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Sandy Corbett

ROLE: Consultant

In your previous job as a production engineer and manager in an aerospace company, you were directly involved in the implementation of MRP and MRP2. You are very much an enthusiast for this approach to production control. Although you know little about the furniture industry, basically all manufacturing businesses are the same. They take in bits, process them, combine them, and then sell them. And in between, the flows of all the bits have to be monitored. For this, essentially identical systems can be used. The nature of the bits doesn't really matter.

You have special links with one supplier, but of course you do your best to offer impartial advice. It would not serve your interests to recommend a system that will eventually cause problems. Once a company has bought in to MRP, they will probably continue to invest and upgrade over a number of years before achieving a full MRP2 system. And you will continue to help them.

You have been invited to make a presentation to a working group on MRP at Oakland Furniture. The Managing Director, Alex Rheingold, contacted you after you had spoken at a recent industry conference. He appeared to be very impressed by your talk. However, in making your presentation at Oakland's, you should be very aware of the political dynamics of the situation. Not everyone there is likely to welcome MRP2. You have only limited access to key decision-makers and you need to make the most of it. It would be advisable, therefore, to contact Alex Rheingold and arrange a brief meeting with a senior manager to learn a bit more about the company- turnover, number of product parts, etc.