SOME GUIDELINES FOR MATERIALS PLANNING

Though for every organization guidelines cannot be provided in a limited treatise like the present one but some of the general guidelines can be given which can be kept into mind and effectively used by a materials planner for effective and reliable planning.

1. A long lead time
Lead time should be kept as long as possible to provide cover for the unforeseen circumstances which may crop up during the planning period.
2. Analysis of operating environment
Careful analysis of operating environment of the firm is a must in order to guard against possible demand fluctuations and seasonal variations.
3. A shorter plan period
A shorter materials plan period ensures reliability. Fortnightly or monthly materials plan period is an ideal one. However, in Kenya quarterly plans are popular though a quarter is not considered to be a shorter period for a materials plan this is sorter one. For a quarterly materials plan analysis of operating environment becomes more or less a necessity. Also lead time calls for proper scrutiny
and sound judgment.
4. Computerization
Computerization of materials planning process saves time and energy and helps in accurate forecasting. A system effecting saving in time and energy and offering better scope for accurate forecasting is naturally ideal for any materials planning particularly when materials planning are being done in advesse conditions and where economy is fast changing and is not conducive to desired and healthy growth of industries, trade and commerce. In such an economy one is required to handle wild demand fluctuations, and a materials manager, in such a situation, is left with no alternative but to revise his materials plans off and on with every demand fluctuation and change in economic situation. Here computerization of materials planning process comes to the rescue of a
materials planner. Computerization of the process may help in effecting a change even within the shortest period of 24 hours. Obviously computerization goes a long way in proving the utility of materials planning and its fruitfulness in production planning programming and scheduling.

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