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Business Value of MES – Going Like Sixty

by Rick Franzosa  |  February 22, 2016  |  Submit a Comment

Last fall, we completed the fourth year of our joint survey with the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA International) on the business value of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).  MES technology continues to grow, enablement grows with the proliferation of mobile devices, big data analytics and the advent of IoT.

Cloud-based MES implementations, unthinkable not too many years ago, are now becoming more common.  Major MES vendors, some in partnerships with major technology firms like Cisco and Microsoft, are accelerating their development of hybrid cloud solutions.

One thing that has not changed is the answer to a specific survey question that we have asked every year in the Gartner/MESA survey:

“Thinking back to your organization’s original business case for Manufacturing Execution Systems, what proportion of the intended business results have been achieved? “

The average answer to this question has stubbornly hovered around 60% over the last three years of the survey.  60% of intended business results would put a serious damper on the business value that companies are able to achieve with their MES.  This seems counter to the growth, excitement and, admittedly, hype swirling around this manufacturing technology.

Consider these examples:

  • MES vendor acquisitions by larger companies has not slowed, over just the past three years we have seen:
    • Apsriso acquired by Dassault Systèmes
    • Broner Metals Solutions acquired by PSI Metals
    • Camstar Systems acquired by Siemens
    • Invensys acquired by Schneider Electric
    • iTac Software acquired by Dürr Group
    • Werum IT Solutions acquired by Körber
  • Most, if not all, MES vendor (and their parent companies) are doubling-down on investments in IoT, analytics and mobile technology for manufacturing.
  • Most, if not all, of these sectors have seen revenue growth over the past three years.

How do we explain the 60% achievement of business results, and how does this relate to business value of MES?

There are a number of possibilities, here are a few:

  1. The original business case was overly optimistic, flawed, or not achievable
  2. The vendor solution was incapable of meeting the need
  3. The project focused on technology, without taking process change and employee buy-in into consideration

We will be delving into the reasons why, and how best in class organizations have been able to achieve higher business value this Wednesday (February 24) at 10:00 AM ET and 1:00 PM ET in the Gartner webinar “Getting the Most Value From Your MES Investment in the IoT Age

You can find more information, and sign up here.

Hope to see you there!


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Category: business-value  digital-manufacturing  mes  

Tags: business-value  cost-savings  digital-manufacturing  manufacturing-process-management  mes  

Rick Franzosa
Sr. Director Analyst
5 years at Gartner
35 years IT Industry

Rick Franzosa is a Sr. Director, Analyst in Gartner's Supply Chain Research organization. Mr. Franzosa is responsible for Gartner's manufacturing technology systems research. He works with vice presidents and directors of manufacturing, business process experts and enterprise architecture and IT roles supporting manufacturing operations. He also works with providers of technologies and services for manufacturing operations. Read Full Bio

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