ERP in Manufacturing
The implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems (typically used to manage the business in terms of finance and accounting applications, HR function, payroll and order processing etc.) is now prevalent in manufacturing and the benefits of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), to manage the factory in terms of making the product, real-time scheduling based on real-time plant performance/status, genealogy and traceability, are becoming more recognised, widespread and tangible. However, the integration of these two systems is less common despite an acceptance that some of the benefits of ERP are unrealised if it isn’t connected to the plant.
Delays in production affect raw material demand and consumption and also the availability of finished goods. Therefore, regardless of how effective the planning tool may be, this lack of connectivity to production does not allow a real-time view of actual events and status and this in turn inhibits a plant’s ability to be agile.
There are many ways to close the gap between systems and this should only begin to be taken when the overall manufacturing workflow, and the function of each layer, is understood. Without this, there is a risk of duplication of services and complex, proprietary and disparate integration methods. EmsPT is able to assist in defining the business requirements for a successful integration and in also helping enable any subsequent implementation to support proven industry standards such as ISA-95 and B2MML.
To ask one of many questions, when your raw materials buyer is interacting with the ERP system to replenish stock, would it help if they were able to do this with real-time knowledge of work in progress (WIP) and finished production so that the decision support information is accurately based on the current status rather than what should have happened?