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Next Stop PLM: Is MES Taking Over The Enterprise?

Posted By Paul Tate, January 27, 2011 at 6:05 AM, in Category: Manufacturing Execution Systems

For years the main focus of MES has been upward integration through an ERP to the higher levels of an enterprise, allowing essential plant floor production information to be analyzed, packaged and exchanged with decision makers and finance execs to help run the business. Great. And very useful. But now that MES systems have got their feet firmly in the enterprise door, there seems to be no stopping them. Warehousing, packaging, logistics and many other key functions are already being integrated into their scope. Next on the list are Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems it seems. An increasing number of MES suppliers are now cutting strategic deals to integrate these enterprise-level, product design and engineering systems too. The theory is that aligning manufacturing with engineering more closely will reduce time to market for new products, eliminate design mistakes earlier, and manage changes more efficiently. It doesn’t stop there. One MES exec recently suggested that MES should also integrate new social media techniques too, so that all production, engineering and supply chain personnel could exchange plans, status reports, ideas, best practices and customer feedback instantly to streamline the entire cradle-to-grave cycle of a product. Would tighter integration between your PLM and MES systems give you greater responsiveness to new product innovations and changing market demands in the future? Is this another sign that Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are starting to dominate enterprise-wide integration?

Written by Paul Tate

Paul Tate is Research Director and Executive Editor with Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Council's Board of Governors, the Council's annual Critical Issues Agenda, and the Manufacturing Leadership Research Panel. Follow us on Twitter: @MfgExecutive


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