Material and Resource Planning Help and User Guide


Table of Contents

1. Material Planning

1.1. Options

1.2. Results

1.3. Warning Tab

1.4. Reschedule Messages Tab

1.5. Suggested Stock Transfers Tab

1.6. Traceable Expiry Enquiry Tab

1.7. Suggested Kits Tab

1.8. Suggested Works Orders Tab

1.9. Suggested Purchase Orders Tab

1.10. Suggested PO (Supplier) Tab

1.11. Suggested PO (Direct) Tab

1.12. Stock Item Settings

1.13. Over Ordering

1.14. Suggestion Dates

1.15. Suggestion Quantities

2. Previous MRP Results

3. Future Stock Movements

4. Stock Running Balance

5. Forecasts

5.1. Reducing Forecasts on Sales Order Entry

5.2. Material Planning and Forecasts

6. Make to Stock

7. Sales Over Lead Time

8. Purchase Requisitions in WAP

9. Stock Transfers

10. Capacity Planning

10.1. Rough Cut

10.2. Operation Scheduler

10.3. Team Gantt Scheduler

10.4. Team Scheduler

10.5. Works Order Scheduler

10.6. Works Order Scheduling

10.7. Employee Resource Scheduler

10.8. Machine Resource Scheduler

11. Maintenance

11.1. Scheduler Colour Maintenance

11.2. Follow Up Maintenance

11.3. Maintain Warehouse Hierarchy

12. Utilities

12.1. MRP Settings - Material Planning Tab

12.2. MRP Settings - Stock & Warehouse Tab

12.3. MRP Settings - Stock Transfer Tab

12.4. Stock Item Settings Import

13. Enable Module

14. Reports

14.1. Future Stock Valuations Detail

14.2. Future Stock Valuations Summary

14.3. Firm and Suggested Purchase Orders

14.4. Capacity Plan

15. Standalone MRP

15.1. Running the Application Manually

15.2. Scheduling the Application

16. Release Notes

17. New Features & Important Information


Product overview

Help and User Guide maintained for Material and Resource Planning version 220.0.0 and upwards


Material and Resource Planning is designed specifically for Sage 200, Sage 200 BOM and Sicon Works Orders to provide a manufacturing solution, including suggested works orders, suggested purchase orders, suggested kits (if Kitting is enabled), labour and machine capacity planning and forecast sales order import.

The outcome of running Material Planning is that suggestions are generated for both what you need to order and what you need to make. These suggestions would then need to be actioned by the relevant user to create purchase orders, kits or works orders as appropriate. 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.

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


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/works order/kit/forecast, then a suggestion is raised.

The stock movements for a particular stock item can be viewed from a number of places in the Sicon Manufacturing module.  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.


1.1. Options

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Material planning has a number of options which affect the results of the material plan run.  These options are grouped into a number of sections. When you run material planning and then return to this screen again, the previous settings will have been retained (they are stored per user).

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. The Clear button in the top right hand corner will only clear a stock code from this field, it does not reset any other settings.

Below this are options split for Suggested Kits (if Kitting is enabled), Suggested Works Orders (if Works Orders are enabled) and Suggested Purchase Orders. The tick boxes that start of each of these areas allow you to choose whether to run Material Planning for any combination of these three. So if you are running Material Planning having purchased just the Distribution module, then the only section that will be displayed will be Suggested Purchase Orders. If you do not have Run suggested purchase orders ticked, then you will not get any suggested purchase orders. You may be doing this because you are only interested in suggested works orders, for example. The Suggested Purchase Orders section also has separate settings to enable suggestions for the alternate SOP fulfillment 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 fulfillment methods.

Within the three sections, where applicable these settings are repeated allowing you to select specific settings for each section.

Use warehouse hierarchy: with this set the system will look at any stock and demand in the component warehouse in combination with the parent warehouse to come up with suggestions. The warehouse hierarchy is configured in the maintain warehouse hierarchy screen.

Component warehouses can be linked to a main warehouse and given a priority to dictate which warehouse to replenish from first. E.g. in the example below stock from the Factory and Newcastle warehouses can be used for demand coming from the Warehouse. Where stock exists in both Newcastle and the Factor, the Newcastle stock will be used.

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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/works order suggestion. Grouping will have the effect of reducing the number of works orders and 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 works orders and purchase orders to see if they can be rescheduled to fit current demand (this option does not apply to Kitting). This will only look to pull forward existing orders if the supplier/production 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 or works order.

Group subassemblies: This setting only applies to suggested works orders, and is enabling you to indicate whether you wish to group all demand for subassemblies onto single works orders per subassembly. So, if you have a common subassembly across multiple products, do you want a combined subassembly works order that will make enough of that subassembly item in order to fulfil all of the parent works orders that will need it. Alternatively, you would potentially get multiple works orders for the same subassembly, linked to their parent works orders independently of each other.

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

Stock level options: For works orders, this drop down allows you to select from ‘Ignore current stock’, ’Use minimum stock levels’, ‘Use reorder levels’, ‘Maintain zero’, ‘Maintain max based on min stock’ or ‘Maintain max based on reorder level’. If you choose ‘Ignore current stock’, then Material Planning will generate suggestions to fulfill all current demand, ignoring whatever you currently hold in stock. Otherwise, the choices form the target level which Material Planning is aiming to keep your stock at once all current demand is fulfilled. When the option to maintain max based on min stock levels or maintain max based on reorder levels are used, the system will use either the minimum or reorder 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.

If you are using the facility in the Distribution module 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…: This would ignore existing kits/works orders/purchase orders when making suggestions in these areas. So, all of the demand would be assessed against the relevant stock level option and then suggestions generated regardless of current kits/works orders/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.

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.

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1.2. Results

The Material Planning run may take a short while to complete, but the progress will be indicated on the left, assuming this has not been hidden.  You can run Material Planning while other users are in the system, but be advised that if new sales orders or purchase orders are being entered/amended while Material Planning is being run, then the resulting suggestions may change depending upon where it had got to at the time. It is also possible to minimize Material Planning while it is running if you need to be doing something else.

The Results of Material Planning are displayed on multiple tabs, depending upon which modules you have enabled and which options were selected when running it.

These tabs are: – Warnings, Reschedule Messages, Suggested Stock Transfers, Traceable Expiry Enquiry, Suggested Kits, Suggested Works Orders, Suggested Purchase Orders, Suggested PO (Supplier) and Suggested PO (Direct).


1.3. Warning 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 or works orders 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 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.

Warnings to show where items are past their use by date are also.

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1.4. 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 either works or purchase orders.

The reschedule messages can be sorted by clicking on the column headers.


1.5. Suggested Stock Transfers Tab

This will show any suggested stock transfers that are required to move stock from one warehouse to another. For example, where the purchasing warehouse is different to the demand warehouse.

In the example below, the Factory is within the warehouse hierarchy for the Warehouse. There is stock of flour in the Factory and WOP demand coming out of the Warehouse. The system has therefore made a suggested stock transfer to move the stock from the Factory to the Warehouse.

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1.6. Traceable Expiry Enquiry Tab

Shows where stock items are past their use by.

