Routes, which contain the instructions to manufacture products, are inexorably linked with materials that are required by individual operation steps in the production process. For some manufacturers the answer is to simply have all the materials on hand before starting the job and have it accompany the job as it moves through the shop floor. In essence, that may be viewed as having the components required on the first step of the route.
Manufacturers with jobs that have large material lists, extensive routes using material throughout the build process, and with a longer duration timeline to completion have a somewhat more complex challenge. In their case it is impractical for the material to be moved from operation to operation. Instead, it needs to be delivered to the operation where and when it will be consumed. They are also more sensitive to JIT, or Just In Time, and their supply chain must be timed to coincide with when operation steps will need the material. .
In the first example, MRP bucketed techniques will suffice. In the second case, MRP bucketless techniques are required.
The software ERP industry is replete with solutions that handle bucketed requirements. However, there is a dearth of offerings to meet the requirements of a bucketless manufacturer. The number drops to basically none looking for a software package to handle both when both MRP techniques are used together, except for ALERE.
ALERE permits a relationship to be defined between a route and a BOM on the Assign Material screen.