The 2020s will be recognized as the decade in which global economic and environmental disruptions prompted leading organizations to reinvent their business thinking and embrace digital transformation by implementing composable strategies.

Settling for stability is no longer enough, as global supply chain and workforce disruptions, along with dynamic market demands, have demonstrated that in order for manufacturers to remain competitive, they’ll need to incorporate agile into their tech stack. A composable or agile approach supports resilience, enabling manufacturers to manage the risk of change and identify untapped business value.

Agile implementation is possible through next-gen MES solutions, which use a human-centric approach that empowers frontline workers with the tools they need to address the pain points typically associated with traditional MES systems, especially those involving technological restraints that delay time-to-value.

To further illustrate the advantage gap between traditional MES and next-gen MES, consider the following:

User Experience

Traditional MES systems rely on disparate systems and siloed data structures that are prone to human errors, with technology that often features an inflexible, dated user experience.

End users may struggle to adopt this technology, due to lengthy learning curves and unfriendly user interfaces, all of which may contribute to decreased productivity.

A next-gen MES system takes into account the end user’s experience, with no-code apps that make it easier for frontline workers to build solutions for their specific problems without having to rely on IT or vendors, while providing the user-friendly interface that a younger, tech-savvy workforce has come to expect.

Solution Implementation and Flexibility

Traditional MES systems prioritize stability over resilience, reacting to change to keep up, not to grow, and rely on large systems that require expensive upfront installation, services, and annual contracts, while taking months to implement.

A next-gen MES system is designed with the anticipation of change as a growth opportunity, not an unknown variable, and supports low-risk implementation because it can be deployed in layers to accommodate critical needs over time without having to rip and replace existing systems.

Data Accessibility and Connectivity

Traditional MES systems typically feature rigid, difficult-to-operate data structures where the collection of standardized data is not reliable and team silos inhibit the exchange of information required for a holistic view of operations.

A next-gen MES system offers flexible, accessible, and contextualized data collected from sensors, machines, cameras, and additional data sources like devices and sites, providing insights that allow users to take action in real-time.

IT Reliance / Citizen Development

Traditional MES systems are limited by bottlenecks imposed by IT or vendors, given how every change request is a time-consuming negotiation, hindering improvements.

A next-gen MES system developed on a no-code or low-code platform enables workers closest to the operations to build and configure the tools they need now and later as new conditions arise.

Cost of Ownership

Traditional MES systems usually entail a long deployment process that excludes the ability to scale across the enterprise and involves dedicated IT sources and reliance on vendors for customization and updates, resulting in high up-front infrastructure and maintenance costs.

A next-gen MES system is a SaaS-based operations platform that, through incremental implementation, enables businesses to prioritize and tackle specific use cases for faster time-to-value than traditional systems.

Operations that still rely on traditional MES systems currently struggle with the challenges derived from using costly, obsolete technology that lacks flexibility, frustrates tech-savvy frontline workers, and fails to react quickly to changes in the business and in the market.

Manufacturers seeking to maximize ROI in weeks, not months, should equip their frontline workforce with the tools and data they need to execute on actionable insights that only a next-gen MES systems can provide.

Transitioning to a next-gen MES, whether partially or fully, is a low-risk, low-cost way for manufacturers to quickly address the major obstacles hindering their growth and resilience.

About Tulip

As a frontline operations platform, Tulip is cloud-based, multi-site, and innovative, allowing engineers to rapidly build, test, fail, and iterate, while building digital content to solve problems effectively, all within the governed environment of the platform.

To determine whether your operations is ready for a next-gen MES, check out our thoughts on 22 Questions to Ask When Evaluating a Next-Gen MES.

Are your operations ready for a next-gen MES?

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