You’ve received a new order for 100 units of product A. The new order is entered into your ERP, then printed out and handed over to the shop floor. The order is then re-entered into your MES, where it’s scheduled for the next day. Overnight, the customer sends an email to their account manager saying they want to change their order: now they want 75 units of product A and 50 units of product B. The account manager gets into the office at 9am, but the shop floor starts working on the order at 7am. So, the change order doesn’t get to the shop floor until the original order is already in progress. Now the shop floor have to spend another day working on this order, and they have 25 extra units of product A.
What you do now: the shop floor spends twice as much time as they need to on the order. You end up with 25 extra units of product A (and nowhere to store them).
Automated solution: Connect your ERP and MES so that they can share information. When the customer places an order, the order is entered into the ERP and scheduled in the MES at the same time. The account manager can see when the shop floor will work on the order, and the shop floor can see any changes to the order in real-time. This eliminates the need to enter and re-enter information into multiple systems, and makes your whole operation more adaptable to change.
Process automation can make a real impact on business efficiency. Not only that, it can make work easier for everyone involved. But setting up good automated processes takes knowledge and skill.