Distribution Help and User Guide | Material & Resource Planning


Table of Contents

1. Material Planning

2. Options

3. Results

3.1. Warnings Tab

3.2. Reschedule Messages Tab

3.3. Suggested Stock Transfers Tab

3.4. Traceable Expiry Enquiry Tab

4. Suggested Purchase Orders Tab

4.1. Options & Filtering

4.2. Modifying Columns

4.3. Available Drill Downs

4.4. Stock Values

4.5. Load Usages

4.6. Combining & Splitting Lines

4.7. Supplier Quantity Breaks

4.8. Create Purchase Orders

4.9. Create/Add to Suggested Purchase Order

4.10. Amending Purchase Orders

4.11. Suggested PO (Supplier) Tab

4.12. Suggested PO (Direct) Tab

4.13. Exiting Material Planning

5. Stock Item Settings - MRP Tab

6. Over Ordering Implications

6.1. E.g. Over Ordering is turned On

6.2. E.g. Over Ordering is turned Off

6.3. E.g. Surplus Stock when Over Ordering is turned off

7. MRP Suggested Dates

8. MRP Suggested Quantities

8.1. Settings that Affect the Suggested Quantity

8.2. Warehouse Selection

9. Previous MRP Results

10. Future Stock Movements

11. Stock Running Balance

12. Forecasts

12.1. Reducing Forecasts on Sales Order Entry

12.2. Material Planning & Forecasts

13. Make to Stock

14. Sales Over Lead Time

15. Maintenance

15.1. Follow Up Maintenance

16. MRP Settings

16.1. Material Planning Tab

16.2. Stock & Warehouse Tab

16.3. Stock Transfers Tab

17. Stock Item Settings Import

18. Enable Module

19. Reports

19.1. Future Stock Valuations Detail

19.2. Future Stock Valuations Summary

19.3. Firm & Suggested Purchase Orders

20. Standalone MRP

20.1. Running the Application Manually

20.2. Scheduling the Application

21. New Features & Important Information


Product overview

Help and User Guide maintained for Sicon Distribution | Material & Resource Planning version 220.0.0 and Upwards 


The outcome of running Material Planning is that suggestions are generated for what you need to order. These suggestions would then need to be actioned by the relevant user to create purchase orders. Having more accurate information held on the stock item with regards to supplier details (prices, lead time, order quantities) will lead to more accurate suggestions.

Note that installing Material Planning will disable the Multiple Dates button purchase order lines. The way that Sage stores these dates and quantities against the line is not stored in a way that can be processed by Material Planning, so this button then gets disabled. This button can be restored to the purchase order lines screen via a setting in MRP Settings, but dates entered via this button will be ignored by Material Planning. For customers wanting to process purchase orders with multiple delivery dates, it is recommended that they are broken into multiple lines for items being delivered on different scheduled dates.

The MRP menu in Sage has been split into 5 main sub folders.

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After installing the Sicon add, the following MRP features should be configured in Sage system admin, so that only features relevant to Distribution MRP as opposed to Manufacturing MRP are visible.

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1. Material Planning

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Material Planning can only be run by one user at a time. Previous results can be reviewed, but only for the most recent run, regardless of which user generated that run. Users do not need to come out of Sage while Material Planning is running; it’s also possible for the user running it to minimize the screen in order to use other areas of Sage while it is running. However, given that Material Planning is using current stock levels and existing orders in its calculations, if these change mid-run, then the suggestions may not reflect those changes.

Material planning is based upon calculations of stock movements on stock items.  The stock movements are basically a timeline of incoming and outgoing stock on a stock item.  When stock levels fall below certain levels, or there isn’t enough stock to meet the demand from a sales order or forecast, then a suggestion is raised.

The stock movements for a particular stock item can be viewed from a number of places, one place to view these stock movements is on a stock item in stock control.  If a stock item is amended or viewed in Sage, then there will be a button called Stock Movements at the bottom of the screen. This screen is described in the Future Stock Movements section of this guide.

Having an understanding of stock movements will help when reviewing and investigating suggestions in material planning.


2. Options

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Material planning has a number of options which affect the results of the material plan run.

At the top of the screen is a facility to select a single stock code. This will then run Material Planning to generate suggestions for that selected stock code only. The Clear button will only clear a stock code from this field and does not reset any other settings.

User MRP Settings: This option allows you to select another users MRP settings and overwrites your current settings. Click on the magnifying glass. Select the user then click on Load. This requires the MRP setting to ‘show control to select other users MRP options’ to be set.

The Suggested Purchase Orders section has separate settings to enable suggestions suggested purchase orders and the alternate SOP fulfilment methods in Sage 200 – supplier via stock or direct delivery, so these only need to be ticked if you are wanting to generate purchase orders that will be required for these fulfilment methods.

Use warehouse hierarchy: This option is greyed for Distribution’s MRP.

Warehouses: This button allows you to select which warehouses should be included for the suggestions for that relevant section. The selected warehouses are then displayed to the right of the button.

Separate suggestions per warehouse: If this option is ticked, then the demand and current stock levels would be analysed separately for each warehouse that was enabled via the Warehouses button. So if you were to run Material Planning for three warehouses, warehouse A would be looked at in isolation from warehouses B and C. If you don’t have this option ticked, then their current levels and demands would be grouped together. So you may have a sales order that needs stock from warehouse A where there isn’t any currently, but enough stock for it in warehouse C. In this scenario, potentially no suggestion would be generated as there could be enough stock in the three warehouses combined.