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1.7. Suggested Kits Tab

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The Suggested Kits tab displays a list of suggested kits for stock items that have a kit designed for them that have a demand (either for sales orders/forecast and based on stock level options). 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 kit item
  • Product Group – the product group that the kit item belongs in
  • Warehouse – the warehouse suggested for where the kit is built
  • Date from – the earliest date required for the kit suggestions
  • Date To – the latest date required for the kit suggestions
  • Reason – you can enter in some text here to search the Reason column, such as sales order number
  • Follow up- a follow up reason can be linked to suggested lines and then lines filtered on this reason. The list is set in the follow up maintain screen.

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

Suggested kits are generated with a reference number beginning with SKIT, so that if any purchase orders are suggested for these kit suggestions, then this reference number will appear against the purchasing suggestion to explain the demand. The Date Required column will display either the Promised Delivery Date from the sales order, or else the date of the forecast as applicable. If the suggestion is to build a kit because of falling below the selected stock level, then the Date Required will be either the current date (if the current free stock level is already below this level) or the date at which the kit needs to be made.

The reason for the suggestion is displayed in the Reason column on the right hand side.

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

<<< Shrink the column on the left to give more room to display the suggested kits
Monthly Trading Figures Open the Sage View Monthly Trading Figures screen for the Kit Item Code
Stock Item Balances Open the Sage View Stock Item Balances screen for the Kit Item Code
Stock Item Details Open the Sage Amend Stock Item Details screen for the Kit Item Code
View Details Open the Sicon Future Stock Movements screen for the Kit 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.

Once you are satisfied with the reasoning behind the suggestions, you can use the Create Kits button in the bottom right hand corner to create the kits. A prompt will appear asking if you wish to amend the kits after they have been generated. You only need to tick the ones that you wish to immediately amend, the kits will still be created for the ones that you don’t select, once you click the Create button.

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Clicking Cancel on this prompt will stop the kits from being generated at this time.

Once a kit has been created, then the suggestion will be removed from this screen.


1.8. Suggested Works Orders Tab

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The Suggested Works Orders tab displays a list of suggested works orders for stock items that are set as built items and that have a demand (either for sales orders/forecast and based on stock level options). Suggested works orders are generated with a reference number beginning with SWO, so that if any purchase orders are suggested for these works order suggestions, then this reference number will appear against the purchasing suggestion to explain the demand. If the suggested works order has also triggered a subassembly suggestion directly for it, then it will be grouped together with the original suggestion, and these suggestions can be expanded by clicking the plus symbol to the left of the item code. As with normal works orders, linked subassembly suggestions with have the same suggestion reference number as their parent works orders, with the addition of a slash followed by a number to signify which level and number this suggestion has.

If you see an item name underlined and in blue text, this means that a works order comment has been recorded against this finished stock code, via the Works Order Comment field on the Comments tab on the stock item record. You can click on the underlined item code to see the works order comment displayed in a new window that will be displayed.

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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 works order finished item
  • Product Group – the product group that the works order finished item belongs in
  • Warehouse – the warehouse suggested for where the works order is built
  • Due Date from – the earliest due date for the works order suggestions
  • Due Date to – the latest due date required for the works order suggestions
  • Reason – you can enter in some text here to search the Reason column, such as sales order number
  • Follow up- a follow up reason can be linked to suggested lines and then lines filtered on this reason. The list is set in the follow up maintain screen.

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Where lines are set to ignore for follow up in the MRP screen, the lines are greyed out.

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

The Line Quantity column can be edited if you wish to amend the quantity against a suggestion before generating the works order. You can also edit the warehouse for the finished product on this suggestion, and the start date and due date of the works order.

The Due Date column will display either the Promised Delivery Date from the sales order, or else the date of the forecast as applicable. If the suggestion is to build a works order because of falling below the selected stock level, then the Due Date will be either the current date (if the current free stock level is already below this level) or the date at which the works order needs to be made.

The unit of measure used for the suggestion is taken from the stock unit of measure, unless one has been specified within the Production Unit of Measure field on the WOP/MRP section of the Sicon tab on the stock item. If one has been specified, this will be used instead of the stock unit of measure.

The reason for the suggestion is displayed in the Reason column on the right hand side.

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

<<< Shrink the column on the left to give more room to display the suggested works orders
View Details Open the Sicon Future Stock Movements screen for the works order finished 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 works order finished Item Code
Stock Item Balances Open the Sage View Stock Item Balances screen for the works order finished Item Code
Monthly Trading Figures Open the Sage View Monthly Trading Figures screen for the works order finished Item Code
Send To Excel Due to the functionality of this tab letting you expand and collapse the subassembly structure to the works order suggestion, you can’t right click and send the list of suggested works orders to Excel in the standard Sage way. If you click this button, then a prompt will appear asking if you want the subassemblies also sending to Excel, and then it will open Excel with the list of suggestions.
Calculate If you click this button, then an extra column appears after the Line Quantity UOM column. Once it has calculated this against each suggestion, it will display a date that would be the earliest date that you could make this item with the current stock situation, based on component free stock and future movements. You can click on this date and drill into the component dates.

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The overall earliest availability is based on the longest lead time, which in the example above is the 19/05/2020.

Once you are satisfied with the reasoning behind the suggestions, you can use the Create Works Orders button in the bottom right hand corner to create the works orders. A prompt will appear asking if you wish to amend the works orders after they have been generated. You only need to tick the ones that you wish to immediately amend, the works orders will still be created for the ones that you don’t select, once you click the Create button.

There is a checkbox at the bottom of the window which you can use to accept all preallocation recommendations for the works orders now being generated. Otherwise you will be prompted for any preallocations that will be created. There is a setting in MRP settings that enables you to default this checkbox to being ticked.

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Clicking Cancel on this prompt will stop the works orders from being generated at this time.

Once a works order has been created, then the suggestion will be removed from this screen.


1.9. Suggested Purchase Orders Tab

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The Suggested Purchase Orders tab displays suggested purchase orders raised to meet demand from sales orders, forecasts, kit component lines, suggested kit component lines, live works order component lines, reserved stock (with the Sicon distribution module), suggested works order demand component lines 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 works order finished item
  • Product Group – the product group that the works order finished item belongs in
  • Warehouse – the warehouse suggested for where the works order is built
  • Purchase Ledger Analysis Code 1 – The first analysis code setup for supplier accounts, in the above screenshot it is called Discount Band
  • 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

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 either the Promised Delivery Date from the sales order, or else the date of the forecast or the due date of the works order as applicable. 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.

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 WOP/MRP section 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 Month To Date, Year To Date and Last 12 Months columns show your usage of this item in these date ranges. The reason for the suggestion is in the last column. 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.

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

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.

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.

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

<<< Shrink the column on the left to give more room to display the suggested works orders
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

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. 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.

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.

Alternatively, if you are using Sicon WAP, a Create Requisitions for WAP button is available which will post the selected suggestions into WAP as requisitions requiring authorization before they can be posted as purchase orders into Sage 200. After reviewing the confirmation window, click the Create button to proceed, or Cancel to return to the list of suggested purchase orders without posting this suggestion into WAP.

Once you have created the purchase orders or WAP requisitions, then the relevant lines will disappear from the list on the Suggested Purchase Orders tab, so you are only viewing suggestions that have not yet been actioned. The purchase requisitions sent to WAP can be seen in the Purchase Requisitions in WAP menu item.

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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.

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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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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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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 2 top lines with a quantity of 77 and 248 have been combined in one line for 323.

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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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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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1.10. 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.


1.11. 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.

