In his famous novel the Goal, Eliyahu Goldratt explains the importance of understanding the three most important aspects of a manufacturing plant or a business for that matter. These most crucial facets of business are- Inventory, Operational Expense and Throughput. Yes, Inventory Operational Expense and Throughput, and the real Goal is to reduce the first two and increase the third. Simply said, cut costs; produce efficiently and sell faster. This theory has a universal appeal and encompasses all sorts of businesses. Irrespective of the method or theory you apply to improve your process, i.e. TQM, Lean, Six Sigma etc. the main prerogative remains to cut costs, make better products and earn more money.
In a manufacturing scenario, the impact of the three factors mentioned above become very evident and can mean the difference between the survival and death of a business. Today the world is a very competitive place, consumers have become more demanding, competitors are fast in replicating a successful process and there are limited avenues for differentiating the end product. With such limited breathing space how does a company possibly survive? Well, it can not only survive but also achieve the best-in-class status in its industry. This can happen if the organization realizes the need to have better process management and move towards operational excellence. Even the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Award emphasizes the importance of technology and automation.
Automation and integration specially in IT sector is very hard to replicate for a competitor as it is process specific and a well planned IT application can provide the organization the much needed and sought after competitive edge. An MES application for manufacturing organizations can help them reduce operational expense and inventory and at the same time increase throughput. MES or Manufacturing Execution Systems are basically information systems that help you execute your production process on an integrated application and help you make real-time cost saving and money making decisions. But, because these applications are process specific and help you achieve process excellence for your process individually they are highly desirable. An MES solution can help you differentiate in a way that is extremely hard for your competitors to copy or recreate.
An MES application which is well designed, carefully applied and well implemented, can achieve greater process control, which helps you achieve operational excellence or at least pursue the excellence in a more comprehensive way. Information solutions have become a major priority for organizations specially in manufacturing world wide and it is because of two major reasons which are that they are capable of making the process efficient and that if an application is tailor made to the process it can help the organization become the best-in-class operation and eventually make more money from their factory or factories. If you agree with me on the views on MES or you have a question about its applicability for your process, do not hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also leave your comments on this web-page.