On the Master Production Planning level (in APS also called Enterprise Planning, Supply Chain Coordination, Supply Network Planning) , the specific timing and sizing of production quantities of main products or finished products are defined, thereby possibly taking the multi-level structure of the production processes into account. The resulting master production schedule defines the external demands that must be met through production activities for sub-assemblies and components. In the standard MRP approach this planning level is called "Master Production Scheduling" which has up to now mainly been treated without a formal decision model.
Starting with a given set of products and given human and technical resources, it has to be decided
- how to balance the seasonal variations of capacity requirements and available capacity over time,
- which finished products to produce in which quantities over the planning period,
- which quantities of material and components to provide, and
- how the production processes have to be run.
In a company with several plants located all around the world, it also must be decided,
- which products in which quantities should be produced at the different locations.
Closely related are decisions with respect to the
- transportation of products between the factories.
As a company is part of a supply network, the question arises,
- whether some of the products should be bought from external suppliers.
For the solution of these decision problems, mnany Advanced Planning Systems apply Linear Programming Models.