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3 Key Differences Between ERP and MES Systems

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) share some common purposes in the manufacturing environment. The two systems are similar enough that their unique characteristics are easy to overlook.

Although they may have similar purposes, they have some significant differences that are important to understand. In this article, we will explore the key differences between MES and ERP systems.

  1. Specific focus of purpose
  2. Means of data capture
  3. What triggers actions
  4. Why MES and ERP Systems are both essential

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1. Specific focus of purpose

The primary focus of ERP systems is to provide a platform for sharing information across the organization. ERP systems are designed to integrate all aspects of a business, including finance, sales, inventory management, and customer relationship management. Acting as an overarching data pathway makes ERP a valuable tool for management since it gives decision makers the ability to dive deeply into each part of the business and tie previously far-flung data together in meaningful ways.

The reason for adding MES, on the other hand, is to provide a means for precise control of the manufacturing process. They are responsible for monitoring and controlling the production process, from the raw materials to the finished products. MES systems gather real-time data on the production process, analyze it, and generate reports that allow for corrective actions to be taken. By doing so, they help to optimize production processes, reduce waste, and increase profitability.

MES takes steps or generates reports based on what is taking place at the moment to monitor and correct variables affecting production efficiency. MES synchronizes the numerous facets of fabrication to orchestrate the best possible solution for obtaining a less wasteful and more profitable process.

2. Means of data capture


The means of data capture is another significant difference between MES and ERP systems.

Humans typically feed most information into ERP. This manual data gathering works well since the system is primarily concerned with collecting, organizing and sharing information across an organization for planning and guidance. Modern ERP systems have one database for the entire organization, so redundant entries are reduced or eliminated. A single data store also makes fluid sharing of information across different functional areas a seamless process.

MES systems, on the other hand, require real-time data to monitor and control the production process.

The immediacy of manufacturing drives the need for MES. Real-time production monitoring is achieved through barcode scanner events, IoT sensor signals, data feeds from product test stations, assembly machinery sensor systems feedback, and data entry from production floor personnel.  This information provides accurate and timely information to ERP, enabling the organization to react quickly enough to keep up with rapidly changing circumstances. Reducing latency in this manner increases the odds of realizing a higher monetary return on each job.

3. What triggers actions

The triggers for actions are another significant difference between MES and ERP systems.

ERP performs based on financial transactions. When customers place orders, suppliers send bills or payroll issues checks, the system responds with an action. ERP is multifunctional, but developers build it around a primarily economic  substructure. ERP systems are designed around an economic substructure and have a broad range of functionalities that support different aspects of the business.

MES systems, on the other hand, are process event-driven. They are designed to monitor specific events in the manufacturing process and trigger actions based on those events. For example, MES systems can ensure conformance to the production process, track inventory consumption, place holds on non-conforming material, schedule machine maintenance based on performance, and reorder procedures to utilize available resources more efficiently.

Why MES and ERP Systems are both essential

MES and ERP systems are both essential tools for businesses to optimize their manufacturing processes. While MES systems focus on precise control over the manufacturing process, ERP systems provide a platform for sharing information across the organization. Both systems work together to ensure the efficient and effective running of the business. With the right combination of MES and ERP systems, businesses can reduce waste, improve efficiency, and increase profitability.

By understanding the differences between MES and ERP systems, businesses can make informed decisions about which tools to use in order to achieve their desired objectives. The right combination of these two powerful solutions will ensure that all aspects of the business are operating optimally.

The bottom line is that both MES and ERP systems are essential for businesses to optimize their manufacturing processes. The differences between them should be taken into consideration in order to make the most informed decisions about which tools to use in order to achieve their desired objectives. 

Guidance for Better Manufacturing Operations

MES provides the digital backbone for Industry 4.0 and the Intelligent Enterprise.

Intraratio can help you discover the power of MES and yield management systems for your manufacturing process. Arrange now to speak with an MES expert who can guide you through the ins and outs of customizing an advanced solution for your operation.

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