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Joshua Moore
Joshua Moore

A Review of Manufacturing Planning and Control Systems by Vollmann et al.: Concepts, Techniques and Applications

Manufacturing Planning and Control Systems: A Comprehensive Guide by Vollmann et al.

Manufacturing planning and control systems (MPCs) are the methods and tools that help manufacturing companies plan, coordinate and execute their production activities. MPCs are essential for managing the flow of materials, information and money across the supply chain, from suppliers to customers. MPCs aim to achieve high customer service, low inventory, high quality, low cost and high flexibility in manufacturing operations.

manufacturing planning and control systems vollmann pdf 20

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In this article, we will review the book Manufacturing Planning and Control Systems by Thomas E. Vollmann, William L. Berry, D. Clay Whybark and F. Robert Jacobs. This book is a definitive guide for professionals who want to learn about the concepts, techniques and applications of MPCs. The book covers a wide range of topics, from the basics of MPCs to the latest developments and trends in the field. We will summarize the main points and takeaways of each chapter, and provide some examples and illustrations to help you understand MPCs better.


In this chapter, the authors introduce the concept and importance of MPCs for supply chain management. They define MPCs as "the systems that plan for and control the allocation of resources within a firm" (p. 3). They explain that MPCs have three main functions:

  • Planning: determining what products to make, how much to make, when to make them, where to make them, and how to deliver them to customers.

  • Coordination: aligning the plans and activities of different departments, functions, units, and partners within the supply chain.

  • Execution: implementing the plans and monitoring the performance of the production system.

The authors also describe the main features and benefits of MPCs, such as:

  • Integration: linking the strategic, tactical and operational levels of planning and control within the firm and across the supply chain.

  • Feedback: providing timely and accurate information on the status and performance of the production system.

  • Adaptation: adjusting the plans and actions according to changing conditions and requirements in the market and environment.

  • Optimization: maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the production system.

An MPC Classification Schema

In this chapter, the authors propose a classification schema for MPCs based on two dimensions: production type and planning horizon. They identify four types of MPCs:

Production Type

Planning Horizon

MPC Type



Make-to-stock (MTS)


Type I

MPCs that plan for aggregate demand over a long period (e.g., a year) using techniques such as sales and operations planning (S&OP).

A consumer goods company that produces standardized products for mass markets.


Type II

MPCs that plan for disaggregate demand over a short period (e.g., a week) using techniques such as master production scheduling (MPS) and material requirements planning (MRP).

A computer hardware company that produces customized products for niche markets.

Make-to-order (MTO)


Type III

MPCs that plan for aggregate capacity over a long period using techniques such as resource requirements planning (RRP) and rough-cut capacity planning (RCCP).

A construction company that builds projects based on customer specifications.


Type IV

MPCs that plan for disaggregate capacity over a short period using techniques such as input/output control (I/O) and finite loading.

A job shop that processes orders based on customer requests.

The authors explain that each type of MPC has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the characteristics of the production system, such as product variety, demand uncertainty, lead time, inventory level, capacity utilization, quality level, 71b2f0854b


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