Group suggestions within: This drop down lets you select from ‘Never’, ‘1 week’, ‘2 weeks’, ‘1 month’ or ‘All’. This enables you to group suggestions together if they fit within the selected timeframe, i.e. two sales orders need the same stock item and they are scheduled to be dispatched within a couple of days of each other. Grouping within 1 week would combine them onto a single purchase order suggestion. Grouping will have the effect of reducing the number of purchase orders suggested. Caution may need to be exercised with the ‘All’ option if you have demand loaded for the future (i.e. a sales order or forecast for many months’ time) and don’t mean to combine that with demand for the same item now.

Enable rescheduling: Ticking this box will cause Material Planning to look at existing purchase orders to see if they can be rescheduled to fit current demand. This will only look to pull forward existing orders if the supplier lead time is such that it could be possible; it does not suggest that current orders can be rescheduled to move them to later dates. This option will cause an additional column to be added to the Stock Movements screen to display the suggested reschedule date of the particular purchase order.

Enable warnings: This setting will enable warning messages to be displayed in the results of Material Planning advising if existing purchase will not arrive in time for the demand, based on the supplier lead time lead time.

Stock level options: This drop down allows you to select from the following:

  • Ignore current stock: Material Planning will generate suggestions to fulfil all current demand, considering replenishment from existing Purchase Orders, ignoring whatever is currently held in free stock
  • Use minimum stock level: Use min stock field on stock item location
  • Use reorder level: Use reorder level on stock item location
  • Maintain Zero: Generate suggestions to ensure all future requirements balance to zero for each stock item location.
  • Maintain max based on min stock: With this option the system will use the minimum stock level as the trigger point, but adjusts the suggestion to get the stock level to the maximum value as set on the stock item warehouse.
  • Maintain max based on re-order level: With this option the system will use the re-order stock level as the trigger point, but adjust the suggestion to get the stock level to the maximum value as set on the stock item warehouse.

Note: If you are using the Distribution SOP management facility to Calculate Min Stock Levels, then you would use the minimum stock level option when running Material Planning.

Allow over ordering: This option allows Material Planning to generate suggestions that could result in you having more stock than you require due to existing orders on the system. As an example, you have a purchase order due for delivery in several weeks’ time, but some immediate demand has entered your system. If the supplier lead time is short and you enable this setting, then Material Planning would generate an additional suggestion for this new demand, even though once the original purchase order arrives you will then have more than you need. Rather than enabling this setting, it may be preferable to enable the rescheduling option to generate rescheduling suggestions rather than additional orders. See the Over Ordering section of this guide for more information.

From/To Date: These enable you to enter a date range, and have Material Planning only analyse demand within this date range. If you enter one of these dates and leave the other one empty, then either all demand from or to the entered date will be analysed.

Exclude existing purchase orders: This would ignore existing purchase orders when making suggestions. All the demand would be assessed against the relevant stock level option and then suggestions generated regardless of current purchase orders.

There are additional options that can be enabled in the MRP settings; please see the later section on the Material Planning tab in MRP Settings for details.

Once the options have been selected, the Run button can be selected. The Save button can be used to save the selected options against the current Sage user. This is useful if you need to set these before scheduling Standalone MRP or want other users to run MRP based on your settings.

The Show Previous Results button will display the previous results generated from the last material plan run, which could save time if you want to revisit suggestions yet to be actioned and don’t need to run the process again. This is not stored per user, so will display the results generated on the last run, regardless of who ran it and what options they used.

The <<< button can be used to hide/show the progress column in the options screen.


3. Results


3.1. Warnings Tab

A list of warnings is displayed on the Warnings tab if the Enable warnings options were selected. Warnings such as purchase orders not arriving on time that may not be built on time, are displayed in this list.

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To drill down on a warning item, the user can double click on an item to display the Future Stock Movements screen. From this screen you could view any existing orders, but you would need to exit Material Planning to go to the relevant module to amend any dates against them.

The warnings can be sorted by clicking on the column headers and exported to Excel by right clicking in the white space selecting Export >> All to Excel or Selected to Excel.

As well as warnings to show if a purchase order is overdue the warnings also show where items are past their use by date:

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Also whether they may not arrive in time.

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3.2. Reschedule Messages Tab

Rescheduling suggestions are displayed on the Reschedule Messages tab if the Enable rescheduling options were ticked.

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Note that currently reschedule messages are only triggered for items that require a suggestion. So, you won’t see any rescheduling messages for items where demand is not suggesting purchase orders.

The reschedule messages can be sorted by clicking on the column headers and exported to Excel by right clicking in the white space selecting Export >> All to Excel or Selected to Excel.


3.3. Suggested Stock Transfers Tab

Not applicable with Distribution’s MRP.


3.4. Traceable Expiry Enquiry Tab

Shows where stock items are past their use by and or sell by date.

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4. Suggested Purchase Orders Tab


4.1. Options & Filtering

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The Suggested Purchase Orders tab displays suggested purchase orders raised to meet demand from sales orders, forecasts, reserved stock and the selected stock level option.

