Software Connect recently published its MRP Software Buyer Trends – 2018 Report, and it’s filled with fascinating insights into mindset of MRP buyers. They interviewed a randomly selected group of 183 manufacturers and put together their responses into a number of charts to see what they are looking for in a material requirements planning solution.
Here are the top 19 features that these manufacturers said they are looking for in an MRP:
- Purchasing planning – 79%
- Demand forecasting – 76%
- Master production scheduling – 72%
- Inventory reservation and availability – 60%
- Production cost reporting – 58%
- Item price and stock tracking – 54%
- Shop floor control – 48%
- Equipment maintenance scheduling – 44%
- Inventory location tracking – 36%
- Replenishment thresholds – 34%
- Bill of materials – 31%
- Barcoding – 30%
- Flexible inventory costing (LIFO/FIFO/Average) – 25%
- Lot number and batch tracking – 24%
- Inventory holds management – 20%
- Back order tracking – 13%
- Kitting – 13%
- Serial numbers – 13%
- Pricing discount management – 12%
That’s quite a list of features that MRP buyers are looking for. And it begs the question: How does Fishbowl Manufacturing match up? Fishbowl Manufacturing is not an MRP, but it offers some of these features.
You can set up automatic reorder points for all items in your inventory to help you order more parts and products at the right times and in the right quantities to avoid shortages.
Fishbowl offers a Forecast module that allows you to use previous sales, orders, and quantities to predict future trends in demand. This helps a lot with managing your inventory and maintaining ideal inventory levels.
Master Production Scheduling
Fishbowl has a Calendar module that you can use to schedule important events. In addition, you can use production stages in a bill of materials to make sure complex manufacturing jobs get done in the right order.
Inventory Reservation and Availability
You can check how many items are committed to work orders, sales orders, and more in Fishbowl.
Production Cost Reporting
You can integrate Fishbowl Time & Labor with Fishbowl Manufacturing in order to not only track part costs, but also labor costs to get a complete picture of your total production costs.
Item Price and Stock Tracking
Simply scan an item’s barcode or use some other identifying marker to pull up its price and track its quantity in stock at a single location or across multiple locations.
Shop Floor Control
Fishbowl does not offer this particular feature.
Equipment Maintenance Scheduling
Again, you can use Fishbowl’s Calendar module to schedule equipment maintenance, but there is not an automated way to do this.
Inventory Location Tracking
You can add as many locations and sub-locations as you like to Fishbowl and then track your inventory quantities at each of those locations.
As mentioned above, Fishbowl lets you set auto reorder points for the items in your inventory so that when an item falls below that level it will automatically send you a text and/or email letting you know that you should order more as soon as possible.
Bill of Materials
Fishbowl allows you to generate bills of materials for all sorts of manufacturing jobs, from simple assembly to disassembly, repair, replacement, and more.
Fishbowl Manufacturing integrates with an app called Fishbowl Go, which you can use on virtually any mobile device to scan barcodes. This allows you to pick items for use in fulfilling orders, reorder items, cycle count your inventory, and much more.
Flexible Inventory Costing (LIFO/FIFO/Average)
Not only does Fishbowl offer LIFO, FIFO, and Average costing methods, but also Standard cost.
Lot Number and Batch Tracking
Fishbowl allows you to track inventory by lot number, among many other criteria. In addition, you can create batch manufacture order travelers, work order travelers, pick tickets, packing lists, and sales order invoices with Fishbowl’s reports.
Inventory Holds Management
When a part or product is committed to an order, it is no longer available to be used in conjunction with any other order in Fishbowl.
Fishbowl offers a Sales Backorder Report that shows sales orders that can be fulfilled and that are on backorder. In addition, you can use the Vendor Backorder Report to make sure backorders get fulfilled on time.
You can create and edit kits in Fishbowl and then add them to sales orders whenever you like.
You can add one or more serial numbers to items in your inventory to help you track their quantities and locations.
Pricing Discount Management
Fishbowl has an entire module dedicated to discounts so that you can create and modify percentage discounts or dollar-amount discounts. These discounts can then be added to sales orders with the click of a button.
As you can see, Fishbowl Manufacturing offers some of what MRP buyers are looking for, though it is certainly an MRP. Sign up for an online demo of Fishbowl Manufacturing today to see if Fishbowl is a good fit for you.
Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.