was given to DDMRP, with fans and opponents alike.
Fortunately, APICS helped us assemble those different techniques to produce a complete and coherent methodology, all together, as we would play a collaborative Lego game! Each part can play a complementary role in the big picture.
A gradual approach securing your implementation
After its fresh start, DDMPR is today seriously considered by main industry actors. From a process perspective, I believe DDMPR is a highly implementable practice, requiring non-specialist Supply Chain background from operational teams, for enterprises to reap the benefits.
Before DDMRP, to leverage a full planning implementation required to train most staff on planning integration and an efficient follow-up and monitoring of the process. Such efforts were most often difficult to sustain on the long term, resulting in disappointing outcomes with expediting, delays and unwanted low service level.
With DDMRP, any company can gradually ramp up their implementation, with operational steps coming first, even on a restricted number of Stock Keeping Units. Training a planner is nothing more than a single day training. Once the actual ROI is validated, the DDMRP logic can then be further extended to other SKUs, and Strategic and tactic levels can be addressed, still with a simple modelling. CDDP and CDDL trainings each last for 2 days, and your Supply Chain Management staff will know all about DDMRP should they attend.
Getting hands-on with DDMRP
Once your company is trained on the subject, you could decide to go straight with a DDMRP implementation and look for an IT solution to support it. As of 2016, solutions were not plenty yet. Check here for hints and potential updates. However, changing your IT solution is never an effortless process.
Alternatively, you could indeed opt for a gentle start based on your current IT as you build confidence and trust with your staff and your organization for the project. You could gradually build the few screens controlling planning activities like replenishment order triggering, or monitoring. Excel should be considered for that purpose, with the appropriate integration to your SAP ERP – as the one we offer with XSBS.
Select a limited group of SKUs from Raw&Pack lower level, to start with. Once validated with actual results, you can move up the BOM. You will need to smartly use your current MRP engine to help the propagation between DDMRP levels in order to do that. This smooth and progressive approach does have some limitations, of course – but it will put your company on track very quickly.
My best professional advice is to seriously participate in a DDMRP conference or training to get started – don’t only stick with readings (like this post ;-).
2 days of training are well worth the immense potential you will unlock!
Daniel Lellouche – CEO and Founder – XSBS-DowapSolutions
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