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.


1.12. Stock Item Settings

There are stock item settings on the WOP and 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.

MRP Section

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Default Supplier Lead Time: This setting is relevant for purchased components, and 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 for purchase orders. 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.

WOP Section

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Default Production Lead Time: This setting is relevant for built items, and adds a number of days to the date calculation on works orders. So, if this was set to 4 days, then works order suggestions would be dated 4 working days before the date of the demand. This setting is only used if your works order has no operations on it (when creating from the BOM). If there are operations, then these will be used instead to calculate the time required.

When adding this item to a Works Order: This setting enables you to have a specific option set for this stock item that would override the default set in Works Order settings. It would only be relevant for a built item that is used as a sub-assembly. The choices are either to always create a sub-assembly, to always take from free stock if possible, or to choose via a prompt that will be displayed.

Min batch size:  This setting dictates the minimum qty that will be created for a works order suggestion. In the example below, even if the demand from say a sales order is for 6, a works order suggestion of 10 will be made.

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Max batch size: This setting dictates the maximum quantity that can be made in one batch and this quantity will be used if split by max batch size is selected.

Split by max batch size: With this setting on, MRP suggestions will be split by the quantity in the max batch size.

Do not round up: Where the demand is greater than the max size, this setting dictates whether the last works order should be rounded up to the max batch size or the last works order can be for less than the maximum (if there is a minimum qty set then the minimum qty will be used).

Add extra quantity setting activated: If this option is ticked, when works orders are suggested for this stock item then an extra quantity will be added to the component and finished item quantity. The quantity added can be changed via the All Settings button within Works Order Settings, with the value being recorded on the setting with description of AddExtraQuantityWhenBuildAmount. Note that this setting is not stock code specific, so for stock items with this setting activated, they will all add the same quantity.

Bulk Issue Item: This setting enables you indicate that this stock item should be treated as a bulk issue item. Bulk issue items appear as components on a works order, but are not allocated or issued to the works order itself, so do not feature in the costs of the finished item. They are items that no-one would actually pick (so are excluded from the picking list), such as low value items like glue or screws, but need to appear on the works orders so that Material Planning registers a demand against them.  When the works order is booked in, any bulk issue item components have their quantities on the works order set to zero.

Do not include in subcontract lists: This setting means that this stock item will not appear as an item available for selection when managing items being dispatched to subcontractors on a works order, via the Sub Contract tab.

Production unit of measure: Enables you to select the unit of measure that should be used for the finished item on suggested works orders from Material Planning for this stock item.

Default warehouse when component: Enables you to select a warehouse that should be used when this stock item is a component. Need to also ensure that the WOP warehouse setting to use the default warehouse from stock item if they exist is set.

Default warehouse when finished item: Enables you to select a warehouse that should be used as the default finished item warehouse when creating a works order manually from the create works order option in Sage.

On adding line to works order round quantity up to: When adding this item as a component on a works order, this option allows you to specify how many decimal places the value entered will be rounded to.

Round up purchasing quantity to: This setting allows you to specify the number of decimal places the value on a suggested purchase order for this stock item will be rounded to.

Label template: You can specify a label file that will be used for this stock item when printing labels.


1.13. Over Ordering

The Allow over ordering setting is available on the Options tab during the material planning process.  These options are used when generating suggested purchase orders and suggested works orders.

This setting enables you to indicate whether you want Material Planning to make a suggestion where you have existing works/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 works/purchase orders, preventing them from being suggested.

There is an option to allow over ordering for suggested works orders as well.  This is a separate option within the Options tab in Material Planning in the suggested works order section.  The theory for allowing over ordering for suggested works orders is the same as over ordering for suggested purchase orders.

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 works/purchase orders arriving too late for the demand, if the lead time of the production/supplier was short enough to arrive in time, then an extra works/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 works/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 works/purchase order could not be made/arrive in time, or a rescheduling message advising that the existing works/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 works/purchase order quantities are not used to reduce the quantity of this new suggestion, if it has been triggered.

The default selection for this option is Off.

The following examples are for suggested purchase orders.  However, the theory is the same for suggested works orders.

Example when 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.

Example when 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.

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.

NB: if the stock item is required for a works order, the item will show in the expediting report and will show in red or amber if stock may not arrive on time to fulfil the demand.

Example of too much 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 product 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.


1.14. Suggestion 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; demand dates for works order components are the start date of the works order. Demand dates for kit components are either the promised delivery date of the sales order line that the kit is linked to, or the current date if the kit is not linked to a sales order line.

Dates will be further influenced by production lead time in the case of suggested works orders, or supplier lead time in the case of suggested purchase orders.


1.15. Suggestion Quantities

Settings that Affect the Quantity of a Suggested Works Order

Stock level on the warehouse: If suggested works orders are generated for meeting minimum stock requirements, then raised suggested works orders will bring the stock level of the BOM stock item back up to the minimum stock level. Alternatively, you may be running Material Planning working from the Reorder level instead, or maintaining a stock level of zero, or maintaining max based on reorder/minimum levels.

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

Min batch size: If the demand is less than the min batch level, then the suggested works order will be for the amount set in this field.

Split by Max batch size: If the demand is more than the maximum batch size then the system will create multiple works orders based on the maximum level. When the additional setting to do not round up is set, and the demand is greater than the maximum batch size, then the last works order will not be rounded up to the max batch size.

On adding lines to works order round quantity up to: This affects the component demand from a suggested works order.   Component demand lines from suggested works orders could be rounded up if the Round quantity up to settings is set on the relevant stock item.

Add extra quantity setting: This affects the component demand from a suggested works order.  The quantity of component demand lines from suggested works orders could be increased if the Add extra quantity setting is set on the stock item.  The amount of increase depends on the AddExtraQuantityWhenBuildAmount setting in Works Order Processing Settings.

Settings that Affect the Quantity of a Suggested Purchase Order

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.

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

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 works/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.


2. 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.


3. 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 works orders, some 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 works order/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.

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On the screen shot above for the pm/sink/pack item there a is pre-allocation of 4 between the parent works order WO00000016 and the sub assembly WO00000016/1. The qty less pre-allocations shows as -2 for these lines as only 4 out of the 6 items on the parent works order are pre-allocated to the child works order.

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 production lead time for built items is based on the operation times set against the BOM and the number of working hours set in WOP settings and impact on the Earliest date suggested works order can be completed. 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 either the default delivery buffer set in Material Planning Settings or the Customer delivery buffer on the MRP tab of the customer details (if populated) 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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The 5 working days will be added to the works order due date so for a sales order with a promised for date of 31/10/2020. The system will aim to have this made by the 23/10/2020

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If there is a MRP customer delivery buffer this will be used instead of the global buffer.

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MRP now uses 7 working days for the WOP due date

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Where the stock item is a bought item, then the delivery buffer will be added to the PO date requested generated by the system.

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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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4. 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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5. Forecasts

Forecasts can be entered into the system to reflect expected sales orders and create demand for them.

If you have already planned your own production plan outside of Sage, then you could import that production plan as a forecast, and this would then create purchase order suggestions based on the suggested works orders to match your production plan. You wouldn’t have to create these works orders suggestions at this time if you didn’t want to, but if you have a long lead time against some of your components, then this process would help you ensure that you are placing your purchase orders early enough to match your production plan.

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AddEdit 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.


