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Getting Started with Apache OFBiz Manufacturing & MRP


OFBiz Manufacturing & MRP is a highly functional seamless application that contains everything you need to run an efficient and successful manufacturing business.

Key features include:

  • Bill of Materials
  • Manufacturing Routing and Tasks
  • Production Planning
  • Production Costing
  • Equipment Billing
  • Raw Materials Procurement
  • Shipment Plans
  • Reports

Goals of this Document
This guide gives you the basics, you need, to get up and run with OFBiz for Manufacturing & MRP.

It contains:

  • A quick overview of some common manufacturing concepts
  • A list of the setup required
  • An example for you to work through.

By the end of the document, you should have enough information to begin your own manufacturing setup in OFBiz.

Target Audience

This document is written for the complete novice end user. No programming or technical experience is required.

What is Manufacturing?

Manufacturing is the “act of making something out of raw materials”. The 'something' that is manufactured is generally a product that can be on-sold to customers.

Manufacturing is not only an industrial activity carried out in a factory, but it can also be any range of tasks that result in an end product. So, even if you only assemble products you can still make use of OFBiz Manufacturing & MRP.

What is MRP?

MRP is a three-letter abbreviation that is always used in conjunction with manufacturing – so what exactly is it?

MRP stands for “Material Requirement Planning”. It’s a computer program that, when running regularly, helps a business to plan what to manufacture and when to manufacture it.

It also has the added benefit of letting you know when to buy raw materials to meet your manufacturing commitments. 

The MRP tool comes with OFBiz ‘out of the box’.

The 5 Steps to ‘Getting Started’

This guide assumes you have read and performed the tasks in the “Getting Started with Apache OFBiz In 5 Easy Steps” document and that you have already:

  • Setup your workstation or laptop.
  • Downloaded and installed a version of OFBiz with the demo data.

Tip: Url:  

Log in using the username “admin” and password “ofbiz” to perform all OFBiz tasks.

Step 1: Understand Your Manufacturing Processes

  • This first step involves taking a look at your business processes and what your manufacturing flows are.
  • You need to be able to answer questions about when you manufacture your product,
    • what triggers the process
    • and how you manufacture.

Step 2: Decide which processes you want to use OFBiz for

If you are new to OFBiz you may want to look at starting with a simple process then when you’re more comfortable move onto your more complex processes.

Step 3: Setup your Product Data

Setup the product data you need; This will include your raw materials and your manufactured product.

Approximate Time Required to Complete: 15 minutes

Step 4: Setup your Manufacturing Data

Setup the data you need for manufacturing; This includes the Bill of Materials (BOM), Routing Tasks and a Routing.

Approximate Time Required to Complete: 15 minutes

Step 5: Run MRP and Review the Results

Run MRP and take a close look at the results.

Approximate Time Required to Complete: 20 minutes

Step 1: Understand Your Manufacturing Processes

Take a look at your business processes. You need to know what your manufacturing flows are. You should be able to define and describe the type of manufacturing you do.

Typical questions that you should be able to answer are: 

  • What raw materials do you use?
  •  Who are your suppliers?
  •  How do you order your raw materials?
  •  How do you make your manufactured product?
  •  What are the actual manufacturing steps performed?
  •  Are there any specialist processes specific to your industry?
  •  Are there any regulatory or legal requirements for your manufacturing?
  •  What triggers your manufacturing? (Is it an order from a customer or low stock and/or inventory levels?)

Make sure to document all your responses and processes.

Step 2: Decide which processes you want to use OFBiz for

Decide on which manufacturing process (or processes) you'd like to use OFBiz for. Limiting your scope reduces your risk and makes it simpler to prototype and test.
If your initial process implementation is successful, then expand the prototyping to include additional processes.

Basic Manufacturing Concepts and Processes

There are generally the two main processes that trigger when you manufacture a product. They are as follows:

  • Make to Stock (MTS)

- The manufacturing process is triggered by the need to maintain minimum stock levels of products so that you don’t run out. 

- This means that you’ll always have stock on hand in a warehouse or shop to sell to customers whenever an order arrives.

