MES vs. ERP: What’s The Difference?

Shannon McGarry October 12, 2022 2 min read

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

Let’s take an in-depth look at what an MES is versus an ERP system, the benefits of each, and how Autodesk Prodsmart can help.

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The manufacturing industry requires a great deal of organization to ensure production is maintained at an optimal level, resources are fully utilized, and order fulfillment is timely. To do this, manufacturers generally need a solution to track sales, production, and inventory. 

Each company has its own unique way of doing this. Typically, this depends on a variety of factors – the size of the company, how sophisticated its production processes are, the industry and market they serve, etc. 

In an effort to automate and digitize production planning processes, many manufacturers use a manufacturing software system. Two of the most popular solutions are MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). Both MES and ERP systems are designed to improve manufacturing efficiency via smart forecasting, but they’re intended for different audiences. 

What is MES?

A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) helps manufacturers, regardless of their size, automate and digitize manufacturing processes.

It’s software that manages, monitors, and tracks the transformation of raw materials into finished products in real-time.

In addition, companies can gain insight into manufacturing operations to see how to improve performance, lower costs, and increase production efficiency.

What is ERP?

Unlike an MES system, ERP systems map processes across the entire business. This includes managing financials, operations, supply chain, manufacturing, HR resourcing, etc.

ERP software facilitates the coordination of workflow processes, the centralization of information, and resource management across the company through effective data management.

By integrating all departments into one system, ERP software improves transparency by providing updates and real-time costs to run the business effectively. 

MES vs. ERP: Some of The Benefits

MES

ERP

Conclusion

MES and ERP are quite similar, but there are key differences that make each solution unique, depending on the needs of the business. For manufacturers looking to streamline supply chain management, then an ERP system is the most sensible choice. 

If you’re a manufacturer and already have a system in place for managing customer-focused operations such as order processing and want to gain more control over areas such as production planning and inventory management, then the best solution would be to use an MES.

Ditch the paper and spreadsheets and start automating and digitizing your production processes with Autodesk Prodsmart.

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