Best Practices for Implementing a Manufacturing Information Management System

Manufacturing Executions Systems (better known as MES) are computerized systems used by manufacturing companies in order to track and document the process by which raw materials are transformed into finished goods. MESs give companies crucial information on how their processes can be improved in order to increase production efficiency and output. They work in real time and can control numerous elements of the production process, but effective implementation of Manufacturing Executions Systems requires users to follow a few key best practices.

Recognize that MES Operates in Numerous Function Areas

MESs are not a single entity. They operate among many different function areas, including:

  • Managing product definition changes along the entire product life cycle
  • Scheduling resources
  • Determining the order in which processes are executed and dispatched
  • Analyzing production
  • Analyzing downtime management
  • Assuring quality of products
  • Tracking and tracing materials

In Some Industries, MES is Especially Important

While MES can always give companies information on the data, processes, and outcomes of their production line, in some industries its value is even more pronounced. For example, the regulations of the food and beverage industries as well as the pharmaceutical industry require proof of processes, events, and actions. Effective MES are an essential part of this implementation.

The 4 Primary Functions of MES

Before implementing MES a company must understand its four primary functions:

  1. Collecting data in real time
  2. Organizing and storing data in a centralized database
  3. Making data accessible via network and integrating critical data from other departments, such as planning and accounting
  4. Delivering and managing orders from ERP all the way to production, including detailed schedules that react to real-time events in order to increase both productivity and quality

Accomplishing the second and third functions in the above list is made easier with the help of eFileCabinet. With this software or web-based application you can securely store all of your MES information and set up specific controls to allow access to critical employees and departments. Once the information is shared, it can be viewed by those with access via their own computers or any web-enabled mobile device.

The Benefits of Computerized MES

Why do companies turn to an MES model? There are many reasons, only some of which include:

  • Reducing manufacturing cycle time
  • Reducing or completely eliminating data entry
  • Reducing work in process
  • Reducing lead times
  • Eliminating lost paperwork
  • Improving the planning process
  • Reducing or eliminating paperwork between employees and between shifts
  • Improving the quality of a product
  • Empowering plant operations personnel to make more efficient decisions about the production process
  • Improving customer service
  • Understanding total PPT

Factors to Consider when Implementing MES

There many factors to consider when implementing your own MES. First, consider the exact field of manufacturing in which you’re involved and how that might affect your MES plan. While the basic principles of MES are consistent from company to company, the way that they will be implemented will vary based on your field of manufacturing.

Next, consider the size of your company. Do you have hundreds of employees who need to be involved in the process, or just a few? Do you already have an implemented infrastructure that you’re trying to update or are you starting from scratch? The answers to these questions will inform how you implement your own system.

5 Factors that will Optimize Success for Companies Who Implement MES

As a company works to begin their MES implementation, they should strongly consider these 5 factors to optimize success:

  1. Have specific performance analysis plans in place. You won’t know how well your MES is working unless you have specific, measurable performance metrics in mind.
  2. Be sure your employees can quickly and easily communicate and share documents relating to your MES. Optimizing your MES will leave you with a wealth of information at your disposal. This information won’t be worth much if key employees can’t access it. Use eFileCabinet to provide access to every department that needs relevant information and to make the process of getting data to where it needs to go 100% seamless.
  3. Keep an eye on the details, because MES is all about these details. You’ll want to track your scheduling, output, production, and shipping. Understanding the big picture is key, but you will also want to maintain a hyper-focus on each and every moving part.
  4. Be open to the results. It’s often easier for a company to implement a brand-new MES than it is to adjust their current process. If you already have a system in place, remember that you’re choosing to move on to MES for a reason. Begin the process with no preconceived notions and be open to maximizing production and output in whatever ways make the most sense.
  5. Cover all functional areas. MES is made to be truly all-inclusive. Make sure your implementation covers everything from dispatching to execution and management and beyond.

Before you begin the implementation process, ensure that you have everything you need to properly store and share documents. eFileCabinet is the secure, safe, mobile option that will keep your company on track. Fill out the form on this page for your free 15-minute demo.

By | 2016-12-15T11:59:38+00:00 October 20th, 2015|
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