5.1. Reducing Forecasts on Sales Order Entry

When using forecasts, care needs to be taken that demand isn’t double counted when you enter actual sales orders.

For example – consider you have forecast sales of 100 of item A for in June. If you run MRP at this point, it will see a demand of 100 item A (and make recommendations to make/buy as required). If you then receive the expected order of 100, you would enter this as a sales order. If you ran MRP at this point – without any further action – then MRP would see a demand of 200 (100 forecast + 100 sales order), and therefore MRP suggestions would be incorrectly inflated by this double counting of demand.

When using forecasts therefore, at the point of putting on actual sales orders, it is necessary to delete (or reduce) any corresponding forecasts before next running MRP. This can either be done manually – or by enabling one of the MRP settings.

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If you have enabled the setting to Allow forecasts to be reduced on sales order entry MRP setting, then when users enter sales orders for an item with a forecast for either a) that customer account; or b) a general forecast with no customer specified; then user will be prompted if they wish to reduce the forecast by the order quantity.

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All forecasts will be listed – with a check box at the bottom of the screen to filter to show only the forecasts in the same month as the sales order promised date.


5.2. Material Planning and Forecasts

Material Planning uses the forecasts when checking to create suggested works orders, suggested kits and suggested purchase orders.

Forecasts will be used in this process and where a forecast is a BOM item, a suggested works order may be generated, or a kit for a stock item with a kit designed for it.  Where a forecast is for a normal stock item, a suggested purchase order may be generated depending on stock levels.


6. 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 Planning tab.

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

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7. 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 Qty column 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.

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8. Purchase Requisitions in WAP

This screen displays details of outstanding purchase requisitions in Sicon WAP that have been generated from suggestions in Material Planning. You can use the filters at the top of the screen to choose the details that you are looking for, and then click the Search button to display the results in the top Purchase Orders box. Once this box has been populated with the results, clicking on a row in this box will display the lines on that requisition in the Purchase Order Lines box at the bottom.

As the requisitions are created in WAP, a WAP requisition number will be generated and the status can be seen. Once the requisition is approved and the purchase order created, the requisition will drop out of the list.


9. Stock Transfers

When using the warehouse hierarchy – and therefore MRP knows which warehouses can be used to replenish others – MRP will make stock transfer recommendations where one warehouse is demand in excess of free stock; and one of its replenishment warehouses has free stock in excess of demand.

I.e. Warehouse A is set in the warehouse hierarchy as a replenishment warehouse of warehouse B.

Warehouse A has current free stock of 100, and demand of 20 – therefore ‘excess stock’ of 80.

Warehouse B has current free stock of 20, but demand of 60 – therefore ‘excess demand’ of 40.

In this case, MRP would create a Suggested Stock Transfer – to transfer 40 of the item from Warehouse B to Warehouse A.

Suggested stock transfers appear as a separate tab in MRP results:

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Any suggested transfers actioned from here – i.e. those for which you select & press “Create Stock Transfer” – will appear in the Stock Transfers window for processing. Note however that manual stock transfers can also be created by pressing the “New Transfer” button.

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To edit a transfer prior to processing, select on the list of transfers & press “Edit Transfer”. From here you can amend:

  • The To & From locations
  • The despatch date (which will be the date that the stock will be despatched from the From location)
  • Courier & Delivery codes (if these fields are enabled – refer to section 12.3 Stock Transfer Settings)
  • Quantity being transferred

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When ready to process the transfer, save out of the edit screen & return to the Base Transfer list. The workflow for processing stock transfers is as follows (all of which can be actioned by ticking the transfer on the list, then pressing the corresponding buttons beneath):

  • Allocate the stock
  • Print the picking list
  • Despatch the stock (which will remove stock from the despatching warehouse and move into an “In Transit” location.
  • Receive the stock into the receiving warehouse.

10. Capacity Planning

The Capacity Plan section is designed to assist with managing works orders in particular works order operations. It provides a rough graphical representation of scheduled works order operations in comparison with availabilities of those resources, and can show when resources are overloaded. Operations can also be rescheduled by dragging them in a diary style view.

Each of the schedulers described further below (i.e. Operation Scheduler, Team Gantt Scheduler, etc.) use a common diary view to control the appearance of the screens. At the top of these screens are the following icons:

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The green arrows are used to step the dates forward or backward by the time selected as the displayed range. To the right of these are a go to today button, and then zoom in and zoom out buttons (which affect the rows displayed for time intervals when viewing single days or working weeks). The print button generates a printout of the current view.

Four views can be selected using the next icons, either Day View, Work Week View, Week View and Month View. Week and Month views do not display the time against the rows. The options to the right of these are Timeline View, which plots appointments in relation to time, and Gannt view, which is an alternative view with more days on it.

For the day and work week views, you can change the time scale between 60, 30, 15, 10, 6 and 5 minutes using the icon to the left of the wording of Time Scale Captions.

Auto Refresh can be enabled in these screens, and you can set the refresh interval in seconds.

A common feature about these screens is that when you are moving between dates in the main diary window, vertical bars displayed on the left and right of the displayed days will highlight in bold if either previous or next entries have been detected in the current view. This helps you to find the entries by scrolling to the left or right as appropriate.


10.1. Rough Cut

The rough cut screen lets you see how the available labour and machine resources capacity compare to the demand that has been scheduled for them. The screen has an overview graph at the top, which is then followed by separate graphs for each team/machine group. Each of these separate graphs has its own refresh button, and clicking these will populate the relevant graph. A refresh all button at the bottom of the screen will populate all of them.

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The date ranges displayed in the graphs can be adjusted using a start date and number of weeks to display from. These options are located above the Overview graph. The results can be moved a week forward or back by using the ‘<<‘ or ‘>>‘ buttons and the clicking on refresh.

Labour demand and availability are shown in green and yellow.  Machine demand and availability are shown in blue and orange. If demand exceeds availability on any day, then this counts as an overload.

Clicking on the bar graph shows the quantities.

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Double clicking on either the daily labour demand bar or machine demand, shows where the demand is coming from. An edit works order button is available at the bottom of the screen to access the works order.

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Availability is calculated using the work pattern defined on the relevant team/machine multiplied by the number of people/machines in that team. Specific employees can be linked to the team or an employee count can be added to the team.

In the example below, there are 3 employees in the labourgroup team, with a work pattern of 7.5 hours per day. This equates to an overall availability in the labourgroup team of 22.5 hours per working day.

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If any absences or holidays have been recorded against the employee in a timesheet, then these entries will be deducted from their availability on the relevant day.

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The labour available for the labourgroup team on the 4th and 5th of January are 7.5 hours lower.

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10.2. Operation Scheduler

This screen will display the remaining time on operations on works orders that have been selected from the box on the left-hand side (or clicked select all beneath it). There can be a slight delay while this diary is populated, so you may need to use the scroll bar to move around a little to see the operations as they populate the screen. Completed operations will not appear on this screen, so this can be used to monitor what is outstanding.

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The colour that the operations appear with can be defined in the Scheduler Colour Maintenance screen, depending upon the phase that the operation has been defined against. Alternatively, if colours have been applied to operations via the use of Manufacturing Attributes on the Additional Information tab of a works order, then they will be displayed in that colour instead.

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Operations can be rescheduled in this screen by dragging them around on the relevant days.

