Organisations taking broader, enterprise-like approach to execution systems
Apriso welcomed a new report from the Aberdeen Group entitled Global Manufacturing: MES and Beyond that highlights a growing appreciation of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES). The reports findings reflect a move by Aprisos customers, many of whom are standardising on a single platform to support their global manufacturing operations and processes. The benchmark study draws on the findings of a survey and follow-up interviews conducted by Aberdeen Group between April and May 2006.
Key findings of the benchmark report showed that manufacturers are taking a broader and longer-term view of manufacturing requirements in their plants and across their networks, a trend that is driving corporate IT departments to work more closely with manufacturing personnel in selecting solutions for improving operational excellence.
The study, sponsored by Apriso, also revealed that 85 percent of best-in-class manufacturers are executing on global strategies to unify processes and drive performance programs across the enterprise by standardising KPIs across plants and factories, publishing technology infrastructure guidelines and normalising reporting across their enterprises.
The study reveals a notable shift in market dynamics, says Jane Biddle, vice president of manufacturing research at Aberdeen and author of the report. There is a renewed appreciation for the value delivered by MES, and forward-thinking companies are no longer making plant-by-plant decision, but taking a broader view. This new thinking would suggest that soon well see manufacturing systems deployed and managed like they were enterprise solutions, across multiple sites and even geographies.
As more organisations shift to a global operations model, manufacturing intelligence and business analytics will play an increasingly important role; likewise, investments in MES is expected to double over the next two years, the study showed.
Such changes in customer buying behavior have been observed by Apriso. In recent months, the company has seen more customers asking for a single platform to coordinate activity not only within the four walls of their operations, but across multiple plants and geographies, according to Jim Henderson, president and CEO, Apriso. Henderson also reports that integrating multiple systems, supporting disparate applications, and a lack of a unified architecture continue to be the biggest challenges customers face a fact also validated by Aberdeens study.
We are helping manufacturers meet those challenges through our product, FlexNet, an operations execution platform built on a unified data model, which allows customers to share information and processes in real time, Henderson says. For example, they can perfect a process in one location then quickly deploy it throughout their extended enterprises. To optimize their expanding operations, customers also need to assimilate and monitor key performance indicators throughout their networks. They get a single version of the truth from Apriso.