  • Make to Order (MTO

- The manufacturing process is triggered by an order from a customer. 

-The product is manufactured specifically for that customer. There is no stock held in a warehouse or shop.

Your business may use either one or a combination of these processes. To support the above processes you also need to ensure that you have the right raw materials in stock at the right time to be able to manufacture.

  • This additional process is called “Raw Materials Purchasing”
  • Make to Stock, Make to Order and Raw Materials Purchasing are all supported with OFBiz2.

Example Scenario

Each manufacturing business will be different, so for demonstration purposes, we will use an example scenario.

Using our scenario we’ll take you step by step through the manufacturing setup required.

Example Scenario: Manufacturing Tables

A carpenter runs a business making tables.

To make one table he uses 5 pieces of wood, 20 nails and a bottle of varnish.

To make a table he’ll cut the wood to length, nail it together, sand it and finally varnish it.

The completed table is then put in his shop, ready to sell to customers passing by.

He likes to keep a minimum of five completed, ready to sell tables in his shop.

He keeps track of the amount of wood, nails, and varnish he has in stock to make sure that he doesn’t run out.

If we do an analysis of his business processes then we see that our carpenter runs a “Make to Stock” manufacturing process supported by “Raw Material Purchasing”.

*“Make to Stock” - He likes to keep a minimum of 5 tables in stock so is not reliant on a customer order to make a table

*“Raw Material Purchasing” - He keeps track of his raw materials so that he doesn’t run out

His raw materials are:

  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Varnish

His manufacturing process and sequence steps are:

  • Cut Wood
  • Nail Wood Together
  • Sand Table
  • Varnish Table

Our Objective for OFBiz

We will setup this manufacturing business in OFBiz and configure MRP to prompt us when we need to make tables and when to order more raw materials.

Step 3: Setup your Product Data

Approximately 15 minutes is required to complete this step.

Using Catalog Manager to Set up the Raw Materials

  • Our first task is to set up our raw materials within OFBiz.
  • Use the Catalog Manager and the table below to:
  • Create new products of type “Raw Materials” for wood, nails, and varnish (see Figures 1, 2 and 3)

Product IDProduct NameMinimum StockRe-order quantity
*Use Product ID returned by the Catalog Manager

                 Figure 1: Creating a New Product using the Catalog Manager             

Figure 2: Opening the entire form to enter details while creating a New Product 

                                                                       Figure 2.1: Review the entire form to enter Required details to create a New Product                                                                            
  • Make sure the “Requirement Method Enum Id” for each product is set to “When QOH Reaches Minimum Stock for Product Facility” as shown in Figure 2.
  • This tells MRP that when the Quantity on Hand (QOH) gets to our minimum then you want to order more.

Figure 2.3:  Setting the Requirement Method Enum Id

  • Set the re-order quantity and minimum stock fields using the product “Facilities” tab as shown in Figure 3.                                                                                                 
  • Select the Web Store Warehouse as the “Facility Id”

Figure 3: Setting Minimum Stock and Re-order Quantities for a Product

  • Setup one supplier for each of the Raw Materials using the data from the following table:
Product SupplierSupplier Pref Order IDSupplier Product IDLast Price
Wood Demo SupplierMain SupplierXYZWood11.00
NailsDemo SupplierMain Supplier123Nails4.00
VarnishDemo SupplierMain SupplierABCVarnish5.00
  • Suppliers for products are setup using the product “Suppliers” tab as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Setting up a Supplier for a Product

Reminder: Before continuing, make sure you have created new products for Nails and Varnish too.

Using Catalog Manager to Set up the Manufactured Product

Use Catalog Manager to:

  • Create a new product for the manufactured product (the table) of type “Finished Good” using the details below:
Product IDProduct NameDefault PriceMinimum Stock

* Take product Id returned by Catalog Manager

  • Make sure the “Requirement Enum Id” is set for this product too as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Setting the Requirement Enum Id for the Manufactured Product

  • Enter a “Minimum Stock” but don’t set a re-order quantity for the table since we manufacture it and don’t need to order them from a supplier as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6: Leave the Re-Order Quantity blank for the Manufactured Product

This step is now complete

Step 4: Setup your Manufacturing Data

            Approximately 15 minutes is required to complete this step.

