The function of setting the overall level of manufacturing output (Production Plan) and other activities to best satisfy the current planned levels of sales (Sales Plan and/or Forecasts) while meeting general business objectives of profitability, productivity, competitive customer lead times, etc. as expressed in the overall Business Plan. One of its primary purposes is to establish production rates that will achieve management’s objective of maintaining, raising or lowering inventories or backlogs, while usually attempting to keep the work force relatively stable. It must extend through a planning horizon sufficient to plan the labor, equipment, facilities, material and finances required to accomplish the production plan. As this plan affects many company functions, it is normally prepared with information from Marketing, Manufacturing, Engineering, Finance, Materials, etc.