These suggestions can be filtered using the filters at the top of the screen. Filters can be used for: –

  • Stock Item – the stock code of the item to order
  • Product Group – the product group that the item belongs in
  • Warehouse – the warehouse suggested to deliver the purchase order to
  • Supplier – The supplier account number of the supplier that the purchase orders are suggested for
  • Short Name – The short name of the supplier that the purchase orders are suggested for
  • Postcode – The postcode of the supplier that the purchase orders are suggested for
  • Reason – you can enter in some text here to search the Reason column, such as sales order number
  • Requested Date from – the earlier requested delivery date for the purchase order suggestions
  • Requested Date to – the latest requested delivery date for the purchase order suggestions
  • Create Date from – the earliest order date for the purchase order suggestions
  • Create Date to – the latest order date for the purchase order suggestions
  • Follow up – a follow up reason can be linked to suggested lines and then lines filtered on this reason.
  • Supplier analysis codes – allows the POP suggestions to be filtered by the supplier analysis codes.
  • Customer analysis codes – allows the POP suggestions to be filtered by the customer analysis codes.
  • SOP analysis codes – allows the POP suggestions to be filtered by the SOP analysis codes.

The Purchase Order suggestions can be sorted by clicking on the column headers.

The PO Create Date column is the date that MRP is suggesting that the purchase order needs to be raised. So, all suggestions with the current date displaying in this column should be reviewed today. Suggestions with a date in the future can be generated now, it doesn’t mean that they will arrive sooner than required as the Date Requested will show the supplier when you require these items to delivered. The supplier lead time is displayed in days in the next column, and this is the number of working days between the Date Requested for the suggestion, and the PO Create Date column. The Date Requested column will display the future demand date if applicable e.g. a Promised Delivery Date from the sales order or Forecast. For suggestions to get you back to your stock level, this date will be the earliest date possible if you are currently below that level, or the date at which you will drop below that level. For information purposes, the supplier part number is also displayed (if set on the stock item), as well as the manufacturer.

A follow up reason can be linked to suggested lines, the list is set in the follow up maintain screen.

The quantity displayed is how many you need to be ordering, in the unit of measure displayed in the next column. This unit of measure is either the stock unit of measure, or the Purchasing Unit of Measure selected on the MRPsection of the Sicon tab on the stock item.

The warehouse column shows you the warehouse where the stock is required, followed by columns displaying the Free Stock Quantity, the Allocated Stock Quantity and the Quantity on Order for that warehouse.

Then the preferred supplier is displayed, followed by their currency. The Unit Price is either derived from the supplier information on the stock item (i.e. List price or Last Buying price). Alternatively, a price could be shown here that comes from the most recent purchase order for this stock item if no supplier has been setup for the stock item, or failing that, the average buying price. The Unit Price from column explains where it has derived the Unit Price displayed from.

The reason for the suggestion is shown in the reason column.

The user has the ability to change certain values in the list against each suggested purchase order, before generating the purchase order.  These are Date Requested, Follow Up, Quantity, Warehouse, Supplier and Unit Price. When changing the supplier, it is possible to select from any supplier in the Purchase Ledger; the accounts listed immediately at the top of the list will be the suppliers set on the stock item.


4.2. Modifying Columns

Customising the MRP results screen: The column orders in the results screen can be amended by right clicking on the screen and selecting customise.

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The column order can then be moved

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4.3. Available Drill Downs

Highlighting a suggestion and then using the buttons at the bottom of the screen enable you to: –

View Details Open the Sicon Future Stock Movements screen for the Item Code. This screen will detail why the suggestion has been made. If you leave this window open and click through the suggestions, then this window will refresh for the relevant stock code.
Stock Item Details Open the Sage Amend Stock Item Details screen for the Item Code
Stock Item Balances Open the Sage View Stock Item Balances screen for the Item Code
Monthly Trading Figures Open the Sage View Monthly Trading Figures screen for the Item Code

4.4. Stock Values

The Stock Values (Suggestion Warehouse) button is relevant when you are running MRP for more than one warehouse, and have not selected separate suggestions per warehouse in the Options. This button toggles between Suggestion Warehouse and All Processed Warehouses when you click on it, and refreshes the Free Stock Qty, Allocated Stock and Qty on Order columns to display for the selected option.


4.5. Load Usages

The Month To Date, Year To Date and Last 12 Months columns show your usage of this item in these date ranges. These values will initially all display as zero, as they are only refreshed when you click the Load Usages button in the bottom right hand corner. This was done to improve the performance of this screen.


4.6. Combining & Splitting Lines

The combine button allows lines for the same stock item and warehouse to be combined into one line.

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In the example above the highlighted lines have a quantity of 5 and 2. They have been combined in one line for 7

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Highlighting a line and clicking on split allow additional lines to be created with the split quantity, different requested dates can be added to each split line.

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4.7. Supplier Quantity Breaks

Supplier prices based on quantity breaks are reflected in the MRP prices.

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The price displayed in the MRP unit price is dependent upon the supplier price for the quantity.

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4.8. Create Purchase Orders

Purchase orders can be generated by ticking the suggested purchase order line(s) and then selecting the Create Purchase Orders button. A prompt will appear asking if you wish to amend the purchase orders after they have been generated.

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If pre-allocations are enabled, the system will prompt for each item being purchased if you want to accept the pre-allocations for the new purchase order to the demand that requires it. If you tick the box on the bottom of this window labelled as Accept pre-allocation recommendations, then these pre-allocations will be automatically created without needing user confirmation. There is a setting in MRP settings that enables you to default this checkbox to being ticked.

There is also a checkbox allowing you to indicate that landed costs should not apply to these items.

You only need to tick the ones that you wish to immediately amend, the purchase orders will still be created for the ones that you don’t select, once you click the Create button.

Suggested purchase orders for the same supplier that are being generated at this point will be grouped together onto the same purchase order, if they are being delivered to the same warehouse.

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4.9. Create/Add to Suggested Purchase Order

Suggested purchase order lines can be added to a temporary suggested purchase order. Additional stock lines from the same supplier can be added to this suggested purchase. It can then be converted to a real purchase order.

