When looking at the big picture, it’s easy to see why manufacturers can gain a competitive advantage through the use of a manufacturing execution system (MES). The fact is: a MES drives the execution of all manufacturing operations. The goal of a MES is to reach and maintain a high-performance level. Its role is critical to monitoring and enforcing the correct execution of the production process as well as the material used in it. Also, the MES gathers information about the production process and provides the tools to analyze the data. Suffice it to say, to a manufacturer, a MES is a game changer.

MES changed the industry

In the past, manufacturers used manufacturing resource planning (MRP) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to manage data. The MES has brought about positive change to the industry by offering a far more simplified process to produce a competitive advantage that includes:

  • Collection of real-time data. The power acquired through having visibility into a project is beyond compare. A world of knowledge is at one’s fingertips. Suddenly, options open up because seeing data in real time offers indications abut how to best manage inventory, order supplies or maintain equipment. Manufacturers now have control over what’s transpired, what’s happening currently and what can be expected in the future. This level of transparency removes so much conjecture from the process.
  • Flexibility and exclusivity. Since MES software can be customized, it allows a manufacturer to choose its area of focus. Be it inventory, a specific process or a dysfunctional machine, the system can offer sufficient insight to get to the root cause of problems. A MES is also the ideal option for a manufacturer with a complex production problem.
  • Reduction of downtime. Being able to access real-time data from any location reduces much of the downtime associated with production problems. By reducing downtime, manufacturers shorten processing times, produce higher quality products and earn increased profits. And, when it comes to customers, the first two conditions turn heads.

Return on investment

A MES works to the advantage for most manufacturers and payback is felt throughout the company. By installing the right system, companies have the opportunity to reach their full manufacturing potential. They find ways to do more with less, and they push to do it faster and cheaper. Clearly these capabilities make the MES a powerful tool for achieving a competitive advantage and producing a sound return on investment.