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Material Requirements Planning (MRP)


Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is a production planning and inventory control system used to manage manufacturing processes. It aims to ensure that materials and products are available for production and delivery to customers when needed. This process involves scheduling, inventory control and bill of materials functions.


Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is pronounced as: Material – /məˈtɪərɪəl/Requirements – /rɪˈkwaɪɚmənts/Planning – /ˈplænɪŋ/And MRP is pronounced as /ɛm/ /ɑr/ /pi/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Improved Efficiency: MRP systems are designed to help businesses improve their overall operational efficiency. They assist in managing inventory levels and scheduling tasks, thus preventing overproduction and reducing idle time.
  2. Effective Resource Management: Material Requirements Planning also aids in managing resources effectively. It provides precise information about what materials are needed, the quantities required, and when they should be in stock, ensuring optimal resource usage and minimizing waste.
  3. Prediction and Planning: An MRP system serves as a helpful tool for forecasting demand and planning production schedules. It helps manufacturers to plan ahead, using historical data and sales forecasts to predict future demand, enabling them to make informed decisions about production and material purchasing.


Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is an essential component in the business/finance sector primarily due to its role in orchestrating production processes efficiently and controlling inventory levels. Through calculating precise material, manpower and equipment requirements based on sales forecasts and order data, MRP minimizes waste, prevents overproduction and curtails storage costs. By ensuring that materials are acquired at right times and in right quantities, it significantly reduces production delay, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction due to timely deliveries. Therefore, it plays a significant role in not only improving operational efficiency but also in financial saving, making it crucial for manufacturing industries.


Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is a pivotal tool for organizations, designed with an aim to optimize the ordering of raw materials and scheduling of manufacturing activities. The purpose of MRP is to keep inventory levels lean, aiding in the careful control over material flows. By using MRP, companies can decrease waste, while improving the efficiency of the production process. One key benefit of embarking on this process is the ability to forecast inventory needs to meet customer demand without unnecessary delays, keeping holding costs to a minimum and optimizing cash flow.More specifically, MRP is used for three fundamental objectives – ensuring materials are available for production, maintaining optimum levels of inventory to meet product demand, and efficiently planning manufacturing activities, delivery schedules, and purchasing activities. It essentially works in a backwards scheduling manner, starting with the final product and working its way back to determine raw material requirements, ensuring companies have exactly what they need, in the right quantity and at the right time. As a result, the manufacturing process becomes much more streamlined and capable of quickly adapting to changes in demand. Ultimately, the main aim is to reduce inventory costs, prevent material shortages and limit waste from overproduction.


1. Toyota Motor Corporation: Toyota is internationally renowned for its lean manufacturing system, which includes an MRP element to manage materials. The manufacturer forecasts the number of cars it’s going to produce, which helps identify the number of parts needed for production. This allows the company to order the correct amount of parts and avoid excess inventory, which can lead to waste and increased costs.2. Boeing Company: Boeing, one of the world’s largest aerospace companies, uses MRP system to manage the unique and complex parts required in aircraft manufacturing. They set their production plans and use MRP to ensure that all materials, from jet engines to tiny screws, are available when needed. This significantly reduces production delays, maximizes efficiency and minimizes storage costs.3. Nestlé: The global food and beverage giant, Nestlé, uses MRP systems to calculate the exact amount of materials it needs for the production of various products. This helps to avoid over-production or under-production and manage production scheduling efficiently. It also ensures that there’s adequate supply to meet demand for its products without wastage or shortages.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Material Requirements Planning (MRP)?

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is a production planning, scheduling, and inventory control system used to manage manufacturing processes. It ensures that materials are available for production and products are available for delivery to customers.

How does MRP work?

MRP works by considering the inventory on hand, the current production capacity, and the demand for the product. It then plans and schedules the purchase orders and work orders needed to meet the demand.

What are the main objectives of MRP?

The primary objectives of MRP are to ensure the availability of materials for production, maintain the optimum inventory level, schedule manufacturing activities, and plan delivery schedules.

Who uses MRP systems?

MRP systems are typically used by production and manufacturing businesses. Industries ranging from automobile manufacturing to electronics utilize MRP systems for optimally managing their resources.

What are the benefits of implementing MRP?

MRP can improve a company’s productivity by reducing surplus inventory levels, decreasing the amount of wasted materials, improving delivery times and customer service, and enhancing overall cost-efficiency and business performance.

Are there any potential downsides to using an MRP system?

Although beneficial, implementing an MRP system can be time-consuming and expensive. It requires an accurate input of data, and sometimes may lead to over-reliance on the system to make decisions that could be made otherwise.

Can MRP be used in conjunction with other systems?

Yes, MRP is often used in conjunction with other business management tools such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems which consider additional aspects like human resources, finances, and customer relationship management.

Is MRP only suitable for large scale businesses?

Although initially designed for larger scale operations, today’s MRP systems have advanced to cater to businesses of all sizes. Small and medium-sized businesses also leverage MRP systems to streamline their manufacturing and production processes.

Related Finance Terms

  • Bill of Materials (BOM)
  • Inventory Control
  • Production Scheduling
  • Demand Forecasting
  • Master Production Schedule (MPS)

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