Highlight multiple purchase suggestions for the same supplier.

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Clicking on Create/Add to Suggested Purchase Orders creates a suggested purchase order.

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In the user suggested purchase order tab, you can then review and amend the suggestion and add additional items.

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Clicking on Add new line, opens a new window that shows the preferred stock items for the chosen supplier.

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Quantities on the lines can be amended and the lines to add selected.

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Clicking on save adds the selected items to the purchase order.

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Clicking on create purchase order, will then create the purchase order.

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If pre-allocations are enabled, the system will prompt for each item being purchased if you want to accept the pre-allocations for the new purchase order to the demand that requires it. If you tick the box on the bottom of this window labelled as Accept pre-allocation recommendations, then these pre-allocations will be automatically created without needing user confirmation. There is a setting in MRP settings that enables you to default this checkbox to being ticked.

There is also a checkbox allowing you to indicate that landed costs should not apply to these items.

You only need to tick the ones that you wish to immediately amend, the purchase orders will still be created for the ones that you don’t select, once you click the Create button.

Suggested purchase orders for the same supplier that are being generated at this point will be grouped together onto the same purchase order, if they are being delivered to the same warehouse.

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4.10. Amending Purchase Orders

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4.11. Suggested PO (Supplier) Tab

This tab only appears if you have selected the Run suggested supplier via stock purchase orders option on the Options tab when running Material Planning. It will display any suggested purchase orders that need to be generated to fulfil sales orders using the Sage from supplier via stock fulfilment method.

If any suggestions appear here, they can be reviewed and actioned using the same methods outlined in the Suggested Purchase Orders Tab.


4.12. Suggested PO (Direct) Tab

This tab only appears if you have selected the Run suggested supplier via stock purchase orders option on the Options tab when running Material Planning. It will display any suggested purchase orders that need to be generated to fulfil sales orders using the Sage from supplier direct to customer fulfilment method.

If any suggestions appear here, they can be reviewed and actioned using the same methods outlined in the Suggested Purchase Orders Tab.


4.13. Exiting Material Planning

When closing Material Planning, you will see a box displayed that prompts whether changes made to the material planning want to be saved. If Yes is selected manual changes to say the suggested quantity are stored and when the MRP results are opened these changes are retained.

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All previous suggestions from the current run can be displayed again on re-opening Material Planning via the Show Previous Results button.


5. Stock Item Settings - MRP Tab

There are stock item settings on the MRP sections of the Sicon tab when amending a Stock Item in Stock Control.  These settings can relate to material planning and override options set within the Options tab of Material Planning.

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Default Supplier Lead Time: This setting adds a number of days to the date calculation on purchase orders. It’s overridden by a supplier lead time being set on the relevant supplier entry on the Suppliers tab, so was intended for situations where supplier information was not being recorded on the stock item.

Group Suggested Purchase Orders: When running Material Planning, in the Options tab you can specify the date options to Group Selections Within. This setting would act as an override to that option for this stock item.

Ignore free stock quantity in Material Planning: If this option is enabled for this stock item, then when running Material Planning, the stock level options setting selected on the Options tab of Material Planning would be overridden for this stock item to use Ignore current stock.

Ignore existing purchase orders in Material Planning: If this option is enabled for this stock item, then all existing purchase orders for this item will be ignored, overriding the setting on the Options tab for this stock item.

Do not include item in Material Planning: If this option is enabled, then this stock item will be ignored entirely by Material Planning.

Purchasing unit of measure: Enables you to select the unit of measure that should be used for suggested purchase orders from Material Planning for this stock item.

Default purchasing warehouse: Enables you to select the warehouse that should be used for suggested purchase orders from Material Planning for this stock item.


6. Over Ordering Implications

The Allow over ordering setting is available on the Options tab during the material planning process.

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This setting enables you to indicate whether you want Material Planning to make suggestions where you have existing purchase orders already in your system that do not fulfil some earlier demand on the date that needs it. This setting works alongside the settings for Enable rescheduling and Enable warnings to give you different options as to how you want to handle these situations.

If you run Material Planning with both over ordering and rescheduling suggestions enabled, then rescheduling suggestions will override the over ordering suggested purchase orders, preventing them from being suggested.

The minimum order level and/or usual order quantity may affect the quantity on the suggested purchase order (if set on the preferred supplier), thus increasing stock levels even if Allow over ordering is not selected.

With the Allow Over Ordering setting enabled, and existing purchase orders arrive too late for the demand, if the lead time of the supplier was short enough to arrive in time, then an extra purchase order would be suggested to get the stock here in time. The end result of all of the stock movements would then result in you having too much stock – hence the setting being called Allow Over Ordering.

If the allow over ordering setting is not enabled, and if a later existing purchase order would fulfil the demand, and leave you on or above your selected Stock level option (e.g. minimum stock), then no suggestion would be made. Depending upon your warnings and rescheduling settings, you may receive either a warning informing you that the existing purchase order could not be arrive in time, or a rescheduling message advising that the existing purchase order could be pulled forward.

Note that even without having this setting enabled, it is still possible to receive suggestions that result in you having too much stock at the end of all of your stock movements. This is due to the fact that if a suggestion is triggered to meet some demand, then the quantity of that suggestion will be enough to fulfil that demand all by itself. Existing later purchase order quantities are not used to reduce the quantity of this new suggestion, if it has been triggered.


