Are Your ERP and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Married?
The days of what happen on the plant floor, stays on the plant floor are long gone. Manufacturing companies use manufacturing execution systems(MES) to track and document the transformation of raw materials through finished goods. These computerized systems work in real time to enable the control of multiple elements of the production process. Your business may still use this system as an isolated and self-contained system. Which means, you have not connected this system with your ERP system. It is true your ERP system can work independent from your MES. Both systems are critical to manufacturing operations.
The lack of system communication between the two makes it hard to sync your business and manufacturing information together to get a view of your entire business. Maybe you don’t have a means to automatically convert data from the MES to the ERP. Are you manually recording your raw data materials? Technology has evolved so much, so why in the world would you be doing any type of manual entry? You can implement an automated data collection system that can track exactly which raw materials are used to produce finished goods. This data collection technology can help integrate your MES and ERP systems together and allow you to track your raw materials as well as your finished goods. Concerned with the cost? Think of all the time you will save in labor costs by automating a manual system. You can use your employees instead to push orders through the supply chain quicker, hence off-setting any costs you may invest in the technology.
Over the last couple years, the demand for faster response times in manufacturing is another reason this integration makes sense. Although both systems can give you a detailed snapshot of what’s going on in the business at any given time, they are both needed. Your ERP acts as more of a reporting tool and gives an overview of company operations. Your MES is a real-time snapshot and allows you to react quickly to changes with inventory. Ideally, your MES system will feed your ERP system accurate and timely information such as production levels, inventory, work-in-progress status, part numbers, etc…Thus giving you a view of your entire universe and allows you to make quick and informed decisions.
By marrying these two systems together, you can create an integrated ecosystem across your entire supply chain and all your locations. In doing this, you can allow all necessary parties access to information from both systems real-time and from anywhere. The return on your ERP system can be increased two fold when you can integrate it with accurate, real-time, plant information. Because of the increased need and desire for the integration of these 2 systems, many systems now have features that make the integration easier. There are also some third-party integrators or software that are available as well, something like the data collection software I mentioned earlier. 2W Tech can help you set up an easy-to-implement integration plan to allow your systems to integrate. The demands of the manufacturing industry are just going to continue to increase, let us help you be proactive and ready for whatever is thrown your direction.