This article examines the benefits of an MES system and outlines the steps you need to take to deliver a successful MES project.
Many organizations use an MES (Manufacturing Execution System) to track and monitor manufactured goods during production and manufacturing. They maintain order throughout the entire process, from the time an order is received until it leaves the floor.
As such, those wanting to increase production and profits must deliver a successful MES project. With the right information and planning strategies, you can guarantee a successful launch of your MES implementation.
Benefits of an MES
The pressure to develop quality products in record time leaves many manufacturing industries scrambling. The overall result is an increase in expenses and smaller profit margins. When you successfully implement an MES project, you can expect more significant benefits. Below are just a few.
Different industries use MES such as Autodesk Prodsmart to monitor and track various costs directly related to the production floor. These usually include employee performance and machine downtime. Knowing where to make improvements that reduce wasted materials and time, along with preparing for maintenance, allows your company to cut down on some of those costs.
Improve inventory management
Delivering a successful MES project can improve the way you manage your inventory. For example, you can easily track your raw materials from start to finish. This traceability helps you predict what materials you need more of and when you need them. As a result, you can manage your warehouse space more efficiently; no more “just-in-case” inventory, as these records update in real-time.
Get the most out of your time
Successful manufacturing execution systems assist in increasing the efficiency of your operation floor. From planning maintenance to scheduling your operations, MES helps you meet production targets. With real-time and historical data, you can know which machines are down or designated for repairs and how many workers you have on the floor at any given time.
While the successful delivery of any MES project can be challenging, a manufacturing software system’s return on investment will prove valuable. Before beginning the process of implementation, here are some initial points to consider:
- Determine governance and authority
- Define and understand the wants, needs, and capabilities of the MES
- Encourage buy-in from executives beyond IT
- Understand the MES project and how it syncs with your operations
- Identify and recruit resources with experience and knowledge to assist in the implementation process
When managed and employed correctly, MES solutions have the potential to impact several departments positively. However, the results are reversed when this does not happen, so it’s important to plan properly.
How to plan a successful MES project
Now that you understand the benefits and direction of your MES project, it’s time to begin the planning process. When implementing any production software or manufacturing software, getting a head start on planning and preparation can make all the difference in its success.
Prepare for the future
Preparing for the future of your MES is the first step in your planning process. Your vision for not only the implementation process but also the ongoing facilitation of the system will create the groundwork for moving forward.
Establish your team
First, you must establish your team, which will consist of various leaders from within and without the IT and engineering departments. It’s crucial that these individuals have a working knowledge of the process, how it works now, how it works in the future, and how it generates profits.
Next, you need to map the progression from beginning to end. It’s important to know where you are and where you plan to go with your MES. What departments will be impacted the most? Where will the change be the most vital or the hardest to overcome? Developing a map will help you visualize all these areas of concern and get ahead of any roadblocks.
Draft a schedule
Now that you’re looking ahead, draft a schedule that pushes your team to meet long and short-term goals. As a part of the scheduling process, mark out times for progress reviews. Ensure that you give adequate time to migrate and sync information from sources such as paper or other software programs. Most importantly, leave room for additional training or other constraints.
Define and design
Lastly, you want to define and design your MES project. What is the role of the MES system? When that is determined, your project managers and leaders can take ownership of their organizations’ implementation process. This ensures that the integration strategy is consistent across the board. From there, you can develop specified user requirements appropriate for each system user.
For the duration of the delivery process, you will need to set aside dates for checking on the progress of the MES project. For instance, you could plan on three review dates scheduled equally throughout the time.
The first review would examine your new system’s content, such as the look and feel of it. It’s at this time you would address any significant changes. During the second review, consider a small simulation of the system. The hope would be that only minor changes need correcting at this time. In the last and final inspection, the system should be in its near-completed state. A detailed simulation with reports could be part of this presentation.
Conduct a system check
As the implementation date approaches, the countdown begins. However, you must give your MES project one more system check before the final launch. Test for what-if scenarios, the functionality of specified user requirements, and all integration points. This final systems test is the last step as you prepare your project to go live. It’s best to discover any issues before that time.
The environment of today’s production and manufacturing floor is ever-changing. The most efficient way to way to handle its complexities is by delivering a successful MES project. The right production manufacturing execution system has the capability to improve the bottom line in any manufacturing industry.