6.1. E.g. Over Ordering is turned On

In the following screenshot, a suggested purchase order is generated on the 26/04/2019 to meet the demand of sales order 0000005333.  However, there is an existing purchase order due to arrive on 13/05/2019, which results in a final stock level above the minimum stock level.  This purchase order is after the due date of the sales order, so the suggested purchase order is suggested in order to keep the stock level at or above minimum on 26/04/19. If the lead time of the supplier meant that the suggested purchase order couldn’t arrive earlier than the existing purchase order, then the suggestion would not have been made.

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6.2. E.g. Over Ordering is turned Off

In the following example, no suggested purchase order is generated for sales order 0000005333, because purchase order 0000003446 will push the stock level back to the minimum stock level; even though the purchase order is after the due date of the sales order.

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A warning will be generated on the Warnings tab stating that the purchase order may not arrive on time, if the option for Enable warnings is selected when Material Planning is run.

If the option for Enable rescheduling is selected when Material Planning is run, then the Stock Movements results would be displayed with the newly calculated Reschedule Date, and the Rescheduling suggestion would be displayed on the Reschedule tab of the Material Planning results. In the screenshot below, due to the supplier lead time it is possible to reschedule the purchase order to the date that it is needed, so the suggestion is that the purchase order should be amended to change the requested delivery date to 26/04/2019.

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6.3. E.g. Surplus Stock when Over Ordering is turned off

It is possible to have suggestions that result in a final stock level figure that is above the selected stock level option once later existing purchase orders have arrived. In the following example, sales order 0000005333 requires 30 of this item on 26/04/19, and we have 13 in stock at this time. There is an existing purchase order for 10 due to be received on 13/05/19. As the total result of these movements would be a final balance that is below our minimum stock level (it would end on minus 7 without any suggestion), then a suggestion is made for a new purchase order. As a suggestion has been triggered, this suggestion is for the full amount required to get us back to our stock level option (minimum stock), regardless of the quantity arriving a month later. So, the total outcome of these movements would be to leave us with 10 in stock, which is above our minimum stock level.

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7. MRP Suggested Dates

The dates that are used for generating the suggestions are based on the date of the demand. For a sales order line, this is either the promised delivery date or the expected dispatch date if different. The Expected dispatch date is the requested delivery date less the delivery buffer, which is either read from the default delivery buffer setting in MRP Settings or uses the buffer specified on the MRP tab of the customer account.

Demand dates for forecasts are the date of the forecast. Dates will be further influenced by supplier lead time.


8. MRP Suggested Quantities


8.1. Settings that Affect the Suggested Quantity

The rules below are applied to suggested purchase orders when running Material Planning:

Usual order quantity on preferred supplier: The quantity of a suggested purchase order will be a multiple of the usual order quantity of the preferred supplier.

Minimum order quantity on preferred supplier: The quantity of a suggested purchase order will be above the minimum order quantity set on the preferred supplier.

NB: If no preferred supplier is set on the stock item, then the above two rules will be ignored.

Stock level on the warehouse on the stock item: If Material Planning is set to use minimum stock levels when generating suggested purchase orders, suggested purchase orders will be raised if the quantity of the stock item will fall below the minimum level on the warehouse.  The quantity for the raised suggested purchase order will bring the stock level back up to the minimum level. Alternatively, you may be running Material Planning working from the Reorder level instead, or maintaining a stock level of zero or maintaining a maximum based on the reorder/minimum level.

NB: If stock levels are ignored for suggested purchase orders, then the above rule is ignored.


8.2. Warehouse Selection

If multiple warehouses are selected when running material planning, then the minimum/re-order stock levels on the warehouses for a stock item are added together.  Therefore, suggested purchase orders will be raised to bring stock levels up to the combined minimum/re-order stock level. If you do not wish the suggestions to be made with the warehouses combined, then you need to select the option to Separate suggestions per warehouse.


9. Previous MRP Results

The Show Previous Results button will display the previous results generated from the last material plan run, which could save time if you want to revisit suggestions yet to be actioned and don’t need to run the process again. This is not stored per user, so will display the results generated on the last run, regardless of who ran it and what options they used.


10. Future Stock Movements

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This screen is also available from within Material Planning, and via the Stock Movements button on screens such as View Stock Item. Its purpose is to summarise all future expected stock movements that will impact your free stock level in the selected warehouse(s). As it is working with free stock, once stock is allocated (e.g. to a sales order), that demand will not be displayed in this screen as the starting Free Stock figure will already have taken this into account.

The stock movements will start with the Free Stock figure and then have a running total downwards, by date, displaying the resultant balance.  Each line can be drilled into by double clicking the line.  Some lines may be sales orders and others purchase orders. Once a line is highlighted, information about the line will appear in the summary section of the screen.

The Reschedule date column will only be accurate if the previous run of Material Planning had the option of Enable Rescheduling selected. If so, then this stock movements screen will be sorted in reschedule date order. Note that the Reschedule date is only provided for information purposes, the intention is that the user would update the dates on the relevant purchase order to the reschedule date manually if they have confirmed that it can be rescheduled.

If you have selected the Include suggestions from last MRP run, then there may also be lines for suggestions from material planning.

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The Show Preallocation Values checkbox can be selected to display all of the relevant preallocations for the stock item. Clicking this adds Qty Less Preallocations and Balance Less Preallocations columns that are hidden by default to keep the screen simpler. These columns can be displayed to assist with understanding suggestions if needed.

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The Warehouses button can be used to filter the screen to reflect movements for the selected warehouse(s), and beneath this are From and To date options to filter for a selected date range.

