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Busting the myths and misconceptions of MES

06 September 2023

WITH SO many misconceptions surrounding the role of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Sarah Dana, head of information solutions for North Europe, Middle East and Africa at Rockwell Automation, takes look at the role of the technology and embarks on some MES myth busting.

According to Dana, one of the most basic misunderstandings when it comes to MES is that customers feel it is only suitable for large companies. In fact, small and medium sized businesses are equally able to reap the efficiency benefits that can be gained by implementing an MES.

Another of the stumbling blocks Dana often comes across when speaking to clients is that they regard the technology as difficult and too complex for their operations. To help overcome this she highlights the importance of working with a trusted partner with the relevant experience and expertise.

“If you choose the right partner, the company that is really going to support you and drive this, they will have done it already with multiple customers and proved the value,” she says.

While some may baulk at the cost involved, Dana asserts that when implementing MES, it’s not about how much a company spends on a system, but about business outcomes and achieving return on investment. Rather than changing wholesale to MES from day one, it is possible to adopt a modular approach and prove the efficacy of the technology in a particular area of a business before rolling it out company-wide.

A further misconception that Dana often hears is that MES poses a threat to jobs, something she argues is definitely not the case! In fact, MES can help workers carry out their jobs more efficiently, opening up new opportunities and in some instances actually creating more jobs.

When it comes to challenging the myths and misconceptions surrounding MES Dana is adamant that this needs to be a top-down process led by a leadership team with the right mindset – an understanding of desired business outcomes and the journey that is being undertaken.

“They need to drive it from top to make sure that within the organisation, there is change management, to make sure that the adoption is happening at every level,” she says.

For a business moving beyond the misconceptions, the benefits of MES implementation can be manyfold, but key amongst them is operational efficiency.

“Operational efficiency is definitely key because you’re making sure that your processes are efficient, your people are doing the right things at the right time, and also, your assets are driven in the right way,“ says Dana “So, you make sure that the business outcomes from the process that you run are highly efficient so you save time, you save effort, you reduce scrap, rework, and make sure that you avoid down time.”

If you would like to find out more about MES and how Rockwell can guide you on your MES journey visit: