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MES: Why you need one if you manufacture anything

The Problem: the challenges of manufacturing

The business of manufacturing can be complicated. Regardless of the size of a production operation, turning raw materials into finished goods often involves multiple processes, combining many parts, unitizing skilled and unskilled operators, working with different tools and machines to produce finished goods. Some products require building critical subassemblies that will be combined with others to produce finished goods. Other components require time to set or cure before being included in a finished assembly. Still, others require weeks or even months of lead-time from the time they are ordered until they can be included in the inventory of parts needed to produce finished goods. To run an efficient and profitable manufacturing operation requires planning, coordination, scheduling, and meticulous documentation, not to mention quality control, and in some instances the ability to trace components to the specific raw materials, time and dates of manufacture, specific machines, and even operators who produced them. Not having control of all those moving parts is risky for a manufacturing operation. It may result in inconsistency, poor quality, shortages of critical components, tying up operational funds in bloated inventory, costly regulatory non-compliance, and even loss of valuable trade secrets and institutional know-how. That is compounded with time-consuming bookkeeping and manual paperwork.

The Solution: a manufacturing execution system, or MES

IMCO Software has created an elegant solution that improves efficiency and profitability in manufacturing by giving manufacturing decision-makers real-time information about the current conditions on their shop floors and enables control of the many moving parts in the manufacturing process. This includes control of inputs, scheduling personnel, controlling machines, coordinating support services, managing inventory, processing orders, and providing visibility and traceability at their fingertips.

This is CIMAG MES, a manufacturing execution system currently in use in the Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Food & Beverage, Medical Equipment, Chemical & Plastics, Architectural Design, Furniture, and many other industries.

Misconception: I have ERP, so I don’t need an MES    

EPR, or enterprise resource planning, integrates the many varied business processes needed to successfully operate a successful enterprise into a single management system. This is done through ERP modules that each handle a company function, such as procurement, human resources, supply chain logistics, finance, chain, services, manufacturing, and more. When it comes to the manufacturing piece of an ERP, critical manufacturing data is communicated to the ERP through the integration of an MES. While CIMAG MES is fully capable of optimizing a manufacturing operation without enterprise resource planning, an ERP without an MES lacks the integration between systems that provides the control layer required in the manufacturing plant environment.

CIMAG MES is an indispensable resource

An ERP does not replace an MES in manufacturing environments, but an MES provides the real-time communication between Manufacturing and other functions of a company (i.e. bookkeeping, scheduling, HR, orders, etc.). An MES provides the controls that make a manufacturing operation smart.

It may come as a surprise to some, but while CIMAG MES is robust enough to control large manufacturing operations, it is also affordable to smaller companies. As ROI is realized, CIMAG MES quickly becomes indispensable by increasing efficiency, which boosts profitability. This gives a distinct advantage to the smaller manufacturing companies. So, if you are in the business of manufacturing and you don’t have an MES giving you real-time visibility and control over your operation, it is worth your time to learn how CIMAG MES will help boost your productivity and your profits.                    

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