If you double click on an operation entry, then the Maintain Operation window will appear if you wish to amend anything on that operation. This window will also display the relevant works order number at the top if you need to know which works order this operation relates to.

Currently there is no link between the works order dates, and the dates of the operations on those works orders, so moving operations around will not update the works orders dates and vice versa. Note that if works order operations were originally combined on the same operation on the BOM as they have multiple resources against them, then they remain linked here. This means that if you move one of them on this screen, then the other linked operations will also move with them.

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10.3. Team Gantt Scheduler

This shows the availability of teams/machine groups on an hourly basis. You can select the group(s) that you wish to view using the teams/machines groups list on the left hand side and change the dates displayed using the calendar view above the teams. Operations are displayed in this screen and double clicking on them will display the maintain operation window for that operation. At the bottom of each hourly column is a bar displaying the usage in each hour compared to the hour’s capacity.

So, in the screenshot below, the labourgroup team has 3 members. From their work pattern they start at 09.00 and finish at 16.30. So the capacity of the team is 3 man hour per hour of the day starting at 09.00, and zero man hours outside of those times. This is then compared to the time required for the scheduled operations, and where they fit within this capacity this information is displayed in green. Where it is red indicates that there is an overload at this time (as can be seen from 09.00 to 11.15).

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Operations can be dragged and dropped on this screen to reschedule them.

How Operations are originally scheduled to Teams

By default, works order operations has a “manning level” of 1 – though it is possible to amend this.

On creation, labour operations are automatically assigned to teams, but not to individual employees. Team constraint is not considered when labour operations area created – they will simply be scheduled against the team based on the start date of the works order.

For example, the Welding team below has 3 employees, all working the default working pattern of 7.5 hours, Mon-Fri.

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4 works orders are added, all requiring 20 hours of the welding operation. The welding is operation is set up to use the Welding team (Labour Resource Group).

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All 4 works orders (and therefore all 4 welding operations) have been scheduled to start at 9am on 6/6 – even though you don’t have capacity to do so (only have 22.5 hours of available welding time on 6/6, but 30 hours have been scheduled):

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How Manning Levels impact the team schedule

By default, works order operations has a “manning level” of 1 – though it is possible to amend this.

Manning level refers to the number of people on a team assigned to an operation. Thus an operation with a manning level of 1 means only 1 team member will work on that operation. Increasing manning level to 2 means 2 people from the team will work on it simultaneously – which will have the effect of halving the overall length of time required to complete the operation.

For example, the Welding team has 3 employees, each working the standard default working pattern of 7.5 hours Mon-Fri. A works order to start on 6th June with a 20 hour welding operation with a manning level of 1 is added:

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This is calculated as having an overall time of 20 hours – and is scheduled against a single team member (of the 3 total welding hours available, only 1 is utilised):

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Double clicking this operation to open it, then amending the manning level 2 will result in:

  • 2 of the 3 available welding hours are now scheduled each hour
  • The expected completion date of the operation is halved (now expected to take 10 hours to complete, rather than 20).

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10.4. Team Scheduler

With this screen you can view the operations that are scheduled against each team/machine group. Using the box beneath the calendar box, you can select which groups you wish to view.

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If you select multiple groups, then each group will have its own row, which will be shaded with a different colour. Operations can be rescheduled in this screen by dragging them around on the relevant days. You may wish to use the view options above the diary to change the display if you need to work with the times that the operations are scheduled for. The number of hours that are available and used up by the operations are show in this screen in green. Operations can also be dragged into other teams.

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This updates the team on the operation.

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If you double click on an operation entry, then the Maintain Operation window will appear if you wish to amend anything on that operation, for instance assigning the operation to new team.  This window will also display the relevant works order number at the top if you need to know which works order this operation relates to.

Currently there is no link between the works order dates, and the dates of the operations on those works orders, so moving operations around will not update the works orders dates.


10.5. Works Order Scheduler

This screen displays works orders, using the start dates of the works orders and the due dates. Works Orders can be rescheduled in this screen by dragging and dropping them. Doing this will also update any operations on those works orders to reflect the new start and finish times.

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The colour of the works order will be dependent on its status: –

New = Green

Part Allocated = Red

Allocated = Orange

Part Issued = Purple

Issued = Blue

Completed = Yellow


10.6. Works Order Scheduling

Department Work Schedule

The department work schedule tab displays works orders based on due dates. The screen is split into three sections, namely overdue, due this week and due next week onwards.

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The works orders can be filtered by project manager or works order area using the filters in the top right of the screen.

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Against each works order displayed you can edit information in the following columns: –

Hours to Complete – You can enter an estimate of how much time is left to do on this works order

Project Manager – You can choose from your employee list to designate who is supervising the works order.

Comments – You can update the Works Order Comments field

A save button is available at the bottom of the screen to save any changes made.

The print button will generate a list report of all current works orders showing their due dates, hours remaining and project manager.

Overdue

This tab gives you a list of all current works orders that are passed their due date.

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The totals give an indication of the required operation time remaining on all overdue orders, the totals are calculated when clicking into the screen.

The edit works order button at the bottom takes you straight to the Amend Works Order screen for the selected works order.

Overloaded

When you click on this tab, a scan is performed of all current demand on resources to see if there are any days where any resources are overloaded. You could then review this date on the Rough Cut tab for the relevant team to see the demand causing the overload, and potentially reschedule it.

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10.7. Employee Resource Scheduler

On creation, labour operations are automatically assigned to teams, but not to individual employees. You can then use the Employee Resource Scheduler to schedule works order labour operations against individual employees.

The scheduler will display:

  • List of all employees on the left hand side. Selecting one or more employees will add them as a row on the scheduler.
  • List of all unassigned works order operations at the bottom of the screen (i.e. all those not yet assigned to an employee). Unassigned operations will have a colour band against them – red for operations which are late (expected end date is later than due date), and green for those still considered to be on time.

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Scheduling can take place by either dragging & dropping an operation onto the scheduler; or alternatively by exiting the Scheduler, opening the Works Order, pressing “Edit” on the operation you want to schedule against an employee, and selecting the relevant employee in the “Assigned To” field.

Additionally you can move already scheduled operations – i.e. drag an operation from one employee to another.

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There are two things to note about assigning labour operations to employees:

  1. There has to be a one to one relationship between operation & employee – i.e. it is not possible to assign multiple employees to a single operation. If this is required, then the best work arounds would be either:
    • Create multiple operations on the Works Order. If one 30 hour task was going to be split across 3 employees, instead create three 10 hour operations – which you could then assign to 3 different employees.
    • Rather than scheduling to individual employees, instead rely on the team scheduler & use the manning level on the operation. In the above example, the 30 hour operation with a manning level of 3 – will show on the team scheduler as consuming 3 team members for 10 hours total. Refer to section 10.3 for more discussion around using Manning Levels.
  2. If the operation was created as using a Labour Resource Group (i.e. a Team), then you will only be able to schedule that operation against employees in that team.

See below example of two different operations – Inspection, which has a Resource Type of “Labour Resource”, and Welding, which has a Resource Type of “Labour Resource Group” (for which there is a link to Sicon Teams).

