Managing your MRP Planning Parameters Using RapidStart

Material requirements planning (MRP) is one of the key areas of Business Central and has been one of the foundations throughout the system’s long lifespan. Both the planning and requisition worksheets within Business Central provide a powerful tool to manage the availability of stock in a business. Using RapidStart, any values that need to be consistent throughout all available items can be modified very quickly.

The effectiveness of the MRP process is directly related to the accuracy of the planning parameters on each item. The challenge has always been to maintain these item planning parameters, which in the past had to be done on an item card by item card basis. This was an arduous task, especially with a couple of thousand items. On many occasions this was neglected, reducing the effectiveness of the planning/requisition worksheet recommendations.

RapidStart and MRP

The introduction of the RapidStart functionality now allows the easy maintenance of the planning parameters.  In the following example we will use a RapidStart package to give a quick overview of the process, focused on the item card planning parameters. To reach this page, search ‘configuration packages’ within Business Central and click ‘new’. Firstly, I have created a RapidStart package ‘MRP Parameters’. As you can see, we are using table ID: 27 here, relating to the ‘item’.

The next job is to select the planning parameter fields. To do this, click into ‘no. of fields available’ and select the relevant ones. In the image above, you can see the number there are to choose from. However, for this package there aren’t many we need.

Making amendments in Excel

We can now export the Business Central data to Excel. If you click ‘package’ towards the top and then ‘export to Excel’, a new workbook will be created. we can now view and adjust the data accordingly in the spreadsheet. It’s probably a good idea as well to keep a copy of this initial Excel spreadsheet of the existing parameters for backup purposes.

As a side note, it’s a good idea to filter out the non-inventory and service type items, leaving the spreadsheet data focused just on inventory items. 

Bringing in the updated information

Having updated the spreadsheet, we can then import it back into Business Central. Similarly to how we exported the package initially, click ‘package’, but this time ‘import’ from Excel. The next stage is then to validate this import. To the right of ‘package’, click ‘actions’, ‘functions’, then ‘validate package’. This validates each field being imported using the standard field validation functions. Data validation errors are displayed, for the user to resolve where necessary. Once validated, the data is ready and waiting to be applied. To do this, click ‘actions’, ‘functions’ and then ‘apply package’.

So, in summary, using the RapidStart functionality can help the business maintain the planning parameters.

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