The Types button can be used to filter the stock movement list to those chosen from the list. Select the desired type and then click out of the selection criteria for the filter to work.

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The fields displayed in the Stock Item Info section are totals based on the warehouses selected and the Sicon fields set against the stock item. The reserved stock figure comes from any Sage reserved stock records.

The supplier information is pulled through from the preferred supplier (if any) on this stock item. A cost price is displayed along with some text clarifying how this cost price has been calculated (i.e. Last buying price from preferred supplier etc.). The Earliest date suggested purchase order can arrive based on lead time displays a date calculated based on current date plus lead time in working days.

The Delivery buffer days looks at the default delivery buffer set in Material Planning Settings to calculate an Expected despatch date for that sales order. This is the date that Material Planning will be using to aim for with regards to fulfilling demand for that sales order.

For example: A 5 day delivery buffer has been set in MRP settings

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Sales Order line requested and promised date set to 18/03/2022

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The delivery buffer will be added to the SO date requested generated by the system.

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If we add a purchase delivery buffer of say 5 days then the PO date will be brought forward by 5 working days.

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The buttons at the bottom of the screen provide access to the standard Amend Stock Item Details, Stock Item Balances and Monthly Trading Figures screens. Immediate access to the amend stock item details screen is very useful if this screen is displaying information related to the stock item supplier that needs to be updated.

Right clicking on the screen allows the results to be sent to excel

The container number, container status and PO line status information is displayed when the Sicon distribution module is installed.

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The radio buttons for show all, ins only or outs only, can be used to show all stock movements or only stock ins or stock outs.

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11. Stock Running Balance

This screen displays predicted balances against stock items going forward. You can specify the warehouses that you want to include, filter for one or more product groups and select how many months to look ahead.

The information presented in here is effectively the same as from the Future Stock Movements screen but presented in a different format and giving you closing figures for each month selected. The Stock Movements button at the bottom of the screen will take you to that screen.

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12. Forecasts

Forecasts can be entered into the system to reflect expected sales orders and create demand for them. As actual sales orders are placed, then this forecast can be reduced via a prompt displayed when the order is saved, if the option to ‘allow forecasts to be reduced as sales order entry’ is enabled in MRP Settings. Without this setting being selected, it is important to consider that once an order has been received, the correct procedure is to remove the forecast manually from this screen, otherwise the demand from the forecast and the order will be combined in the next run of Material Planning.

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Add, Edit and Remove buttons allow you to manually create or update existing forecasts.

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Note that a forecast does not need to have a customer account selected against it. The other fields are all required though, being the date that the demand is required for, the item code or name, the quantity and the warehouse where you require the demand. These can all be edited for an existing forecast via the Edit button on the previous screen.

You can import forecasts via the main Forecast screen.  Imported forecasts will be added to the bottom of previous forecasts, not overwrite them.  Select the forecast csv file using the browse button (the ellipsis button) and then select the Import button to import the forecasts. The csv needs to be formatted into the same columns that you can see in the main window (Customer (optional), Date, Stock Item, Quantity and Warehouse).

To delete all forecasts, select the Delete All Forecasts button, or individual forecasts can be selected and then deleted with the Remove button. If you want an import to not be added to the bottom of any current entries, then you can simply delete them via the delete all button before importing your new forecast.


12.1. Reducing Forecasts on Sales Order Entry

If you have enabled the setting to Allow forecasts to be reduced on sales order entry, then as users enter sales orders that match an existing forecast, they will be presented with the following prompt:

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The system has matched the forecast to the current order using the forecast date and matching it with the promised delivery date on the sales order line (it matches within the same calendar month). In this example, there is no customer specified against the forecast, so the customer on the sales order does not matter, but if there had been a customer on the forecast then it would have checked this against the customer on the order also. If the user entering the sales order ticks the box, then it would reduce the forecast quantity by the quantity on the sales order line (removing the forecast if this reduces it to zero).


12.2. Material Planning & Forecasts

Material Planning uses the forecasts when checking to create suggested purchase orders depending on stock levels.


13. Make to Stock

This screen is used to generate recurring suggestions that can be set as either daily, on a specified day of the week, or a date within a month and are specific per warehouse.  You can use different frequency options for different stock items. This enables you to enter an agreed production schedule, so you would then just use the Forecasts to reflect exceptional demands. When you run MRP, this would then register as a demand in the same way as Forecasts do. The demand from the Make to Stock will always be generated for the next six months from the current date when you run MRP, although this range can be changed via the MPS months to schedule setting on the Material Planningtab. 

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When adding a new entry/editing an existing one, the following screen is presented: –

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14. Sales Over Lead Time

The idea behind the sales over lead time is to inflate the MRP demand to ensure there is enough stock ordered to satisfy both the minimum order levels and future sales order.

If you take a scenario where a distribution company wants to set a min stock level of 100 on Item X, and they have 100 in stock today then MRP will not suggest anything to order.

However, the problem is the lead time on this item is 10 weeks and we expect to sell 10 per week.

The result is that in week 1 we sell 10 and MRP says to order 10, but these won’t arrive until 10 weeks later. In week 2 we sell 10 more, so MRP suggests to buy 10 more again arriving in 10 weeks’ time.

The result is the following stock level result, which never recovers back to the min stock level.

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So, we have to add the sales expected to happen over the lead-time if there is no forecast for the item. So, in this case the sales expected over the lead-time is 100 (based on historical sales analysis) and this gets added into the future stock movements to drive demand for MRP to order the stock.