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When scheduling the Inspection operation (which doesn’t use a Labour Resource Group / Team) – you are able to schedule against any employee (after clicking on the operation in the bottom grid, all employees schedules can still be selected):

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However when selecting the Welding Operation (which uses the Welding Labour Resource Group / Team) – any employee not in the Welding Team is greyed out / not selectable:

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Explaining the relationship between Teams, Employees & Resources

There should be a one to one relationship between a Sicon Team, and a Sage Labour Resource Group – when creating a Sicon Team you will be prompted whether to create a matching Labour Resource Group, and should always accept this prompt.

For scheduling purposes, you don’t need to do anything further with the Labour Resource Group. However, if you want to enter actual labour time against operations then it is necessary to set the nominal codes to post to in the Labour Resource Group (rather than the Team).

Sage Labour Resources & Sicon Employees are not to be confused however – there is no relationship between the two. Sage Labour Resources are essentially not used by Sicon Manufacturing. They will work – any previously created Operations using Labour Resources (rather than Labour Resource Groups) can still be added to Works Orders, can still have actual time entered against them, and can still be scheduled in certain capacity planners. However, they will not be considered to use a team – therefore won’t be available to be scheduled in any of the Team planners.

Employees exist only in the Sicon modules, and are a level below Teams (i.e. each employee will below to a team).


10.8. Machine Resource Scheduler

Creation of Machine Operations

The relationship with With labour operations, best practice is to create the operation as using the Labour Resource Group – which will result in that operation being automatically scheduled to a team, and then let you use the Employee Resource Scheduler to assign out to individual employees.

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With machine operations though, best practice is different. Instead of assigning to the Machine Resource Group, you should instead create the operation with Resource Type of Machine Resource.

Note you should do this even if this operation might not be done on that specific machine (i.e. if the operation could be done on any machine in that group).

The reason for this is a feature called “Multi-Select”, which is available for Machine Resources (only – will not be available for operations created with Resource Type of Machine Resource Group).

Consider an example where you have 3 machines in a group, all able to perform the same tasks. You would have a Machine Group (“Lathes” in this example), and 3 machines (Lathe 1, Lathe 2 & Lathe 3).

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Consider an example where you have 3 machines in a group, all able to perform the same tasks. You would have a Machine Group (“Lathes” in this example), and 3 machines (Lathe 1, Lathe 2 & Lathe 3).

You would create an operation using one of these Machines – i.e. Resource Type of Machine Resource (not Machine Resource Group), and select one of the 3 machines (which one is irrelevant at this point).

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When adding this operation to a BOM, you are then able to add a priority sequence to which machines the planner should try & schedule this operation to. You do this by editing the operation on the BOM, and clicking on the “Multi Select” field.

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This will open the Resource Multi Select window, where you are able to select the specific machines on which this operation could be performed, and the priority against which scheduling should be attempted (priorities run from 1 being the highest priority / first machine against which scheduling will be attempted, then working upwards to 99).

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In this example, we have selected the 3 Lathe machines, and given Lathe 3 the highest priority (followed by Lathe 2).

When the first works order is created for this BOM, it will automatically be scheduled for Lathe 3. Start date of the operation is automatically set to be 6/6 (which is the first working day for which Lathe 3 is available).

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And on the Machine Resource Scheduler, the operation will automatically have been scheduled to Lathe 3 (the highest priority machine).

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Now adding a 2nd works order with the same start date for the same BOM – this time it will be automatically scheduled for Lathe 2 (since the first priority machine is unavailable, it has moved to the next priority machine):

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This will repeat – with machine operations automatically scheduled to the highest priority machine that still has capacity.

Note at this stage the automatic scheduling is not clever enough to circle back to the highest priority machine (at a later date – when it has capacity again) when all selected machines are at full capacity. Similar to the Team Scheduler, you will instead end up with over-scheduled work, and will need to manually use the scheduler to correct.

The automatic scheduling to machines will also take account of machine availability due to scheduled machine downtime. I.e. if a machine is scheduled to be down for a period due to a maintenance activity, then the automatic scheduler will bypass that machine & move to the next highest priority.

Using the Scheduler

The scheduler will display:

  • List of all machines on the left hand side. Selecting one or more machines will add them as a row on the scheduler.
  • List of all unassigned works order machine operations at the bottom of the screen (i.e. all those not yet assigned to an machine). Unassigned operations will have a colour band against them – red for operations which are late (expected end date is later than due date), and green for those still considered to be on time.

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Scheduling can take place by either dragging & dropping an operation onto the scheduler; or alternatively by exiting the Scheduler, opening the Works Order, pressing “Edit” on the operation you want to schedule against machine, and selecting the relevant employee in the “Assigned To” field.

Additionally you can move already scheduled operations – i.e. drag an operation from one machine to another.

Explaining the relationship between Machines & Machine Groups

The relationship with machines is much simpler than with labour / teams / employees.

Although they are held in different tables in the database, there is a one to one relationship between Sicon Machine Groups to Sage Machine Resource Groups, and from Sicon Machines to Sage Machine Resources.

The two should mirror – creating a Sicon Machine Group or Machine will result in a Sage Machine Resource Group or Machine Resource with the same name being created.

Note that only the Sicon records are required for capacity planning purposes, but if planning on entering actual machine time against works orders then it is necessary to set the nominal codes to post to and the cost rate of the machine in the Sage machine resource record.


11. Maintenance


11.1. Scheduler Colour Maintenance

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This screen enables you to define colours to show against the different teams when viewing their operations in the Team Gantt Scheduler of the Capacity Planning screen based on the phase assigned to the resource against the operation, i.e. Setup, Runtime or teardown.

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These phases are set against the resource on the operation in Sage Manufacturing System Manager, on the resources tab of the operation, which are then pulled into the BOM.


11.2. 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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11.3. Maintain Warehouse Hierarchy

Allows component warehouses to be linked to warehouse to dictate what warehouse can used to replenish other warehouses. Each warehouse should as a minimum have itself as a component warehouse.  Where there are multiple warehouse that can replenish a demand warehouse, a priority can be set to dictate which warehouse should be used first. A warehouse can also be flagged as a default purchasing/production warehouse that will impact on MRP suggestions.

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12. Utilities


12.1. MRP Settings - 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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This screenshot is for Advanced Works Order Settings, but these options also appear in the Purchase Order section and Kitting (if enabled).

The Create suggestions for date 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, quotes and orders that are on hold – 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.

These settings are replicated for works orders, purchase orders and kitting (if applicable), and could be set to different values in these three areas if desired.

Run Works Order process before Kitting process: If you have Kitting enabled, then ordinarily Material Planning would process Works Order suggestions after Kitting suggestions. Selecting this option would reverse the order in which this happens. The order that you need this to happen is dependent upon whether you have components on a kit that are manufactured items that would be built on a works order, or whether you have components on works orders that would be built as kits. Material Planning will create the demand for these components in the order dictated by this setting (so by default it will run Kit Suggestions first, unless this setting is enabled). If you had works orders that did have kits as components, then you would enable this setting in order for the works orders to be suggested first, which would then create the demand for the kits. If you didn’t enable this setting, then the kits would not be suggested on the Material Planning run as it will finish kits before starting works orders, so won’t know about the demand from the works order while processing kits. You would need to run Material Planning twice to action this without this setting, the first run would be where you then create the suggested works order, and then the subsequent run would suggest that you need to make the kit.

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 works orders, or to a 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: If a suggested works order was created, then the finished item on it could be preallocated to one or more works orders if the item being booked in was a component needed elsewhere. Without this option enabled, any subassembly works orders will be generated as independent works orders that are not directly linked to any parent works orders requiring that subassembly.

