ln response to ever-increasing regional and global competition, automotive manufacturing companies in Thailand are looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations through the adoption of sophisticated manufacturing planning and control systems in general, and Material Requirements Planning (MRP) systems in particular. Despite its growing popularity, an in-depth review of the academic literature has revealed no systematic studies of how, and how successfully, Thai automotive manufacturers have managed to implement MRP in practice. Indeed, there appears to be general dearth of studies of this kind, at least as far as newly-industrialising countries are concerned. This study begins this paper by presenting a brief literature review on MRP implementation, first in advanced industrial economies and then – as far as the evidence allows – in newly-industrialising countries. The major part of the paper concerns our empirical investigation of the way in which MRP systems are being implemented in Thai automotive manufacturing companies. The investigation is based on a major questionnaire survey of about 120 companies, of which about 67 companies are currently using some kind of MRP system. In addition to more general questions on the nature of the companies concerned and the production processes used, the survey posed specific questions on the (actual or expected) costs and benefits to be obtained from MRP, as well as the implementation process used. The findings from the survey suggest that MRP implementation in Thai automotive companies is relatively similar to implementation in manufacturing companies in the newly industrialised countries; however, there are some dissimilarities to MRP implementation in Western countries.
- Material Requirements Planning
- automotive industry