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In the 2017 MOM/MES Study, Aberdeen Group spoke to 223 organizations on the cutting edge of manufacturing. This blog quickly summarizes its findings on cloud-based MES.

As we enter the era of cloud and Industry 4.0, Aberdeen’s findings around MOM-MES seem clear, but as always, “the devil is in the details.”

Manufacturing operations management (MOM) is a methodology for viewing an end-to end manufacturing process with the goal of optimizing efficiency. There are many types of MOM software used for production management, performance analysis, quality and compliance, and human machine interface (HMI).

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) manage, monitor, and synchronize the execution of real-time, physical processes involved in transforming raw materials into intermediate and/or finished goods. They coordinate this execution of work orders with production scheduling and enterprise-level systems. MES applications also provide feedback on process performance, and support component- and material-level traceability, genealogy, and integration with process history, where required.

Get Ready for Cloud-based MES

Aberdeen asked respondents which best describes their MOM/MES software delivery model. Over half of our survey respondents chose the traditional on-premises software delivery model; a fifth chose a pure cloud-based software delivery model for MOM/MES; and the remainder chose some combination of on-premise and cloud (Figure 1).

Figure 1: MOM/MES Software Delivery Model

The strength of on-premises MOM/MES is no surprise for an entrenched application that has been the workhorse of the factory floor for more than two decades. However, a move toward cloud-based MES deployments is no longer beyond the realm of imagination. Even if cloud-based preferences of the “Futuristic Fifth” are somewhat aspirational, plant managers are clearly reaching a greater level of comfort with the cloud.

This rising comfort level is reflected in the spirit of experimentation, represented in the number of survey respondents choosing a combination of both on-premise and cloud-based software delivery models for MOM/MES. In fact, Best-in-Class firms are 23% more likely to look for cloud migration capabilities in a MOM/MES solution. They seek cloud benefits like lower costs, pay-as-you-go pricing, implementation speed, easier deployment, and automatic updates.

While somewhat anecdotal, Aberdeen found significant variation in MOM-MES software model preferences among different industries (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Preferred MOM/MES Software Delivery Model by Industry

Chemicals and Automotive are the most conservative, reflected by a strong preference for on-premise, while Pharmaceutical, Computer Equipment, and Oil & Gas favor cloud-based software model for MOM/MES.

The real story here is a continuation of the MOM/MES market dynamic for pockets of opportunity. Over the past decade, “let a thousand flowers bloom” has been the norm as hundreds of MOM/MES vendors have found market success through specialization in the distinct manufacturing needs of different vertical markets. Aberdeen believes this will continue as different industries shift their practices after reaping the benefits of cloud-based MES.

While it’s still early days for cloud-based MOM, there is no doubt that the advantages of the cloud will leave no application category untouched over time, and that includes MES. Aberdeen will continue to track this trend, and there’s no doubt that the MOM market a decade from now will be more cloud-centric than today.

Learn more about MOM/MES by reading The MOM/MES Edge: The MES Performance Kick.

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