Apr 10 2012

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How Do You Implement an Enterprise MES if Your Plants are Autonomous?

When tasked with trying to get to the next level of manufacturing excellence, global industry leaders realize that their Manufacturing Execution System (MES) must be capable of leveraging economies of scale to implement functionality and continuous improvement across plants. While plant-centric systems may solve an immediate need, a next generation solution can scale far better to deliver greater returns to your business.

manufacturing operations management system capabilities

Figure 1: Manufacturing System Capabilities

A recent 2010 survey measured 130 manufacturers to determine what comprises “Best-In-Class.” These elite manufactures average 91% OEE, 94% on-time and complete shipments, 88% successful new product introductions, and +3% operating margins versus corporate plan.  The study found that this group deploys MES to 40% more of their plants than all others with twice the functionality; this group is also 30% more likely to have automated their engineering change processes (see Figure 1).

Achieving the next level of manufacturing operations management excellence across your enterprise requires buy-in from ideally all of your autonomous plants. In order to achieve this buy-in, you really need a solid value proposition.

These industry leaders are adept at using value-based arguments to convince each of their plant managers that they should all work together to accomplish a mutual challenge.  The trick is communicating to key individuals the ways that they will collectively benefit from a centrally managed application or solution (i.e. “What’s in it for me?”). You have to find an issue that most of the plants have in common. This may be a supplier quality problem, or an inventory carrying cost issue, especially as it relates to WIP (something that they don’t have visibility into, OR control over). If a system delivers significant benefits to a majority of the plants, then it will be rapidly adopted.

Emulating the traits of the best in class is a great way to put you on a path to becoming an industry leader. Do you need any ideas on finding the value-proposition in your disparate operations? I would be more than happy to assist. Post a comment to this blog entry, and I will be in contact with you shortly!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2012/04/how-do-you-implement-an-enterprise-mes-if-your-plants-are-autonomous/


  1. drew

    Studies like this are important to produce more food to help the hungry all over the world. Good post!

  2. Jagdish

    Good report but the reality is that it is difficult to remain Best in class. Only one can be on the top.

    1. Tim Sanford

      Thanks for the response Jagdish.

      You should know that for the referenced study, Aberdeen views the category “best in class” as the top 20% of performers. Sure, it would be great to be in the top #1 spot, but that is certainly not always possible. Being in the top 20% seems a worthy objective, or at least a direction to pursue.

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