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8 Steps to Consider when Choosing an MES Solution

What to Think About When Choosing the Right MES Software?

Maybe you’ve realized that most of your factory data isn’t being used. This moment often leads to a discussion of what factors need to be considered in selecting the right MES solution that can keep up with the next-generation smart, Industry 4.0, connected solutions.

Selecting the right MES solution for your manufacturing plant gives you the data and insights needed to excel and stand tall in the markets you compete in daily. The MES software provider should be able to communicate clearly how their software addresses the most crucial issues and shows examples of how it addresses these needs.

  1.  Finding a Solution with Quick ROI

The return on investment (ROI) should be calculated based on number of years, typically over the expected life of the new system. Tangible benefits should be determined based on the expected improvements from the MES system, including reduction in production times; less idle time for resources (people, equipment and materials); reduction in work in process. You also must weigh in costs, is it a license model, price per facility or user? Implementation should be quick, including lean processes and short deployment – In order to see results FAST.

  1.   An Expert in Your Field

Domain expertise in your specific area of manufacturing is a must-have and speaking with other customers who are using their MES solution is important – Make sure the unique, complex needs of your specific area of manufacturing will be met.

  1.   Select an MES Solution with a Proven Track Record

MES vendors vary on how well they understand new, emerging digital business models, select one with a solid track record making them successful.  Be sure to see how well any MES systems you’re evaluating can flex to support smart, connected product production.

  1.   Analytics and BI to Provide Necessary Reports

MES vendors once looked at analytics and BI as an afterthought, integrating into commonly used 3rd party reporting apps. Look for an MES vendor who has analytics and BI applications that can scale for massive amounts of data. Forward-thinking MES vendors are providing support and advanced machine learning algorithms to gain greater insights from massive datasets.

  1.   Data Management

A broad base of data management options that can provide data to analytics and BI applications in real-time, enabling advanced reporting and predictive analytics. MES systems in the past forced manufacturers into predefined systems that made support for complex new products a challenge.

  1.   Ability to Easily Integrate

The MES solution must have proven integration and strategy that allows every manufacturer to scale production across the supply chain, ERP, and CRM systems. Cloud integration technologies need to be part of the MES vendors’ integration technology as new digital business models require new suppliers, distribution channels, partners, and service providers. Look for an MES vendor who has delivered smart, connected products or next-generation IIoT-enabled devices. Think about a product interface which can be customizable based on your company requirements.

  1.   Track and Trace Functionality

Provides product component traceability, genealogy, and integration with process history, where required for regulatory compliance. Any effective MES will be able to provide track-and-trace functionality, with those designed specifically for food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. Ask to see demonstrations of track and traceability and process history to see how well a given MES’ application design fits with your company’s specific needs.

  1.   An MES Solution which is Global Friendly

If you are planning to implement MES on large scale globally, it is necessary to consider the support provided and at what time zones? Is there product support on fixing bugs? If yes, what is the resolution time for fixing bugs? What solutions are available to deal with bugs causing production downtime?

Bottom Line: Selecting the best possible MES gives you the data and insights needed to excel and stand tall in the markets you compete in daily. We’d love to discuss your needs, answer your questions and meet for a demo.