By Vivek Bhachawat
The scenario in manufacturing is changing from highly centralized production to a distributed and decentralized production. The main drivers for such distribution is the availability of raw materials, issues related to transfer pricing and taxes, labor skills, govt./non govt. grants and proximity to markets or suppliers. Organizations manufacturing complex products or ones that are customized just before delivery are opting for highly diversified production plants in terms of capacity, location and processes. This way of manufacturing seems lucrative and a sure fire way to become more flexible and responsive, but there are many downsides to it. Such a manufacturing requires perfect synchronization between the various production units, it also requires real-time capacity planning and ability to change schedules as required. These requirements put immense pressure on the management of the plants as the success of the Operations Strategy depends on their ability to communicate and execute such production in a relayed manner.
Organizations which succeed in running production plants, which manufacture various components of a common end product, are able to do so by using IT applications which allow systematic and synchronized execution of the process. MES applications are increasingly making diverse manufacturing a reality. Through an operation wide MES system, it is possible for an Organization to plan production, design, WIP and Logistics, Centrally, while keeping the execution of the production process Decentralized. Modern MES systems are web-based and allow seamless integration of all production facilities irrespective of their geographic location. It is only through these applications that an operation can act as single entities even when it’s various components have a different geographic location.
MES applications allow for a greater degree of control as they are able to incorporate the production process being executed at diverse location as a single integrated process, residing on a single system. Which means for the system the location of activities is not a barrier any more; it portrays the execution of these activities along with relevant metrics associated with the same. So let’s say a US based company which sources its raw material from Brazil, China and India, then processes them into components in its factories Taiwan and Germany and finally assembles the finished product in USA and China, can plan, monitor and control this entire process through a single MES application. This allows for both efficient production and effective centralized control of the entire operation.
As we move towards more visible and viable globalization due to better trade environment and uniform trade policies, dispersed production will become more and more popular. To reap the benefits associated with dispersed manufacturing, organizations will increasingly move towards MES and the way in which they utilize this system will determine their profitability and position in the highly competitive and closely knit global market. So if you are a company which is willing to diversify your production and increase profitability, it is highly advisable to consider an MES application which can provide synchronization and integration for your entire operation.