MES Project Success Guide

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You know the benefits a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) can bring to all aspects of production, from quality to performance, maintenance, and capacity management. But how do you justify this at board level? How can you create a compelling business case for investment in MES?

MES affects the whole organisation, and any decision to implement an MES needs support from all stakeholders, from board level to process operators. Without understanding the tangible, quantifiable benefits of any new system (as well as associated timescales for ROI), it can be virtually impossible to persuade management to invest in what can be seen as an isolated IT or manufacturing project. Additionally, process owners from across the business will not support operational changes (such as those an MES might bring) if they do not see immediate, justifiable benefits. How will it make their lives easier? Why should they accept a change to the status quo?

For a business leader initiating an MES project (regardless of functional responsibility), it’s important to understand that this is a company-wide implementation, which will only succeed if there is buy-in from all stakeholders. A clear understanding of what the project will achieve for the business, documented milestones, and measured ROI at key stages of implementation will go a long way to ensuring enterprise-wide acceptance and a successful project.

So, what are the recommended 10 steps?

1. Where are we now?

A successful project needs to start at the beginning! For example what is the company strategy, what are the medium- and long-term business goals and how do these relate to departmental operational plans. An MES needs to align to these – how will the MES support the business and departmental goals and KPIs?

2. Select key stakeholders for the ‘MES team’

Understand current business requirements and recommendations for improvement. Use analytical methodologies such as lean tools and data analysis to further investigate opportunities and challenges, and the key KPIs.

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