Using Manufacturing Manager to Set up the Bill of Materials

            The next task is to create a Bill of Materials (BOM).

            The Bill of Materials is the list of raw materials or list of ingredients required to make our manufactured product.

            In the previous step, we created the products, now we need to define the relationship between the table and its raw materials. This is done using the BOM.

One table is made up of 5 pieces of wood, 20 nails and 1 bottle of varnish so let’s create a BOM to reflect this.

            Use Manufacturing Manager to:

  • Create a new Bill of Materials by pressing the ‘Create Bom’ in the Bill of Materials tab as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Creating a Bill of Materials (BOM)

  • Enter the details for the Bill of Materials using the information in the table below.

Product DProduct ID ToBom TypeQuantity
1000110000Bill of Materials5
1000110010Bill of Materials20
1000110011Bill of Materials1

  • An example of how to enter the first product for a Bill of Materials is shown in Figure 8

FigFigure 8: Adding the first product to a Bill of Materials (BOM)
  • Once the first product (wood) is added a Bill of Materials (BOM) then additional products (nails, varnish) can be entered as shown in Figure 9

Figure 9: Adding an additional product to a Bill of Materials (BOM)
  • Once the items have been added to the Bill of Materials then you should see a screen similar to the one shown in Figure 10

Figure 10: All Raw Materials added to the Bill of Materials (BOM) for Table

Using Manufacturing Manager to Set up the Routing Tasks

            Next, we need to create Routing Tasks. These are the individual steps that are needed to turn the raw materials into a finished product.

Reminder: The steps to make the table are: cutting the wood, nailing it together, sanding it and varnishing it so we'll need to create a routing task for each of these.

           Use Manufacturing Manager to: 

  •  Create a new Routing Task by clicking the ‘New Routing Task’ button in the Routing Task tab as shown in Figure 11

Figure 11: Creating a new Routing Task

  • Create new routing tasks using the data in the table below:

Routing Task NameDescriptionTask Type
Cut WoodCut Wood to LengthManufacturing
Nail TogetherNail Wood TogetherManufacturing
Sand TableSand the TableManufacturing
Varnish TableVarnish the TableManufacturing
  • An example of how to enter a Routing Task is shown in Figure 12

Figure 12: Entering Routing Task Details 

Using Manufacturing Manager to Set up the Routing

The final pieces of the manufacturing setup are to:

  • Link the tasks together in the sequence they need to be performed and;
  • Make sure that all tables manufactured will default to this set of manufacturing steps.

This is done using a “Routing”.

The tasks required to manufacture our table, need to be performed in the following sequence:
      1. Cut wood
      2. Nail wood together
      3. Sand table
      4. Varnish table

Use Manufacturing Manager to:

  • Create a new routing by clicking the ‘New Routing’ button in the Routing tab as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13: Creating a New Routing

Enter the new routing details using the data in the table below (see Figure 14).

Routing NameDescription
Table RoutingRouting to Make Tables

Figure 14: Entering Routing Details

Use the “Edit Routing Task Assoc” tab to add the details from the table below as shown in Figure 15.

Routing Task IdSequence
*Use the Task Id generated by Manufacturing Manager for Cut Wood, Nail Together, Sand Table and Varnish Table

Tip: Use the “Add an existing Routing Task” to add the task and sequence to the routing

Figure 15: Adding a Routing Task Sequence to a Routing

  • Once all tasks have been added you should see a screen similar to Figure 16

Figure 16: All Routing Tasks and Sequences added to a Routing

           Next, we need to make sure that every table that we manufacture will use this routing since all tables are made using the same steps.

  • Click on the “Edit Routing Product Link” tab and add the table product ID as shown in Figure 17 then click the “Update” button

Figure 17: Adding the Manufactured Product to a Routing

This step is now complete

Step 5: Run MRP and Review the Results

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