MOM systems and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) have been making the lives of manufacturing professionals easier and more streamlined for years, but they were not always viewed this way. In the past, these systems were seen as nothing more than giant cesspools of data, collected in the hopes of finding something actionable, but inevitably resulting in frustration and complacency for manufacturing and process engineers.
More forward thinking companies have used Big Data and analytics concepts to corral the data and turn it into usable information. While that direction is the right move, the real heart of the manufacturing operation is all of the business processes that keep the plant operating. Processes like supplier quality compliance, maintenance scheduling, corrective actions, change orders, etc. really keep the gears of a manufacturing operation moving.
Research shows that Best-in-Class manufacturing organizations invest in converting these traditionally paper-based processes into automated Business Management processes. This includes the use of exception-based management, business intelligence, workflows, escalation management, and other BMP-type functions as a foundation for more efficient manufacturing operations.
When it comes to MOM, Best-in-Class companies are far more likely to have automated their process planning and change management processes with the ability to:
- Manage workflows from and to non-manufacturing systems
- Operate across multiple plants
- Include cross functional processes like New Product Introduction
Automating these types of processes usually means some form of technology enabler as well. In this case, we are looking at MOM systems, which typically cover many different business processes and combine them into one platform to process that work across functional silos. But they also inherently promote visibility for the data and processes to other parts of the enterprise.
Normalization and integration of the data into enterprise-level systems allow for decision-making across groups, divisions, plants, products, etc. The big differentiator when it comes to performance is in the automation of business processes and exposure of the data in the MOM system.
When starting the journey to Best-in-Class manufacturing, keep these basic actions in mind:
- Expose the data – Part of any process automation should also be to expose the process data and make sure it is aligned with the overall corporate business intelligence structure.
- Make MOM the engine for continuous improvement – Build a MOM system that takes advantage of continuous improvement programs. Make sure it is the repository for new ideas and changes
- Don’t isolate your plant – The only way you will get full ROI on a MOM implementation is to use it to drive collaboration with product design, supply chain, etc.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into this realm of streamlining processes through automation, check out the Aberdeen Research Report “Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM): A Guide to Business Process in the Factory.”