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The Role Of The Almighty C-Suite In Driving The MES Implementation!

Top Management plays an important role in any business decision, especially when leveraging information and benefits derived from it is concerned. Every manufacturing organization, which relies on selling goods to either consumers or B2B needs to realize the importance of process data and how it impacts the bottom line. The CEO’s, COO’s and CIO’s of the world need to take into consideration the huge value which lies dormant in their internal process, whilst they set targets of gaining business advantage by targeting external data and analytics.
Every manufacturing process, especially those with higher degree of automation, are potential gold mines of data, data which can lead to business advantages faster than the external data. The main reason why benefits are easily realized from internal data, is the ease of its availability, however, this also the main reason why it’s ignored as well. There is a huge propensity in the senior management leaders to ignore internal avenues of value creation and look beyond organizational realms to attain competitive advantage. The top bosses of manufacturing organizations need to realize that a large scope of improvement lies with-in day-to-day operations which might appear trivial or even mundane to them. What is required from them is to dig deeper and see what is required from the operations in terms of their strategic plans and goals. For example, If they want to reduce costs, where is the best place to begin reductions inside, how can inputs become more efficient and employees more capable? These questions and statements reinforce the notion that internal improvement and agility are key drivers of business improvement.
Process data is undoubtedly vital, but what does the CIO/CEO/COO of a company do to harness and convert otherwise useless information to information which drives improvement and competitive supremacy? Well, to begin with an important thing to do is to assess the current business scenario, where are the competitors in terms of process technology and IT. After understanding the competitive scene, its important to analyze the industry trends, whether its facing regular and incremental changes or are there any disruptive changes going around which might impact the industry at the base itself. Once these scenarios and trends are understood it is important to link these external changes/trends to the internal manufacturing process, and establish what is needed in terms or technology and information.
Leaders should pay attention to how MES and other IT applications can unlock the goldmine of data discussed earlier. Information form the MES may help them realize exactly where the main pressure points are, in their processes. So if they choose to employ an MES, in maybe three months time they may realize that their TPM efforts are more intensive than required and this is increasing unnecessary downtime. They may realize that they need to train workers cross-functionally to ascertain operations is immune to turnover. What I want to emphasize here, is that applications like the MES are capable of much more than they are given credit for. Improving performance and achieving higher quality standards is just a small speck of what integrated applications such as the MES can achieve, they have the potential to drive business decisions not even related to manufacturing as an activity, such as the one illustrated above regarding the cross-functional training.
Today most members of the C-suite in any manufacturing organization would be aware of an MES application, some of them might even have used it in their previous assignments, but what they need to realize is that these applications have now become more evolved and coupled with other enterprise wide applications like the MRP or the CRM, MES applications can not only drive conventional change and improvement, they can even be the source of inspiration for potential disruptive changes, which might change the way in which processes were run in your industry. Business leaders today need to look at the bigger picture, where the MES is the central character, along which other applications rally to extract the true potential from analytics endeavors. So if you are the CIO or CEO of a manufacturing enterprise, think of MES as the IT weapon which can give you the strategic advantage of knowing every single ounce of valuable information from your manufacturing process and imagine how knowing more about a manufacturing process more than your competitors can help you succeed in the marketplace.

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