This process is a feature of the Available To Promise (ATP) enhancement. Generating the ATP file can combine the COP Order Line Item File, PO Order Line Item File, and BOMP Production Order file to generate the ATP Open Item File. From this Open Item File you can produce an Inventory ATP report and screen inquiries in I/M and COP of projected inventory balances, (availability), based on the date sequence from the transactions processed of the other modules.
Before using this feature, it must be enabled as per the System Manager Global Setup documentation. Only after you have completed the setup, can you generate the ATP File.
This “Generate ATP File” process must be run after you setup the Available To Promise feature. Additionally, it should be run periodically to ensure that the ATP Open Item File is synchronized with the COP, PO, and BOMP files.
In the past, planners could predict future quantity balance of an item based on the actual orders in the system. “Actual orders” refer to Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, Production Work Orders and Shop Orders. If you are in a purchase/production to order environment (i.e. you only purchase or produce if there is a confirmed sales order), this will work fine. However, many users work on a purchase/production to stock basis or on a mixed to-order and to-stock basis. In that case, users will need to have a forecast model to predict future sales. Based on the forecasting, the system can determine the proper future replenishment (i.e. Purchase Order for Production Orders).
Elliott V7.4 now provides a forecast database where users can enter the future sales forecast data and it becomes a part of the ATP system. This will help the ATP system to create future plan orders. Since many companies use a spreadsheet to build their forecast model, your customers may provide their forecast data to you in a spreadsheet format and this can be imported into the Elliott forecast database.
In the past, buyers looked at the ATP data to spot negative quantity balances in the future and placed the necessary PO or Work Order to fill the hole. In Elliott V7.4, the system can now create planning orders to fill the hole automatically. Planning Orders are replenishment orders created in Elliott V7.4 to save buyers and planners time. If buyers or planners agree with the system created Planning Orders, they can simply confirm them through ATP Processing and the actual orders (PO or Work Orders) will be created.
Various factors can be setup in Elliott to help the system to determine the planning order quantity and date. This includes planning lead time (field 84 in Item Master), safety stock, planning period, buffer days and forecast. Users on a manual MRP system must realize that to switch to an autopilot ATP system will take some time to fine tune these factors to fully automate it correctly. The ATP system will only create Planning Orders for those items that have field 73 (Master Sch Item) set to “Y.”
Since Planning Orders are created by the system automatically, the planner (or buyer) may not agree with all of the values and can override them. This can happen especially in the beginning stages of implementing ATP as MRP. In Elliott V7.4, we introduced a utility called “ATP Processing” and one of its many functions is to allow adjustments to Planning Orders. Once a planner is satisfied with the planning order, they can turn it into an actual order, like a PO or Work Order. Sometimes the planning order may not be ready to become an actual order and the planner may simply adjust it and leave it at the planning stage. However, each time the system performs the ATP Re-Gen (like MRP Re-Gen), the previous planning orders will be wiped out and re-calculated. If planners want to keep the adjusted planning orders from being overridden by the re-calculation (Re-Gen Process), they need to change it into a firm plan order.
Depending on the level of the firmness of an order, the ATP records can be divided into four different categories:
“A” - Actual – ATP records prior to Elliott V7.4
“F” - Firm – New Feature
“X” - Firm Plan – New Feature
“P” - Plan – New Feature
Actual: All the ATP records supported prior to Elliott V7.4 are actual ATP records. Actual ATP records refer to printed Purchase Orders, Sales Orders and Work Orders. They will correspond and match with the Item Qty Allocated or Qty on Order.
Firm: Firm ATP records refer to a PO Requisition, a PO that has not been printed, a Blanket PO/Sales Order, or a Work Order that has not been allocated. Firm ATP means these records will become the actual ATP in the near future. These ATP records did not exist prior to V7.4.
Plan and Firm Plan: The Plan ATP records are created by the system automatically as a suggestion for a buyer or planner. Each time ATP is regenerated, the Plan ATP records are deleted and recalculated again. If a planner wants to keep certain Plan ATP records from being recalculated, the planner can make the plan record firm, and thus it is called “Firm Plan.”