The result is the following, where we still almost run out of stock but in week 10 the stock is brought back up to 100 and stays there will subsequent deliveries matching sales each week.

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There is a setting in MRP Settings than enables this feature, on the Material Planning tab and called Enable sales over lead time predictions. The stock items that relate to sales over lead time can be found in the Sales order lead time screen.

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Entries appearing in this screen are either dynamically generated, or have been manually entered as Fixed entries. You would create Fixed entries for new stock items where there is not currently a sales history, but you would like this screen to generate a demand for them in MRP. Only Fixed entries can be edited and deleted. The Sales Order Qtycolumn displays how many are on sales orders within the lead time from the current date.

So, the items in the sales order lead time screen will generate a demand that will contribute to any suggestions in MRP. This demand can be viewed in the Future Stock Movements screen for this item, and will be reduced by any future dated sales orders that fall within the lead time.

For example, the dishwasher below has a sales over lead time qty of 26 and a lead time of 70 days. There are sales orders with a qty of 20 in the next 70 days.

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When MRP is run the for dishwasher for the warehouse the system will factor in that an additional 6 dishwashers need to be ordered to meet the sales over lead time requirement.

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15. Maintenance


15.1. Follow Up Maintenance

Allows follow up reasons to be created, that can then be selected from within the MRP results screen.

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16. MRP Settings


16.1. Material Planning Tab

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Show advanced settings in Material Planning: Enabling this setting adds some additional options into the Material Planning screen when it is run.

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The Create suggestions for dates in the past would backdate suggestions to a date prior to today if the demand was prior to the current date. In other words, if you don’t have this setting enabled, then demand for items prior to the current date would generate suggestions that were dated for the current date. Anything with the current date should be ordered/actioned today.

The other options in this advanced section allow you to Include sales proformas, Include sales quotes and Include on hold sales orders and sales orders for on hold accounts – otherwise these are all ignored for Material Planning suggestions. It is also possible to exclude the demand from sales orders if desired by choosing the Exclude sales orders option.

Run Works Order process before Kitting process: Not applicable for Distribution.

Preallocate suggestions to reasons: Once suggestions from material planning are actioned, they will then be preallocated to the demand that caused their suggestions. For example, a suggested purchase order could be preallocated to components lines on one or more sales order line if the item being purchased was being sold to a customer. When the purchase order is received, then a window would be displayed allowing the user booking it in to confirm where the items should be allocated to. If this option is not selected, then no preallocations will happen meaning that when stock is received into the system it will need to be manually allocated.

Preallocate suggested child works orders to suggested parent works orders: Not applicable for Distribution

Auto accept preallocation suggestions by default: When you run MRP and action any suggestions, there is an Accept preallocation recommendations checkbox at the bottom of the Create Purchase Orders window that you can tick to accept all preallocations without seeing a further prompt. If you enable this setting, then that checkbox will always be ticked when creating the suggestions.

Always use standard works order numbering: Not applicable for Distribution.

Use requested date of the sales orders in material planning: By default, the promised date is the field used for demand from sales orders, but by selecting this setting it would use requested date instead.

Default delivery buffer: This is a default number of working days to deduct from sales order line promised delivery dates to arrive at an expected dispatch date. This value will be overridden for a sales order if the applicable customer account has a value entered on their MRP tab.

Purchase order buffer: Adds an additional number of days to any purchase order requested delivery dates.

Use multiple delivery dates on purchase order lines: When material planning is enabled the standard Sage Multiple Dates button on purchase order lines is automatically disabled. It can be re-enabled using this button, but Material Planning will not use any breakdown of dates on this purchase order line, it will only use the Requested delivery date for the whole of the line when calculating when this purchase order is expected to be delivered.

Use the default finished item warehouse set on the stock item for minimum stock suggested works orders where grouping is enabled, separate suggestions by warehouse is disabled, and the default warehouse is included in the warehouses to be processed: Not Applicable for Distribution.

Only enabled WAP requisitions button: Only applicable while using the WAP module.

Show ‘Create Requisition for WAP’ buttons within MRP: Only applicable while using the WAP module.

Show next available date on sales orders: Enabling this option will activate an extra column when looking at a sales order, called Next Available which will initially be populated with the words ‘Not calculated’. Beneath the grid in the sales order screen is a Calculate button. Clicking this will trigger an update to the Next Available column where the system will calculate when the relevant stock item could next be available, based on current stock and either production lead time, or supplier lead time (including supplier lead times of components not currently in stock for built items). If this calculated date is either on or before the promised delivery date of the sales order line, then this date will be displayed in green. If it’s displayed in red, then the calculated next available date is after the promised delivery date.

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Exclude purchase orders in the past: When calculating the next available date, ordinarily all outstanding purchase orders are analysed to establish when component stock will be arriving. With this option enabled, then purchase orders with a date before the current date will be disregarded by this calculation.

Allow forecasts to be reduced at sales order entry: With this option enabled, when users enter sales orders for an item with a forecast that is in the same calendar month as the order promised delivery date and if any customer account has been specified that matches the customer on the order, then the user will be prompted if they wish to reduce the forecast by the order quantity.

Enable sales over lead time predictions: This option activates the Sales Over Lead Time suggestions that will then cause a demand for MRP.

Enable Sicon supply details for usual and minimum order quantities: With this setting enabled, the Sicon Material Planning Supply Details fields are then available if you wish to enter a Usual Order Quantity that is smaller than the Minimum Order Quantity. Without this setting enabled, then you only see the standard Sage Usual order quantity and Minimum order quantity fields (in the Supply Details section), but these fields will not allow a minimum order quantity greater than the usual order quantity.

