The scheduler is the core of the planning system. It is responsible for allocating stock and resources to your sales orders according to the specifications given in the production methods. It is also responsible for determining your buying requirements and maintaining the event diary.

The scheduler was developed with the aid of a SMART award from the DTI. These awards are given by the DTI in support of projects involving innovation.

If you are familiar with the ideas of MRP (Materials Requirement Planning) and MRPII (Manufacturing Resource Planning), you might ask: “Is Match-IT an MRP (or MRPII) system?”. Well, the answer is that it’s both and neither! It’s both in that it performs material planning actions and resource planning actions. It’s neither in that it does this in a novel way and more usefully than in traditional systems.

One novelty is that it considers your materials requirements and your resource requirements simultaneously; rather than one after the other. This means it produces buying requirements for only what’s needed for the work about to be started. It will not insist you buy all the raw materials required up front. Instead, it produces a time ordered schedule of what is needed and when it must be ordered. The material required date and the supplier’s lead-time are used to determine the order dates.

Another novelty is that it knows about the inter-dependencies of your orders. This means if you ask it to re-schedule just one order for some reason, it can find all the other orders that may be impacted by it and re-schedule those too. This is referred to as incremental scheduling and means you can quickly re-schedule individual orders as necessary without the need to perform a long ‘MRP run’.

A final novelty to mention here is the ability to work with a mixture of ASAP (as soon as possible) and JIT (just in time) orders. You can specify which mode the scheduler should use on an order-by-order basis.