The strategy of managing manufacturing operations via point solutions is becoming increasingly ineffective as manufacturers face increased global competition and market pressures.

Traditionally, operational visibility in the realm of the shop floor has been enabled by Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) supporting real-time process control scenarios and quality initiatives, whereas Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has been in use in the manufacturing operations, primarily supporting order execution, optimized scheduling and inventory management, quality checks, traceability and planning.

Each system on its own can provide a host of benefits, but manufacturers wanting to drive improved performance and competitive advantage are integrating MES and ERP to leverage the best of both worlds to have a complete digital thread throughout their entire organization and supply chain.

In today’s fast-moving manufacturing environment companies need next-generation ERP systems that can support collaboration, adapt to unique and dynamic environments, improve customer responsiveness, meet regulatory requirements and drive growth as well as keep a lid on costs.

MES delivers consistent, accurate and visible machine and production execution metrics that operations management can use to identify underperforming and high-performance processes and machines and then optimize asset utilization accordingly to eliminate bottlenecks. Performance efficiencies gained from MES can open up the possibility of increasing output and profitability, all from existing production assets.

One of the common challenges manufacturers face is the need to effectively connect planning, scheduling and quality data from its ERP system with the shop floor realities of MES into one centralized system. Overcoming this challenge can result in real-time access to machine and quality data that can be imported into an ERP system to better plan schedules and resources to meet customer demand and optimize service levels.

>Read more by Tom Muth about Where To Begin When Selecting ERP And MES Systems, Manufacturing.net, June 2016

MES & ERP Integration: How Manufacturers Can Leverage The Best Of Both Worlds