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MPS months to schedule: This setting enables you to indicate how many months you would like to include within the Make to Stock demand.

Copy analysis codes from supplier via stock or direct delivery sales orders to purchase orders: With this setting enabled, then any analysis codes on the sales orders will be copied onto the purchase order when it is generated from MRP.

Use sales order line description on supplier via stock and direct delivery suggestions: With this setting enabled, then any description entered onto the sales order lines will be copied onto the purchase order lines when they are generated from MRP.

Use detailed works order duration calculation (will increase the amount of time MRP takes to run): Not Applicable for Distribution.

Supplier Lead Time Calculations: Supplier lead times calculations can now be via calendar days or working days (Monday to Friday).

Show control to select other users MRP options: This allows you to copy another users MRP settings.


16.2. Stock & Warehouse Tab

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Default component warehouse and Default finished item warehouse are not applicable in Distribution’s MRP.

The Quarantine list of warehouses lets you select which warehouses should be excluded from Material Planning.


16.3. Stock Transfers Tab

Not applicable in Distribution’s MRP.


17. Stock Item Settings Import

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This screen enables you to import the following fields from a csv file, which are stored in the MRP area of the Sicon tab on the Stock Item record: –

  • Default Supplier Lead Time
  • Group Suggested Purchase Orders
  • Ignore free stock quantity in Material Planning
  • Ignore existing purchase orders
  • Do not include in Material and Resource Planning
  • Purchasing Unit of Measure
  • Default Purchasing Warehouse

The following fields are found within the Supplier details on the Stock Item record: –

  • Supplier Account Number
  • Sicon Usual Order Quantity
  • Sicon Minimum Order Quantity
  • Sage Usual Order Quantity
  • Sage Minimum Order Quantity

The remaining fields are not relevant for the Distribution version of MRP.

The only field in the import file that is mandatory is the Stock Item Code, although you will also need to specify the Supplier Account Number if you are looking to import Usual Order Quantity or Minimum Order Quantity. If you are updating these fields, then bear in mind that any entries in the earlier columns on the same row will be ignored. So if you want to update all fields on the same stock item, you will need two rows for that item in your spreadsheet, one for the fields on the MRP area, and one for the supplier fields.

To perform the import, use the Find button to browse to your prepared import file. You can use the Example Import File button to generate two Excel files, one that explains the columns, and one that can then be saved as a csv file that is in the right format.

Once you have selected the import file, click the Check File button to perform a validation routine against your file. Once it has confirmed that the entries are correct, you can then click the Import button to perform the import.


18. Enable Module

Use this screen to enter an enable string if online licensing is not enabled.

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19. Reports

By default, there are three MRP reports installed.


19.1. Future Stock Valuations Detail

Gives a predicted future stock valuation based on the future stock movements and the price of the stock.

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19.2. Future Stock Valuations Summary

Gives a predicted summary future stock valuation based on the future stock movements and the price of the stock.

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19.3. Firm & Suggested Purchase Orders

Shows any suggested purchase orders or actual purchase orders based on the report selection criteria from the last MRP run.

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20. Standalone MRP

There is a separate MRP standalone application that can be triggered via a Windows scheduled task in order to run MRP out of hours. This is the recommended method for using this application, as it will use as many resources as it can while running, so users may notice a performance issue if using Sage while it is running.

The location of the file is within the Sicon\MRP folder that will be within the Sage folder on the server. The file is a standard windows application and is a .exe file and can also be run manually if desired.

While scheduling the application to run, you will need to know your Sage user ID and the relevant Sage company ID. Both of these can be viewed within the Sage 200 System Admin application. The user ID information is available in the Users list, and the company ID is found within the Company ID list.

Before running it, the Sage user will need to have logged into that Sage company, and as a minimum selected the options in the MRP screen as if they were going to run it, and then clicked the Save button. Alternatively, they could have run MRP through to completion as the options would then also be stored.


20.1. Running the Application Manually

When running the application manually, you would be prompted to select which Sage user you would like to use.

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You enter the number to the left of the relevant user. The number to the right is the user id number, which you would need if you were scheduling the application.

After selecting the user, you will be prompted to choose the relevant Sage company.

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You enter the number to the left of the relevant company. The number to the right is the company id number, which you would need if you were scheduling the application.

After this, the window will refresh and after 5 seconds, MRP will start to run. As with running MRP in Sage, you would not be able to run this if someone is within the MRP screen in Sage already.

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The application will display a message saying when it is finished, and then the window will close automatically 5 seconds later.


20.2. Scheduling the Application

The application is scheduled via the normal Windows Task Scheduler. The instructions here could differ depending upon which version of Windows you are using.

The steps to follow are: –

  • Open Task Scheduler and select Create Basic Task.
  • Give the task a name, and description if desired.

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  • Select a trigger frequency, such as Daily.
  • Choose the initial start date and time. It is recommended that this is scheduled outside of working hours.

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  • The action to select is to start a program.
  • Browse to the application within the Sage\Sicon\MRP folder.
  • You need to add the userid and companyid as arguments for the application. So to run it as userid 21 for companyid 7, then the task needs to look like the below

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  • Save the task. You can monitor it via the Task Scheduler Library list.

If you would like to check if MRP has run correctly, you can either open the Previous MRP Results screen in Sage 200 to review the Last generated date and time, or else view the same information within the Future Stock Movements screen for any stock item.


21. New Features & Important Information

Distribution New Features & Important Information

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