Aerospace engineer Edward Murphy may have been trying to warn production managers everywhere when he said, “If everything seems to be going well, you obviously don’t know what’s going on.” If this sounds relatable, you’re not alone. The modern production manager faces many challenges between optimizing resource use, decreasing production times, dealing with delayed material delivery, responding to machine failures and more. But the most all-encompassing challenge? Balancing priorities that compete against each other.
When objectives fall through the cracks, production managers need support in making the right business decisions without losing efficiency. Let’s discuss how manufacturing execution system (MES) software can optimally implement and monitor production planning while keeping a pulse on the whole picture – all in real time.
What is MES Software?
As a production manager, you are a magician. You take care of production lags that are invisible to the untrained eye, and it’s common for you to run worst-case scenarios through your head with the hope of creating plans to prevent it all going sideways. But what if technology like MES could create a digital thread to help you gain greater control and visibility into the factory floor?
MES is a productivity-focused software tool that helps you manage, monitor, track and synchronize physical production orders, allowing you to deliver them on time while improving process efficiency. A well-built MES can connect to the existing software and systems you already have in place to provide a real-time bird’s-eye view of your operations. Production managers often find that when there’s an ability to monitor everything, it becomes easier to keep tabs on the ever-changing numbers.
Not to mention, it can also open communication amongst your team and will report customizable KPIs that fuel your ability to analyze industrial performance.
Why Digital Factory Transformation is Vital in Times of Crisis
Building resilience against disruption in this post-COVID recovery period has proven difficult. Rising labor shortages across all industries, economic uncertainty and emerging regulations for global trade and material requirements have required manufacturers to act fast when change hits, all just to stay competitive. The need for efficient factory floor communication in real time with reliable data has never been more important. The technology exists to provide this. But implementation has been slow.
According to the PwC Digital Factory Transformation Survey 2022, which was based on the input of more than 700 manufacturing companies across the globe, only 10% of companies have fully implemented digital factory solutions despite the fact that factory-level digital technologies and automation reduce cost and drive resilience.
For those worldwide industrial companies who are choosing to invest in digital transformation (to the tune of $1.1 trillion per year), they’re seeing a double-digit return through cost efficiencies and high operational flexibility, all identified by MES Software. These early adopters, or digital champions, in turn become leading companies with a central management of systems, technologies and standards.
What’s the key to successful digital transformation within an organization, you ask? Having faith that a high investment leads to a high return, and that a solid foundation drives scalable digitization. For example, let’s look at the PwC 2022 Survey findings. They show evidence that when above-average investments were made – such as more than 3% of net annual revenue – into foundational technologies that develop a company’s digital backbone, they were 2.5 times more likely to achieve high returns than those who invested less than 2%.
Furthermore, the survey results show that within all the enabling IT architecture approaches, an MES solution has the average payback of 3.3 years. This reinforces the idea that creating and maintaining a digital backbone for factories is integral in evolving businesses within the factory and beyond.
How Can MES Help Production Managers and Their Companies? Here’s What to Look For
Choosing an MES that’s right for your business can feel like a daunting task. It’s important you understand what parts of your business need accurate and up-to-date information. Production order information is a given, but what about materials, machines and employees? The better you understand your business’s needs, the better you can devise which MES Software is best for you.
MES Software Benefits
With a good MES solution in place, here are the ways MES can benefit both production managers and the companies they work for.
• Fewer Errors
An MES solution will eliminate most human error from the production process standpoint due to the communication that occurs between the software and individual workstations. It also provides both production managers and workers with useful information about the machines to avoid troubleshooting scenarios that often waste workers’ time when searching for a solution.
• Improved Processes
A good MES will collect data at different checkpoints throughout your factory to reveal weaker points within the production process so that production managers can see which workstations or systems contain the highest frequency of delays. Fueled with this knowledge, they can quickly investigate and correct these situations before they become bigger bottlenecks.
With increased consumer demands on productivity speed, this type of insight has become transformational to meeting the modern consumer’s expectations. Production managers are on the front lines of all of this, and it’s in the best interest of every company to set them up for success.
• Enhanced Communication
MES systems enhance communication on your company’s factory floor by delivering correct information to operators and machines in real time. Worklists, inventory, product labels, material bills and more are generated by the software so that all departments have access to the collected data. “I didn’t know” is an excuse of the past when you have a proper MES system in place, along with properly trained employees.
Accelerate Your Digital Transformation with Fuuz® MES Software
If you want to gain visibility, control, cost efficiency, and agility and need an MES that will evolve with your business through the years, we can help. Fuuz MES offers a lot more than your typical manufacturing execution system or manufacturing operations management (MOM) software, and it was designed to grow with your organization as your needs change.
Fuuz MES comes standard with everything you need to monitor, track, document and control your manufacturing processes, from the time a raw material enters your facility until it leaves as a finished product, and it can be extended in a variety of ways. Once Fuuz MES is implemented, you can quickly deploy other features like enhanced Production Monitoring, Process Monitoring, EDI integrations, and pre-built apps such as Warehouse Management, Transportation Management and Quality Management.
If you’re thinking it sounds like Fuuz MES and our other supportive processes can fill just about every corner of your factory floor, you’re right – and that includes integrations.
We offer dozens of pre-built connectors for NetSuite, Oracle, Plex, Microsoft, Infor, SAP and other major ERPs, as well as Salesforce, ADP, UPS, FedEx, Ignition, Shopify and other software solutions you use every day. Plus, if we don’t have the connector you’re looking for, no worries. Our solution can connect to pretty much anything with an API and we’ll create one for you – fast.
Our customers find Fuuz enables them to replace 5-15 disparate solutions and build a digital backbone that helps them finally take control of the factory floor. If you’re considering a new MES solution or your existing software isn’t working the way you want it to, learn more about Fuuz MES and schedule a demo.