There are various types of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) ERP available today, and each has its own approach in how it looks at the ERP requirements and in how it implements those requirements. While each company looking into using MES has its own individual, specific requirements, there are some general concepts that should be considered.
The obvious Number 1 requirement is that the MES ERP system does what your company needs it to do. In most cases, this requirement is the sole overall requirement. So what software features should you look for to assure that your system meets this requirement?
Modular You should be able to add just the functionality you want to your system. You shouldn’t have to install an entire MES or ERP solution just to get the portion that you need.
Scalable The modules should be able to be run on a stand alone PC, on a local network, or across a multi-location organization. The software should also be able to keep up as your business grows.
Portable The modules should be able to be run across multiple platforms, both hardware and software.
Extendible It should be easy to add new functionality to the modules as your needs change.
Customizable Open Source You should be able to customize the software without having to pay expensive consultant fees.
Model Driven Architecture (tiered architecture) Separating the data layer from the presentation layer means that you won’t need to rebuild your system every 7 – 10 years as technology changes.
Thin Client These browser based systems allow for anywhere internet access to your software with a minimum of hardware. They are less expensive, and are able to be employed in the harsh factory environments where a full PC could not survive.
Some other features that you may want, or need, to consider are:
SaaS This method of software delivery virtually eliminates the risks and large expense associated with a system purchase.
Wireless Wireless capabilities give you instant access from multiple databases and locations including Pocket Pcs, PDAs, smart phones and more.
To recap, just remember that the primary purpose of your software system is to provide you with what you need!