All ATP Related Features, like ATP Inquiry, ATP Report, Edit List and ATP Processing, will now prompt for the “Planning Type” to view or print. You can only select one Planning Type at a time. However, that does not means you can only view or print one Planning Type at a time. When you choose “A” – Actual Orders, then only the Actual ATP Orders will be displayed or printed. When you choose “A”, the display and report will basically show you the same kind of ATP information as you knew prior to Elliott V7.4.
When you choose “F” – Firm Orders, both Actual Orders and Firm Orders will be displayed or printed. Since you can not predict future quantity without the Actual Orders, it only makes sense to only display or print the Actual Orders with the Firm Orders. By the same principle, if you choose “X” – Firm Plan Orders, then Actual Orders and Firm Orders will be selected too. When you choose “P” – Plan Orders, then all Plan Types will be included.
ATP Processing is designed for the planner or buyer of an organization to allow them to make adjustments to the Plan Orders or elevate a Plan Order to a higher level, like a Firm Order or Actual Order.
Adjustments to Plan Orders may mean: Change Quantity; Change Date; or Consolidate Multiple Plan Orders into One.
If planners agree with the Plan Orders created by the system, planners have two choices: create PO Requisitions or create BOMP Work Orders, depending on the type of items on the Plan Order. For purchased items, the choice is to create a PO Requisition. For manufactured items, the choice is to create a BOMP Work Order.
Create PO Requisition: PO Requisition is the pre-processing for Purchase Order. Creating purchase orders directly from ATP Processing would produce many small purchase orders with only one line item and may not select the best vendor. So, PO Requisition provides a middle step to shop for different vendors and adjust the price, quantity and date. Once everything is confirmed, the PO Requisition can create the purchase orders by vendor with the combined items and quantity. The planner can directly update the Requisition transaction or delete it. They can also change the Requisition transactions back to Plan Orders. However, once the Requisition becomes a Purchase Order, the planner can only change the Purchase Order through Purchase Order change processing.
Create BOMP Work Order: The planner can change the Plan Orders directly into Work Orders. When a Work Order is created, the planner still has a lot of flexibility to change it directly in ATP Processing. The planner can determine if the Work Order should be Allocated (Actual Order) or not Allocated (Firm Order).
Reschedule or Adjust Work Orders: One shortcoming prior to Elliott V7.3 was Work Orders could not be easily adjusted once they were created. With Elliott V7.4, the created Work Orders can be deleted, changed or converted back to Plan Orders easily in ATP Processing. Once a Work Order is printed it is protected from changes in ATP Processing, however the planner can cancel the printed Work Order. “Cancel” does not mean “delete the work order,” it simply means to flag the Work Order as if it were not printed, allowing the planner make any changes as needed.
A new flag, “ATP Netable Loc” has been added to I/M Location File Maintenance. By default, this flag will have a “Y” value. The purpose of this flag is to exclude the inventory quantity of miscellaneous warehouse locations like “Defect” or “Service,” which can not be considered as general inventory.
Some reports (like the Stock Status Reports) now offer the option to print “ATP Netable Location Only?” For Stock Status Inquiry, based on the Global Setup flag “Only Show ATP Netable Loc in Stock Status Inq,” the system could exclude the Non-Netable Location’s inventory quantity when a user chooses “All” locations. ATP Inquiry and Report, by default, will skip locations that the “ATP Netable Loc” flag is set to “N,” unless the user specifically requests that single location.
A Job Number selection criterion is introduced in the V7.4 ATP Inquiry and Reporting functions. If you utilize the Job Number function to control your purchasing, sales and production, you can zoom in on the ATP data by a particular Job. A Job Number can be a customer, a contract, or even a PO. The COP Job Number literal is user definable in Elliott V7.4
From Inventory Menu à Util-Setup à Generate ATP File à Generate
This is an automatic process with no data entry prompts other than how you want to print the reports; Printer, Disk, Screen, defer, or e-mail.
Summary Report – Generate ATP File
NOTE: For accuracy, there are no starting or cut-off dates as the information to be generated is based on that which is open and still pending. If you have an open COP order that is 3 months old, a Purchase Order for delivery in 2 months, or a BOMP Production Order due in six months, they will all be reflected in the ATP Inquiry or Inventory ATP report.