MRP vs APS, What’s the Difference

Deanne Macdonald Marketing Coordinator headshot | April 19th, 2021

Materials Resource Planning (MRP) and Advanced Planning and Scheduling might be considered to be cousins in the area of Manufacturing Planning. But while similar, they have wildly divergent capabilities. While many people feel MRP is adequate (and it may very well be in certain situations) APS is a game changer. It increases the efficiency of manufacturing exponentially. 


Let me give you an example to illustrate the point. With MRP, we know what we have to order to make what products, and what we have to order to create all of the sub-assemblies that go into the final product. While all that data is at our fingertips, MRP assumes infinite capacity. This means it doesn’t check to see if you have capacity on the floor to make the order. In order to figure out what you can promise your customer and when, you have to do the research yourself.

Getting this information may involve asking questions of one or more employees and may take several days. Even then, because the full manufacturing schedule is not consulted, you could be wildly off. This takes up unnecessary time and effort and can open the door to unhappy customers or lost sales. The customer wants an answer today, not two days from now. If you can’t give it to him, he very well may find someone who will.


With APS, the system will do all the research for you. When the customer is asking you for a projected delivery date, you can get that information for him very quickly. You don’t have to check inventory to see if you have the parts to make the order You don’t have to find out what projects are already scheduled. You don’t have to check the capacity of the plant. You don’t have to send someone down to check production so as to schedule in the order. All you have to do is input the information and the system checks everything you need to know to get an accurate date that you can promise your customer. It does this within minutes, not days.

Watch our video on APS Basics here for more information on how this works.

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