Have a couple of manufacturing software related pieces of information from MESA.

First, there will be a Chicagoland “meet and greet” for industry professionals who work with manufacturing software (MES, MOM) on November 20 from 11 to 1:30 at the Sara Lee headquarters at 3500 Lacey Road in Downers Grove. Call MESA at 480.893.6883 to sign up. I’ll be there along with some other MESA members. We’ll hear a report on the results of the metrics study thus far plus an exciting panel discussion (if it isn’t, then I’ll stir up something.)

MESA, the association of MES suppliers and users, has been sponsoring a studie of metrics that users find important. You can go to the MESA web site, click on the link at the lower right corner to participate in the survey. If you are attending Automation Fair, there will be a computer with Internet connection beside the Rockwell Software booth where you can also participate.

Here are some preliminary findings of the first round of the metrics study:

84 percent of production companies report that they could improve the speed of visibility into their operations performance results in Phase 1 of Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA)’s research survey, Correlating Plant Performance to Business Performance. It also appears that IT challenges and a lack of understanding are the main obstacles to changing that situation.

Phase 1 of the MESA study also reveals that while nearly 40 percent of respondents see operational results in the span of one shift or less, many still don’t believe that is fast enough. The major challenges are with IT for collecting the data and displaying the results of performance. However, IT is not nearly as large a challenge as lack of understanding and business process constraints in how the metrics information is used.

These initial findings underline the urgency for manufacturers and practitioners worldwide to participate in Phase 2 of this research.

According to MESA’s release, “with so much room for improvement, producers need to learn all they can about best practices and the software systems available to support their efforts. These two items are core to the mission of MESA International, which is dedicated to driving operations excellence through educational events, working groups and forums for sharing ideas, experiences and best practices.”

All respondents to the survey will receive a copy of the public summary findings report, to be released in February. MESA Premium members will also have access to a comprehensive findings report. Companies with more than 3 respondents to the study will also be entered in a drawing to win a manufacturer/producer corporate membership, a $550 value.

In addition to MESA International, premium funding sponsors for the study are: GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, Inc., Invensys Operations Management (Wonderware), Logica, Rockwell Automation, and Siemens. Supporting sponsors are Cordys, and SAP AG.

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