Choosing a Provider for Highly Specialized Services

Asking for recommendationsSelecting a service provider should not be taken lightly, but it does not have to be an overwhelming and painful experience either. In my 18 years in the IT services world, I have seen it done both poorly and well. Allow me to illustrate for you the typical approaches to selecting a resource and their proven outcomes.

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Right time to take your business international

International BusinessSlightly more than two years ago I participated in a conference that was aimed at helping young entrepreneurs start and grow their own business. Among many presentations, one in particular grabbed my attention. It was presented by a student that was providing web development services to a local Polish market and almost by accident started delivering services to some U.S. based customers. Soon, this “transatlantic work” became a significant revenue stream for this developer, which allowed him to hire a team of developers and grow his business. Continue reading

Using EAM vs. MES for plant maintenance

Maintenance SolutionsDuring my professional career, I have worked with two different types of software applications for plant maintenance. My first experience was with Enterprise Asset Management systems. At Andea, I was introduced to a new way of managing maintenance tasks using Manufacturing Execution Systems. First, we shall cover some plant maintenance basics by outlining what negative influence improper asset maintenance can have on production. Continue reading

Benefits of LIMS integration with ERP and MES

LIMS_ERP_MESOver the last few decades, computerization in the manufacturing industry was mainly focused on areas such as production planning and process control. This meant that IT development was focused on the ERP and automation layers. More recently, companies started to invest more in production execution systems like MES and LIMS solutions.

The focus of this article is to demonstrate how integrating LIMS with ERP and MES systems can help improve the overall product and production quality. The benefits mentioned in this blog are based on my hands-on experience implementing and integrating these systems. Continue reading

A day in the life of an MES consultant (part 2)

This post is a part of a series that presents common challenges faced when implementing and maintaining an MES system. MES consultants share their own MES war stories with you.

Agile approach in MES projects

AgilityDuring my career as an MES consultant, I worked in projects where we applied different project management methodologies. The most common one was the Waterfall model. This model was developed in 1970’s. More recently, at the beginning of this millennium, the Agile methodology was introduced. Here I explain how I adopted it in an MES project. Continue reading

5 Things I Learned in the First Year at a Startup

Get ready guys! Another 10 minutes and we no longer can be considered a start-up.

It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since we started our journey. And so, I thought that this would be a good time for me to share what I have learned so far from our startup, both the ups and the downs.

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A day in the life of an MES consultant

This post is a part of a series that presents common challenges faced when implementing and maintaining an MES system. MES consultants share their own MES war stories with you.

Integration with factory automation

MES IntegrationI have been implementing MES systems for the last 9 years and during this time I ran into a fair share of interface problems. Some of these issues were a result of a wrong setup, others were caused by the technology environment not being stable and yes, there are few issues for which I never managed to find the cause… This is when ‘Plans B and C’ come in handy. Continue reading

Is this the time to replace a custom MES with a commercial package?

Time to UpgradeI have been selling MES systems for almost a decade now. When I first entered the industry, MES systems were typically sold as MES applications. These applications offered out-of-the box functionality that included things like preconfigured system logic and user screens. Such applications lacked configurability, flexibility and modifying them was not a trivial task. It typically required custom coding and in extreme cases, modifications of the source code. As a result, many manufacturing companies chose to build custom applications to help them manage their production processes. Continue reading

The Benefits of Implementing Electronic Work Instructions in MES

Electronic InstructionsWork Instruction is a document that describes in detail the steps that need to be taken in order to complete a specific task. They can be made available as printed or electronic documents. Nowadays, more and more manufacturers want to simplify and improve the process of managing and sharing work instructions. These companies also want to increase the usability of their work instructions. This approach is especially important for companies with a large number of varying tasks and frequently changing processes. Continue reading

Component traceability and accuracy in different consumption modes – part 2

Inventory Accuracy and Traceability

As explained in Part 1 of this blog, there are pros and cons of direct issue and backflush consumption methods supported by ERP systems. Accuracy of component traceability and inventory levels are often the main decision factors when choosing which method should be used.

There is another mode that combines values of direct issue with automated component consumption. Continue reading