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What are the benefits of using SAP capacity requirements planning?

An expert explains how companies can integrate SAP's capacity requirements planning functionality to optimize production when demand for products exceeds supply.

When demand for a company's products outstrips its supply capabilities, planners need to make difficult decisions...

about which products will be manufactured first, to avoid losing customers. Planners may be able to manage the raw materials required for excess production, but they also need to ensure that the right machines, production lines and manpower are available. Integrating capacity requirements planning (CRP) in SAP ERP into production and maintenance processes can help planners optimize use of available resources when demand for products is high.

CRP has two functions: Capacity evaluation and capacity leveling.

Capacity evaluation

Capacity evaluation provides 360-degree visibility of the resources or work centers (machines, production lines, manpower) that are expected to overload due to a surge in production requirements. Figure 1 shows the standard overview (load) of the work center BAF and plant 3000 com­bination. It shows the capacity requirements for each calendar week that result from the production orders. It also shows the avail­able capacity (AvailCap.) of the work center and the resulting percentage of load (CapLoad), as well as the remaining available capacity (RemAvailCap). For example, in calendar week 27/2013, a capacity requirement of 69.15 hours (H) leads to utilization (or an overload) of 197% based on an available capacity of 35.20 H. The system displays the periods with an overload in red.

SAP capacity requirements planning
Figure 1 capacity requirements planning (CRP)

Capacity leveling

With capacity leveling, planners make the most of available capacities by deciding which product will get priority on the production lines. Capacity planners can save machine setup time by producing products that have common machine setup requirements. For example, it makes sense to produce tomato ketchup that has different flavors but the same packing, such as a sachet, before switching over to produce ketchup in bottles.

Similarly, capacity planners can add additional production shifts to increase the capacity available during a 24-hour period. Turning a holiday into a working day is another option available to capacity planners to level off the capacity overload.

Planners can also integrate CRP with the SAP Plant Maintenance component to take into account unavailable capacities due to preventive or shutdown maintenance.

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