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What is your background?
I have spent the last 25 years in the Life Sciences industry implementing the top 5 traditional MES systems. I had the opportunity to work at small, mid-sized companies (ELAN, Propack-Data, and Werum) and large corporations (Honeywell, Körber, and Rockwell Automation), implementing several different types of MES systems like the XFP, PMX, PharmaSuite, POMS/POMSnet, and PAS-X. Each of these systems had their fair share of strengths and weaknesses, but they largely shared the same philosophy; there was not a lot of variations from system to system.
Over the years, I saw the scope of these systems expand from weigh & dispense-only to full-blown MES with ERP, DCS/Batch, LIMS, DMS, Historian, and interfaces. Consequently, single-site projects morphed into complex, global initiations.
However, the reality was that even with these full-blown, well-connected MES in place, there were still a ton of shop floor activities that remained un-digitalized. This left the customers disgruntled even after the systems were integrated. They could never truly go paperless.
So naturally, when I discovered Tulip, I was immediately blown away by their current offerings and their potential.
What value did you see in Tulip?
I saw Tulip’s capability in removing the limitations of traditional MES solutions and bringing new avenues of digital transformation to traditional shop floors.
How did Tulip validate your learnings in the Life Sciences industry as the right solution?
As I already mentioned, I have lived and breathed manufacturing in the Life Sciences for the past 25 years. I have sat behind machines, talked to shop floor workers, implemented new solutions across plants, and developed my own set of views on where the industry’s future is headed.
Here are 5 manufacturing mantras I believe in that I saw align with the goals and solutions of Tulip.
Innovate – Don’t Renovate
MES upgrades bring limited functional benefits to end-users. They are usually “start from scratch” projects with poor data migration and archiving, often substituted by hibernation of applications. And besides, if the application had already gone through customizations in the past, re-customization or de-customization would be required, triggering additional data-integrity issues.
Most sites cannot financially justify an upgrade for even 10+ years old MES not only because of the little-to-none ROI but also because they have not yet fully digitized their manufacturing operations.
So Tulip’s approach to innovating, not renovating caught my attention.
Migrate to the Cloud
More and more corporations have a cloud-first if not, a cloud-only strategy.
Migrating to the cloud should go beyond the on-premise through cloud infrastructure conversions. Yes, they will bring some technical challenges such as ensuring data integrity and security or the reduction of TCO, but the real benefits will pay off when Cloud-native MES are in place(as highlighted by Gartner). Hence, Manufacturing Operation Management becomes an orchestration of apps, providing functions traditionally siloed into PLM, MES, LIMS, DMS, etc, based on shared data. Once manufacturing runs in the Cloud, there will be plenty of new opportunities to integrate the supply chain and CMOs, or even remote inspections. Tulip does exactly this.
Free up your Data
Artificial Intelligence (AI) runs on data. So the more data the better…right?
Well, there is a caveat. If the data cannot be extracted or contextualized, even terabytes of data can go useless. 21 CFR Part 11 might have lead to closed systems in the past where data was typically locked down, but the new open systems can amplify the value of data with analytics and AI. Having the freedom of modifying apps for tweaking data collection can be beneficial for new technologies like C&G therapies, and there is no better way to do this than with a drag-and-drop, no-code platform like Tulip.
Design your Fit-to-purpose Solution
Similar processes have similar challenges and solutions. But what about those unique challenges? Manufacturers should not let problems fall between the cracks because the standardized solutions are already in place.
Designing a solution that fits unique problems is no longer in the future. Manufacturing plants should be able to design their solutions themselves, without having to follow a months-long waterfall process which often leads to disconnected solutions because of the boundaries set by traditional, standardized solutions. What manufacturers need is to take control.
Shop-floors are full of people who can fix their daily problems via digitalization. Unfortunately, not everyone is a software engineer. The no-code nature of Tulip brings the power of Powerpoint and Excel in the hands of shop floor personnel at such a low price point that the traditional ROI barriers collapse. Hence, Tulip enables Do-It-Yourself solutions and Corporations can tap into the expertise of its integrator network; in other words, there is no limitation anymore from vendor staffing.
Why I see Tulip as the Solution
I see Tulip as the best possible solution because it hits all the points I laid out above. Not only is the software flexible and easy to use, but it is also spearheading the industry’s movement towards industry 4.0. Tulip’s no-code allows citizen developers to drive the transformation bottom-up and makes it easier for companies to tackle large scale transformations that were once daunting.
I am excited to help companies realize the value of Tulip and see how we can redefine the traditional digital transformation experience.