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 Works Orders/Create Purchase Orders window:

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If you proceed with creating the suggested purchase orders / works orders without checking this box, then you will be prompted to confirm any & all pre-allocations on the orders being created (which – if creating multiple orders – can significantly slow the process down):

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Enabling this setting defaults the “Accept preallocation recommendations” checkbox to always be ticked.

Always use standard works order numbering: With this setting enabled, then any works orders generated from MRP will use the works order document number format specified in Works Order Processing settings for any generated works orders. Without this setting enabled, then works orders generated from MRP will be created with a mix of some with standard order numbers (those generated for minimum quantity or forecast demands), and some being given sales order numbers (those generated for sales order demand).

Use requested date of the sales orders in material planning: When demand for a built item comes from a sales order, then by default the Works Order created by MRP will be given a Due Date equal to the Promised Date of the sales order line. Enabling this setting will change this such that the Requested Date of the sales order line is used 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. It should reflect the number of days it takes you to ship an item to the end customer. MRP will then set this as the date the item is required for – so suggested purchase order or works order created to fulfil the demand will be created with a due date equal to promised delivery date of SO, less the delivery buffer days. Note the value here is simply a default value – it will be overridden if a delivery buffer has been entered on the customer’s sales ledger account (MRP tab):

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Purchase order buffer: Like the delivery buffer, the purchase buffer will be deducted from the demand date in order to calculate the due date for the purchase/works order created by MRP. It should reflect the number of days buffer you want to allow for late deliveries from your suppliers. For purchased items (note – purchased items only. This setting has no effect on suggested works orders), MRP will calculate the “date requested” of suggested purchase orders as:

  • The demand date (i.e. sales order promised date, if demand was from a sales order)
  • Less delivery buffer
  • Less purchase order buffer
  • = Date requested of suggested purchase order

The value entered here is simply a default value – it will be overridden if a purchase order buffer has been entered for that stock record (Sicon > MRP tab):

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Note that in the above two settings, we have referenced the demand date of sales orders being the “promised delivery date”. This is the default – but would be amended to “requested delivery date” if the “Use requested date of the sales orders in material planning setting” above is enabled.

Use multiple delivery dates on purchase order lines: Standard Sage 200 lets you enter multiple requested delivery dates against a single purchase order line.

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Although Sage lets you enter multiple requested delivery dates, the MRP module is not able to use these multiple dates when calculating when the PO is expected to be received. Instead – even though you have broken down into multiple delivery dates – MRP will treat the full PO as due to arrive on the first of the requested dates (i.e. – in the above screenshot, all 5 would be treated as due to arrive on 28/5).

As such – to avoid confusion – by default the “multiple requested dates” button on the PO line is disabled when you install Sicon MRP. Ticking this setting will re-enable this button on the PO line. To be used with care therefore – as could cause confusion if not very clear that MRP will always only use the first requested delivery date on a PO line.

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: This is a specific setting to manage what finished item warehouse should be used with the combination of settings as specified in the description of the setting. It is a method to ensure that where you need to make items due to demand and availability in multiple warehouses being combined, you can ensure that they are all being made in the default finished item warehouse.

Only enabled WAP requisitions button: If using Sicon WAP to authorise purchase requisitions before they can become purchase orders, then enabling this option will remove the Create Purchase Orders button from the Suggested Purchase Orders tab within Material Planning. This will then only leave the Create Requisitions for WAP button, ensuring that no-one can inadvertently click the wrong button and bypass WAP for the actioned suggestion.

Show ‘Create Requisition for WAP’ buttons within MRP: If using Sicon WAP to authorise purchase requisitions before they can become purchase orders – but do not want requisitions to be used for MRP suggestions – then this setting allows you to remove the Create Purchase Requisitions button from the Suggested Purchase Orders tab within Material Planning. This will then only leave the Create Purchase Orders button – i.e. enforcing that MRP recommendations do not go down the requisition process.

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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: In Material Planning > Forecasts, you are able to enter forecast sales volumes for customers – which will then be considered to be demand by MRP (so MRP will suggest you buy / build sufficient items to meet the forecast).

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The purpose of this setting is to ensure that these forecasts are not then double counted by MRP when you come to enter sales orders for that customer. I.e. if you had a forecast of 100 of item A for customer 1 in June; and then later came to pass exactly as forecast – you receive the order for 100 in June, and enter it as a Sales Order. If you ran MRP at that point it would consider demand for item A to be 200 – 100 forecast, and 100 sales order. This setting therefore lets you reduce forecasts by the quantity of actual sales orders entered – thus avoiding this double counting.

With this option enabled, when users enter sales orders for an item with a forecast for either a) that customer account; or b) a general forecast with no customer specified; then user will be prompted if they wish to reduce the forecast by the order quantity.

All forecasts will be listed – with a check box at the bottom of the screen to filter to show only the forecasts in the same month as the sales order promised date.

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

Sales Over Lead Time is a feature designed to ensure you are able to maintain minimum stock levels of high lead time items. If supplier lead time to replenish an item is longer the intervals of you selling the item, then standard MRP recommendations will never be able to maintain the desired minimum stock level. This concept is explained in detail at section 7 of the user guide.

Once enabled, this feature creates a new demand type that MRP will consider – Sales Over Lead Time items. It will look over the lead time of an item, and add all expected sales of that item into a single demand. I.e. if lead time of item A is 100 days, and expected sales over 100 days are to be a quantity of 500, then the “sales over lead time” would be 500 – and this would be added to MRP as demand today.

Sales Over Lead Time records will be dynamically created based on sales history – i.e. “future expected sales” will be determined based on actual past sales history. Additionally, you can manually add sales over lead time demand for new items for which there is no sales history.

Refer to section 7 for further details.

Enable Sicon supply details for usual and minimum order quantities: On a stock record > supplier tab, you are able to set the supplier(s) that you buy a component item from, and for each supplier are able to set supplier stock code, lead time, usual & minimum order quantity, and price.

There is validation on the usual & minimum stock quantity fields to prevent you from entering a usual order quantity that is lower than the minimum order quantity.

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With this setting enabled, two new, replacement fields for minimum & usual order quantity will appear – which have no such validation (i.e. will allow you to enter a usual order quantity less than the minimum order quantity). If this setting is enabled, then only the new Sicon fields will be used by MRP – the standard Sage fields will still appear on screen but will not be used.

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MPS months to schedule: At Material Planning > Make to Stock, you are able to generate demand by creating make to stock records. This lets you create a simple regular demand schedule – defining how many of an item you want to build/buy for stock on a regular interval (daily, weekly or monthly).

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This demand schedule has no end date – it runs to infinity (until amended / deleted). As such, it’s necessary to limit this demand for the purposes of running MRP. This setting enables you to indicate how many future months of Make to Stock demand should be included when running MRP.

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 header of a sales order with items to be fulfilled supplier via stock or direct delivery, will be copied onto the header of the purchase order 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.

Item description on direct delivery / supplier via stock PO:

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Item description on the PO generated by MRP to fulfil this demand:

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Use detailed works order duration calculation (will increase the amount of time MRP takes to run): In Works Order processing, it is possible to set the total time to manufacture an item to be calculated one of two ways:

1) The default method – total manufacturing time calculated as the sum of the length of all operations on the works order (which will be populated from the BOM).

