• Subject: Alternate Routings / BOM
  • From: MacWheel99@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2001 10:21:32 EDT


Assuming Alternate Routings & BOM have been setup for some parts,
can production management from the MRP540 screens where they usually release 
orders, make the selection of which method to use, or would that have to be 
done through the SFC500 process?

As the labor gets reported against this or that method, does the shop order 
propagate the method used into FLT ITH history so that subsequent evaluation 
of overall performance & costs can see which method got which total results?

I have not seen anything in cost roll ups that references which method is 
being used.  Is there some flag that needs setting by part that indiicates 
which is the current official method?

Background on our latest situation

We have not been using Alternate Routings or Alternate BOM Methods in 405 CD 
& one of my co-workers asked me to ask the BPCS_L group how they work out in 
a new scenario we having, or if other companies have previously thought 
through this challenge & have a better way of dealing with it.  If I was in 
the APICS discussion group I would be asking the question there, because this 
seems to me more a question of the best way to rapidly manage method 
revisions than what BPCS supports.

We had this sub-component with just one routing operation.
Run the part through one machine which cuts wires to right length, strips the 
ends of the wires (plastic off so bare wire shows), and attaches what are 
called terminals at each end.
Some customer orders came along in which the order quanties were so small 
that it would be like 20 minutes setup & 2 minutes run time, and the 
department that does this is piled up with work, so they ran this part 
through a different machine that just cuts & strips & not attach the 
terminals, then gave the part to another department to attach the terminals, 
inventing an operation that was not in the routing.
When the customer order volume picks up again they plan to return to the 
original method.
Our engineers are now re-routing a bunch of sub-components to add the 
operation that was invented on the shop floor.
The customer wiring harness has a whole bunch of wires that the same thing 
was being done with each one.

I was asked if I thought this was the best way to handle this scenario.
Well I do not think it is a good idea, on general principles, to be making 
changes in how we do things in BPCS or any ERP, without first exploring the 
Apparently the shop floor made the parts, according to the new methods, 
before engineering had been notified to change the routings.

First off I'd like to know if top management knows about this, because what 
we are doing is saving 20 minutes times 32 wires in one shop department, per 
weekly customer requirement, but it might be costing more time in other 
department than what is saved.  It might be simpler to transfer some 
personnel from the other department to the department that is piled up with 
work, since they are all supposed to be cross-trained anyhow.

The timing of it also seems like there might be a conflict between the 
corporate policy for approving engineering changes & the need for shop floor 
supervisors to be able to make engineering changes on the fly in the 
interests of getting the job done in THEIR department quickly. 

I know that customer pricing is based on quantities they order precisely 
because of this ratio between setup time & run time, so if the orders were 
accepted according to the pricing structure, then the system should already 
be setup to accommodate overtime in the department that is now passing the 
buck to another department.

Our customer service folks need to communicate some forecast in volume 
changes that would impact re-engineering of official methods, so this is less 
of a surprise to other corporate departments.

Now I know that production management can go into shop order maintenance, 
after order released, and re-route any part, so that FOD has a totally 
different story than FRT, but I do not know if they can cut & paste some 
alternate routing in there & I suspect the time it will take them to do this 
is going to wipe out whatever shop floor time is being saved.  

A lot of the reports & inquiries that we have been using, to see how we are 
doing, use labor history vs. routing standards to calculate performance 
rates, so if we are going to be having production methods not reflected in 
the official files, we need to rethink how we display past production history 
such as when quoting new parts structured similar to old ones, and a vast 
spectrum of overall efficiency reports that will not be showing these 
invisible operations.

Also we have modified creation of shop orders, losing ability to reprint 
them, which needs to be reversed so that after production management reroutes 
how it is to be made, they'll want to reprint revised shop order package.

I think the simplest might be to have an alternate BOM.
One sub-assembly alternative uses the original method.
One sub-assembly alternative uses the new method.
This would drastically reduce keying for production control because each of 
our routing operations have 40-50 lines of additional description notes that 
spell out step by step instructions to direct work force how the part is to 
be made & the quality standards needed.
Move decision which method to use to production management at time shop order 
created, based on quantities involved, or time to make the part, if MRP540 or 
SFC500 will support that kind of substitution.

We did modify the order planning report used in association with MRP540 to 
help production management consolidate related parts ... perhaps we should 
add to that report, if it fits nice, something about setup time vs. run time, 
so that when setup is excessive for the size of the orders, this kind of 
substitution can be made wholesale, at order creation time.

But if shop supervisors insist that they need to switch methods after shop 
paperwork gets to floor, then the thing to do is cancel the orders they have 
& re-release them under the other method.

MacWheel99@aol.com (Alister Wm Macintyre) (Al Mac)

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