Examining the MOM/MES Market – What the Users Want
Keywords: Manufacturing Operations Management, Manufacturing Execution System, Continuous Process, Hybrid/Batch, Discrete Manufacturing, Automation.
Over the last 12 months or so ARC interviewed customers/users of the leading manufacturing operations management/manufacturing execution system (MOM/MES) suppliers to get a sense of their plans, issues, and concerns. The users were drawn from a broad set of micro-verticals among the continuous process, hybrid/batch, and discrete manufacturing sectors. Many (most) of those interviewed were reference customers for their respective suppliers, so we anticipated generally positive comments. To encourage them to speak freely, we conducted the interviews on the basis of anonymity.
Most of the users had a generally favorable view, and reasonably good relationship, with their suppliers. But, they were also quick to share their pet peeves, or in some cases growing frustrations. No supplier fared substantially better or worse in this respect. The users were - by and large - content. But, some common wishes and concerns did emerge; this group clearly had some things that they would like to see done better.
Faster Implementations Needed
The biggest area of discontent was implementation time. ARC recognizes that many variables and factors contribute to this, and a "deep dive" here was outside the scope of this research. But the takeaway was clear – users want to be able to implement their systems faster. In cases where multiple plants are involved, awareness of the importance of rapid implementation tends to arise early. The implementation team then develops a plan to minimize the efforts at individual plants. In practice, this should favor suppliers who can demonstrate that their solution has the tools and processes to facilitate rapid multi-plant implementations. In smaller projects, the temptation to customize things can derail plans, increase costs, and decrease satisfaction. There is some reason to think that, as an industry, we are getting better at avoiding this trap, but we still have a way to go.
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