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2) Production lead time – which is a number of days defined on the stock item record.

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By default, it is the second of these methods – the Production lead time – that MRP will use when calculating the required start date of suggested works orders (MRP will determine the demand date, and work back the production lead time dates to come to the suggested start date).

Enabling this setting will change this – so that MRP will instead drill into the BOM & use the BOM operation lengths to determine the suggested works order start date.

Note that this is more ‘query intensive’ for MRP, therefore enabling this setting will typically increase the length of time that MRP takes to run for suggested works orders.

Show control to select other users MRP options: When running MRP, there are a number of settings that can be configured for the MRP run – such as selecting what suggestions you want MRP to make (kits / works orders / purchase orders); how suggestions should be grouped; and whether to filter on specific stock items or dates.

How these settings are configured will be saved per user – and will be pre-set the next time that user runs MRP (i.e. will be pre-set with the same settings as that user used on their last MRP run).

Enabling this setting lets you select a different users’ settings. I.e. When user A loads MRP, the settings screen will be configured as they were when user A last ran MRP. They will now however have a User selection box, where they can select another user & the settings of that user will be loaded.

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12.2. MRP Settings - Stock & Warehouse Tab

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Default component warehouse and Default finished item warehouse can be used to select the defaults that will be applied to works orders generated by Material Planning. These would be overridden if any default warehouses were set on the stock item (in the WOP area of the Sicon tab on the stock record).

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


12.3. MRP Settings - Stock Transfer Tab

These settings control how the Stock Transfers option works – at Sicon Material & Resource Planning > Material Planning > Stock Transfers. It is designed as an enhanced stock transfer feature, allowing stock transfers to be separately despatched & received, rather than being a simple one step process like the Sage transfer stock feature.

Material planning can suggest stock transfers (moving stock from one warehouse to another) rather than suggesting purchase orders in instances where you use the warehouse hierarchy & have demand in one warehouse, but stock in another warehouse in the hierarchy

Sicon Material & Resource Planning HUG - Section 12.3 Image 1

  • Last transfer number
    • Each stock transfer created is given a sequential transfer number.
    • This setting determines the last (and therefore the next) transfer number.
    • Pressing Unlock will allow you to manually change this number.
  • Default origin warehouse
    • For any stock transfer you have to select which warehouse you are transferring from; and which warehouse you are transferring to. The “from” warehouse will default to that set here.
  • Enable courier selection
    • Enabling this setting will add a “Courier” field to the stock transfer form.
    • User will be able to select from the couriers created in the “Maintain Couriers” button.
  • Enable delivery code selection
    • Enabling this setting will add a “Delivery Code” field to the stock transfer form.
    • User will be able to select from the couriers created in the “Maintain Delivery Codes” button.

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  • Stock transfer transit warehouse
    • The whole purpose of the Sicon Stock Transfer routine is to replace the simple one step stock transfer routine in the Stock Control module with a two step process (despatch, then later receive) that more closely mirrors real life stock transfers.
    • After creating a stock transfer, you are able to first despatch it from the “From Warehouse”; and then later receive it into the “To Warehouse”.
    • The stock transit warehouse defined here is the middle step – stock will be transferred from the From warehouse to the Transit warehouse; and then from the Transit warehouse to the To warehouse.
    • The Transit warehouse therefore should be a stock location created (in Stock Control Settings) purely to track transfers that are in transit.
  • Stock transfer internal area
    • Similar to the concept of the transit warehouse described above, but for allocations.
    • The full process for Sicon stock transfers is actually:
      • Select the items to be transferred
      • Allocate those items
      • Print a picking list
      • Despatch the items from the From location
      • Receive the items at the To location
    • At the allocation stage, an “internal allocation” is performed – and the internal area set here is the internal area used for the allocation
  • Enable bin selection
    • With this setting enabled, as well as selecting the From & To warehouses, you are also able to select the bin locations at each that the stock should be transferred from / to.

Without bin selection enabled

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With bin selection enabled

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  • Set default “To Bin” to the highest priority bin
    • If enabled, then the “To” bin will default to the bin with the highest priority (i.e. 2 being the highest, 9 the lowest), as set in the stock record, locations tab.

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  • Internal area to use when auto issue items on receipt
    • On the stock record, Sicon > Stock Transfers tab, it is possible to set an item as “auto issue when received”

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    • With this setting on the stock record enabled, immediately on receipt of a stock transfer, the item will immediately be issued again to an internal area. I.e. workflow of transfer will be:
      • Transfer from Warehouse 1
      • Receive into Warehouse 2
      • Issue to internal area (which essentially removes the item from free stock)
  • The “Internal Area to use” setting defines which Internal Area that the stock items are issued to.

 

  • Ready to pick
    • The stock transfers screen has a column indicating whether a transfer is ready to pick.

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    • This can be set to Yes either:
      • Automatically when the picking list is printed
      • Automatically when stock is fully allocated
      • Manually – using this flag on the stock transfer form:

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12.4. 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 WOP & MRP areas of the Sicon tab on the Stock Item record: –

  • Default Supplier Lead Time
  • Minimum Batch Size
  • Maximum Batch Size
  • Split by Max Batch
  • Do not round up
  • Sicon Usual Order Quantity
  • Sicon Minimum Order Quantity
  • Default Production Lead Time
  • Create Sub Assembly when adding to Works Order
  • Production Unit of Measure
  • Purchasing Unit of Measure
  • Group Suggested Purchase Orders
  • Bulk Issue Item
  • Do Not Include in Subcontract Lists
  • Add Extra Quantity Setting Activated
  • Ignore free stock quantity in Material Planning
  • Ignore existing purchase orders
  • Do not include in Material and Resource Planning
  • Default Component Warehouse
  • Default Finished Item Warehouse
  • Round to when adding line to Works Order
  • Round up Purchase Quantity to
  • Default Purchasing Warehouse

Plus some fields import via this routine are found within the Supplier details on the Stock Item record: –

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

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 WOP & 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.


13. Enable Module

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


14. Reports


14.1. 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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14.2. 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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14.3. Firm and Suggested Purchase Orders

Shows any suggested purchase orders or actual purchase orders based on the report selection criteria.

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14.4. Capacity Plan

Shows information about works orders and the hours to complete

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15. 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.


15.1. 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 userid 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.

Sicon MRP Help and User Guide - 14 Company selection

You enter the number to the left of the relevant company. The number to the right is the companyid 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.


15.2. 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: –

1. Open Task Scheduler and select Create Basic Task.

2.  Give the task a name, and description if desired.

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3.  Select a trigger frequency, such as Daily.

4.  Choose the initial start date and time. It is recommended that this is scheduled outside of working hours.

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5.  The action to select is to start a program.

6.  Browse to the application within the Sage\Sicon\MRP folder.

7.  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

Sicon MRP Help and User Guide - 14.2 Scheduling the task

8.  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.


16. Release Notes

The release notes page shows which release of the system includes new features or issues resolved.

At the release of Sicon v21 we announced that going forward, we will only be supporting Sage 200c and as such we are able to drop the year from our version numbers. We moved from 201.201.0.0 to 210.0.0.

New features detailed in the Release Notes relating to Pre-Release versions will not be detailed in the current Help and User Guide until the end of development phase.

Manufacturing Manager Release Notes


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