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More ways to easily resolve material changes in Oracle R12 WIP and WMS

Oracle Discrete Manufacturing jobs have 3 parts; jobs, operations, and bills of materials. The Bill of materials (BOM) is a list of components for the job(s).  The warehouse compiles the materials on the BOM to complete the job. The quantities cannot be easily revised when the warehouse is collecting the components. So, what do you do if there are material changes? In this post, we explore potential scenarios where discrete manufacturing components need to be revised.

Understanding Component Release in EBS R12 with WMS enabled

There are several types of Manufacturing in Oracle EBS R12. We are going to focus on Discrete (WIP) Manufacturing. To better understand discrete manufacturing, think of building a car. If you need additional examples, please see the blog post “which Manufacturing type your ERP solution is using.”

Planned vs. Ad-Hoc Material requirements

Oracle’s discrete manufacturing has two processes to add materials to a job; planned and ad-hoc. Planned materials are on the Bill of Materials (BOM). Materials issued to the job “on the fly” are ad-hoc. Usually, this is a result of corrective action to a quality issue.

An example would be adding more soil to a pot because the original amount wasn’t enough to properly cover the plant. Or the bill requires a black pot and you only have red pots. So, you use a red pot and paint it black. That would be the cancellation of the original item, the addition/substitution of the red pot(s), and then the adding on the fly of the black paint.

Changes made before the release of the job need to be on the BOM. Component changes after a job are released tend to be ad-hoc. A BOM revision is also an option. If this simplest and quickest way to fulfill the material needs is to grab and immediately issued the materials to the job; then use the ad-hoc method.

The scenarios that we are going to cover are not going to consider Ad-hoc materials.

Outside Processing vs. Make to Order

Outside processing (OSP) is where an external group is working on a piece of the manufacturing process. These processes are not in direct control of the manufacturer. An example of this would be sending a car to a paint shop instead of having your own painting station in your manufacturing plant. For this post, we are not talking about any material changes to an OSP manufacturing step.

Material changes in Discrete Picking/WIP Tasks in Oracle WMS

There are four phases in the WIP Job lifecycle with Material requirements. They are Job Release, Component Release, Component Issue, and Job completion. The process of making a revision or a cancelation depends on which phase you are in. Component changes can only be made if there are no issued components. Also, there have to be no active tasks. So, if you to look at where you are and decide which steps are the most efficient way to handle to job.

The Phases of a WIP Job are as follows:

Wip Material Phases1

Scenarios in WIP & WMS with Material Changes:

  1. Material changes after the WIP Job is approved (Component Pick Release has not occurred)
  2. The Warehouse receives the WIP Job and then material changes to the Task/Job occur
  3. Material changes occur during the Picking of the components to the Job
  4. Material Changes are required after the components have been issued to the Job

Scenario #1 – Material changes before the job is released for picking

Material Changes at Job ReleaseScenario details:

The Manufacturing Work Order (WIP Job) is in a “released” status. However, the Warehouse has not received instructions to perform the component picking allocation. Production scheduling requests a change to the WIP or a Cancellation of the Work Order in its entirety.

Solution Action Plan:

There are no active tasks in the warehouse.  Manufacturing operations can easily revise the BOM. So, the first action is to make sure that the warehouse doesn’t release the job for picking. To do this, Manufacturing operations must inform the Raw Material Warehouse to not release the materials until the BOM is updated. Once updated, the raw material warehouse can release the job.

Scenario #2 – Warehouse receives the WIP Job and then material changes occur

Material Changes after component Pick Release

Scenario details (Assuming a Make-to-Order environment):

In this case, the WIP Job is in a “released” status. The Warehouse has reviewed those material requirements for the job. Warehouse picking tasks exist. In this scenario, the WIP Job exists to fill an active sales order. The customer calls to cancel the order. This means that the need for this item isn’t there anymore. The WIP job is no longer necessary. Manufacturing operations request a cancellation of the Work Order in its entirety.  Manufacturing Operations and the Raw Material Warehouse leadership talk. The result is the cancellation of the task(s) for the component picking. The Work Order is terminated after the tasks are canceled. The Raw Material Warehouse Manager/Supervisor (or Lead) has not assigned this order to be actively picked.

Solution Action Plan:

Expediency is key in this situation. As component picking is not occurring, we want to keep it that way. Revisions and cancelations must happen before the warehouse actively starts picking the work order. To do this, the Customer Service and Manufacturing Production team will need to contact and work with the Warehouse leadership.

Warehouse leadership will need to perform two actions:

  1. Ensure work order picking doesn’t start
  2. Cancel the open picking tasks in the system
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For the first part, they will need to pull the work order from the queue of active orders. You can do this by removing the pick-slip from the stack of orders. The next step is to cancel the open tasks in EBS. If you reverse these steps you run the risk of having a warehouse worker trying to pick that work order. They will be unable to access the order to pick in EBS but will have a pick-slip instructing them to pick it. This will cause confusion and delay. If the warehouse is running in a paperless mode, simply proceed to the step of task cancellation in EBS. The raw material warehouse will need to let production operations know when the tasks have been canceled.

To actively cancel these tasks, query up the corresponding task in the “Transact Move Order” form. From there you can cancel the move order by selecting the function of “Back Order Line” from the Tools option.

How to cancel a MFG Move Order

If the Warehouse Manager/Supervisor (or Lead) has assigned the work order to be actively picked, please see the next scenario.

Job Revisions

For BOM Revisions at this phase in the process, you would follow the same steps. However, instead of canceling the WIP job, the job would be re-released once the revisions have been made.

Scenario #3 – Work Order (WIP Job) is Released and then Cancelled while being Picked

Scenario details:

The Warehouse is actively picking the material components for the WIP job. For some reason, the job needs to be changed. Either the equipment is down or a change in the assembly details. Production operations call the Warehouse Supervisor/Manager to request that they stop picking materials for the job. The Warehouse Worker is in the middle of actively picking the raw materials. This means that some of the tasks are complete. However, several tasks are still in the process of picking.

Material Changes during WIP Picking

Solution Action Plan

Active picking of the order is taking place at this phase. Operations will need to stop the active picking of the order. This will require coordination with the Raw Material Warehouse leadership team. Depending on how far into the fulfillment cycle, it may take several hours before the material on the job can be revised. The Warehouse leadership will need to evaluate where the order is in the fulfillment process. Will it be easier for the Warehouse Worker to return the material to where they found it (and reverse the execution of those picking tasks) or finish the fulfillment tasks?  Once they have arrived at a decision, the leadership must communicate their intention with the warehouse staff.

The task is in one of four states of picking. These states are as follows:

  1. Dispatched – Task is in the queue for action
  2. Active – Actively picking material
  3. Loaded – Transaction is in an interim state (in transit to Production)
  4. Completed – Production receives the material. The material is no longer in inventory because it is now on the WIP Job.

WMS Task Status

Dispatched Task

For dispatched tasks, the worker needs to abort the action.  Once aborted, proceed with the steps taken in Scenario #2.

Active Task

For Active tasks, the warehouse worker needs to put the material back to where they were taking it from and abort the task in the system. Once aborted, proceed with the steps taken in Scenario #2.

Loaded Task

Loaded tasks can go one of two ways. Complete the task or abort the task. The material has to be returned to the locator of origin to be aborted. Oracle’s Mobile Warehouse Application (MWA) refers to this action as a “Manual Unload” of the LPN. This function will tell the worker where to return the material to. Proceed with the steps taken in Scenario #2 after all of the material has been unloaded.

If the revisions are not related to the picked components, it might be easier to just finish the active tasks. This is done by dropping the Loaded LPN into the production area. This will also issue the components to the job. If one or more of these items need to be returned, see the steps taken in Scenario #4.

Completed Task

For completed tasks, follow the steps outlined in scenario #4.

Scenario #4 – Order is Released and then Cancelled while Order has been Picked

Material Changes at WIP Component Issue

Scenario details:

WIP Job has consumed the raw materials. Material changes to the WIP Job occur. This could be due to an equipment failure or a schedule change.

Solution Action Plan:

In all of these cases, raw materials need to return to inventory. To do this, a material return transaction must occur.

To perform a material return, go into the Discrete Job transaction and perform a material return transaction. Receive the material to a WIP staging area. This is done so that they can be packed onto a new LPN and putaway back into the warehouse to an appropriate locator.

Material Changes with WIP Returns

MWA WIP Component Return

In WMS, a WIP Return can also be performed in mobile applications using the Material Txn Return function.

The return function performs two necessary things. First, it reverses the issuing of raw material components to the work order. The reversal places the materials back into inventory. These materials are also no longer reserved for the WIP Job.  Material changes are now possible for the work order. Second, it allows for the materials to be putaway back into stock for another job.

WIP Material Changes – Conclusion

Work Order revisions will happen in a manufacturing environment. Efficiently managing these revisions is paramount. The key to achieving efficiency is to understand the process. The proper management of these changes comes with communication.

You can apply these principles to other fulfillment processes. If you are interested in learning about this process for order management, check out the Ways to easily solve Order revisions in the Oracle R12 Warehouse Management blog post. We will explore applying these to process or batch manufacturing in ways to easily resolve material changes in Oracle R12 OPM and WMS post.

If you are interested in learning about this process or similar processes in further detail, please fill out the form below or contact the Perficient team for more information.

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Matthew Fleishman, Senior Solution Architect

Matthew Fleishman is a Senior Solution Architect in the Perficient, Inc. Oracle NBU. Matthew has over 25 years’ experience in Supply Chain and Inventory operations as well as over 18 years working with Oracle Applications. Matthew has also accrued over 100 Oracle Specializations.

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