A futures message is a system-generated order due date that is based on lead times for all levels of items. A futures date is generated if master scheduling calculates an order date, perhaps for a lower-level item, that precedes today's date. Master scheduling then forward-schedules the order from today's date and includes lead times starting with any lower-level component items. The futures date is a realistic due date based on the current data.

There are situations where you may choose not to use a futures date. It may be possible to expedite lead times by other means. For example, an item that is usually sent by truck could be air-freighted instead to reduce the lead time.

You can configure how you want futures messages to be calculated for a coverage group, which you can attach to an item. For more information, see Coverage groups (form).

In the form, you can set the futures time, which is used to calculate all futures dates.