MRP weirdness - anyone else see anything like this?

Got a part that is planning normally for 2018, but is planning all of 2019’s production to occur before 12/31/2018 - and then bleed off that inventory until rebalancing at zero.

We think it is related to either part setup, or some resource that for some reason, the system thinks cannot run in 2019 - so it moved the production to the first available time period.

Any ideas on what might cause this? Is there a background system function that we may have missed that would prevent scheduling jobs in a particular time period?

Thanks in advance.

My V8 is fuzzy, but is this for one part or are multiple parts doing it?

Charlie Smith

One item. Our thinking is that it has something to do with incorrect resource selection (calling out a resource that is not in a resource group, because the routing was copied, but resource group construction changed in the interim).

It doesn’t make sense that it would schedule 2018 find but not 2019, but when the resource group/resource construction doesn’t match, weirdness ensues. Sometimes planned jobs are created but not scheduled, sometimes they are not created at all.

It’s the only avenue I have now, although I’ve reached out to our consultants (Com-Tec in Rochester).

I am assuming the system is creating an unfirm MRP job for 2019? If you remove the unfirm MRP job, what does the time-phase do?

You could also check the Safety Stock, Lot Size and Min/Max records. Values in those fields can affect the planning.

As a courtesy, I wanted to update the folks here. The snip below is the details of the issue, and the tested workaround.

I do not know if this problem exists on our system, if it is specific to V8, or if it extends to other versions.

Anyway, here it is.

Description of MPS improper functionality:

When the following conditions exist:

  1. Part has MPS schedule that ends prior to end of planning window (MRP cutoff date)
  2. Sales Order demand exists after last MPS entry date.
  3. MPS buildup does not fully cover demand through end of planning window (MRP cutoff date)
    The following occurs:
    Planned jobs are created to meet all demand to the end of the planning window, and their planned completion date is the date of the last MPS entry.

Workaround is:
For parts that meet the conditions above, build MPS through the planning window at the rate of X per month.

Shown below is a time phase screen that clearly illustrates the improper functioning of MPS. Still wondering if anyone else is seeing this in their system.

Dear Gil,

The only issue I see is the -1 below zero exception, which Vantage may not have a way around, based on the suggested order date being in the past which would imply a lead time that cannot satisfy the pending requirement of 1 on 5/2, a date that’s also already passed. Looking forward it appears that the balance is managed down to zero at the end of next year, which may or may not be correct based on your max/min/safety settings for the item. Apologies for the simplistic reply; what specific improper functioning is visible in this printout?


What is driving the 27 piece jobs due on 12/13? There is no unmet customer demand for that date, and the MPS indicates that a 12 piece job should be created. Why is the system adding additional production to meet demand that is not needed until 9 months out? Nothing here that I can see should do that.

Think of it this way. If the material for this part cost $1,000,000 a piece, you probably don’t want to carry that much inventory for a full year. We have several parts in our building for which this is not that dramatic an exaggeration of inventory costs.

There are definitely some quirks in the way MPS integrates with customer demand. I’d love it if someone could accurately explain how the heirarchy of order creation occurs in Vista. We all know what we WANT it to do, in theory we all know what it SHOULD do, but what on God’s green earth is it actually doing?

In response to Charlie Smith:

No, it is not. It is building all of the 2019 demand per the 2018 MPS entry. That is the behavior that does not make any sense.

Our plan is to build 12 pieces a month of this item for the last 4 months of 2018, and let the system plan jobs for 2019. Can’t get it to do that. It keeps planning all of 2019 to the final MPS date of 2018.

Please look at my description of the problem. Chances are, it will do the same thing on any version.

I am aware of the Safety Stock, Lot Size and Min/Max records on this item. I entered them all myself. No Safety Stock, no min-max, and a very limited lot size (min of 1, max of 10, increments of 1).

Dear Gil,

The jobs 1956, 57, 58 will be needed eventually, in order to bring the on-hand quantity down to zero; I understand your issue is with why and how they are scheduled to be made before their output is needed. I don’t know enough about the inner workings of job planning and priority to answer this. Are you coming to Insights? If so, I recommend you bring your VPNable laptop and company hot spot (if your phone doesn’t have one) because there are experts in the Solutions Pavilion that can almost certainly help with this type of question. This team has been able to answer sticky E9 MRP questions for our company. In one case Warren recommended we change our “view as assembly” flags although Epicor documents it as a view-only change, he knew the internals of how MRP works well enough to know better, and his advice was spot-on.


Monty - not coming to Insights this year. I will say this - if we continue to have issues with implementing MRP, there is a real possibility we will transition to something else.

We are working the issues directly through Epicor to eliminate any ambiguity with third party consultants. If the software isn’t working properly, we shouldn’t have to travel to a user conference to get that corrected.

If the software creators can’t identify what is happening under the hood, I don’t know how any folks are willing to turn over the operations of their plant to the software.

MRP in v8 (Vantage or Vista) wasn’t all that great to begin with. I suggest an upgrade to 10 but 9.5 would work as well.

Can’t disagree, however a second issue that is impacting us appears to occur even in newer versions. Still evaluating that.

I must agree with you Gil; it should not be a requirement to travel physically in order to get high level technical acumen in support personnel’s ability to advise on the behavior of a product feature. And in some cases Epicor Support personnel assigned to a case are very experienced with the inner workings of a feature like job demand and planning. I asked because in the Solutions Pavilion, if someone doesn’t know an answer, they commonly wave-down other personnel more skilled in a particular aspect of software. So you might get in a few minutes what it takes much longer to do by phone and electronic message. In other cases, those knowledgeable people actively support electronic user communities like this one! Thanks for reading, …Monty.

Too bad that you will not be at Insights… we could have tried this out in the Solution Pavilion with the latest version. I cant believe that E10 would have these same symptoms. I have been consulting (as an Epicor employee) on this product (V8, V8.03, E9, E10, E10.1, E10.2) since 2005… I personally have not seen what you are describing… but it could be data related. Also, as you know, all software goes through life-cycles. E9 saw many changes… Then came E10… E10 was a huge investment for Epicor, as well as a huge improvement in the product both in capabilities as well as performance. At this point, your Vantage 8 software is getting pretty old (Especially by Software standards). We came out with that software version BEFORE Microsoft released their ill-fated “Vista” operating system (Which they stopped supporting over a year ago). At least Epicor still supports the software, but if it is “broken” at your version, the best way to get it fixed would be an upgrade. I would not recommend doing anything but an upgrade to the latest version of E10.
One thing to consider is to upgrade your system in a test environment, bringing your data up to E10 so that you can test out how it works with YOUR data. Just a thought.

What is your second issue in E10? What is your finite horizon set too? Do not think this would affect scheduling but does your financial calendar go past 2018? Does all of your resources have proper production calendars assigned? Can you ensure you can browse out to 2019 in those calendars? Hope some of these questions help. Not a ton of experience with MRP. However, if you have been on 8 for a while when did you start seeing this issue? Is it a new product line and part configuration? Can you get other parts to schedule properly with similar demand in a test system? Interesting for sure…

Josh Owings - To answer all of your questions…

Second issue in E10 is constraint functionality - it doesn’t. Currently working this directly with Epicor.
Finite horizon currently 30 days, will test at 45 days this weekend.
Financial calendar - interesting point, I will look into that. If it affects MPS, I can find no documentation that indicates that is the case.
Yes, all resources have proper production calendars.