Selection process for a Manufacturing Execution System
The successful selection project depends to a great extent on the right choice of MES applications and the system integrator. Therefore, the selection process must be carried out carefully and at the same time efficiently and effectively.
The selection process of a Manufacturing Execution System goes through the steps that we find in every selection process:
- Drafting (high level) specifications
- Market orientation
- Drafting a list of potential candidates and requesting additional information
- Drawing up a shortlist and requesting a quote
- Selection and negotiation
That sounds simple, but it isn’t.
Conditions for success during MES selection
A large number of factors determine whether the right choice is made and whether the selection process is completed within time and budget.
A good long and short list
We have a good overview of the MES applications that focus on the food industry. In most cases we know the company and the solution. Of course, a good fit with your wishes and requirements is a precondition.
We also look at whether the supplier and/or system integrator suits your company, the chosen Manufacturing Execution System strategy and the budget. References at comparable companies play an important role.
The wishes and requirements
If the supplier and/or system integrator has a good insight into your wishes and requirements, he can also provide a good price indication and global planning. We can help you to formulate the specifications clearly. Which production and business processes must the system support, which interfaces must be realized, which technical requirements must be met, what do you expect to be delivered and what do you want to do yourself (such as testing, documenting, training), what planning do you have in mind, etc.?
We ensure that everything is well documented and that the answers from the suppliers are comparable in a good way.
If the supplier has a demo that is representative for your situation, you can get a good impression of what the system can do and what it can do for you. If that demo is not available, it is good to ask the supplier to build a demo based on a limited but representative subset of your requirements and wishes.
The focus should be on topics specific to your business. We can assess well what can be expected as standard functionality and what could be a challenge for the supplier.
A potential candidate emerges from the various offers. Then one or more reference visits can help to confirm the choice. The supplier can help you select companies that are comparable in size, product, market and complexity.
To get a good picture, it is important that the company also uses the modules that you need. Prepare well for the visit and state your expectations in advance.
Go with a representative group, have everyone put their findings on paper and organize a meeting where everyone can give their opinion and where a conclusion can be drawn.
Attention from management
It is important that management is involved during the selection process. Choices are made that can have a major impact on business operations and finances. The correct composition of the steering committee is very important. The team that carries out the selection ensures a fully transparent process and informs the steering group at the right times so that it can make adjustments where necessary.
The quote is usually split into three parts: the licenses, the services and support. Each supplier uses its own licensing model, which often makes comparison difficult. The supplier starts from his standard price list, but there are usually a number of reasons why that price can be lowered in your case. With regard to the services, it is necessary to take a good look at what is offered and what you should do yourself. What do you want or can you do yourself? What do you expect from your supplier?
The more risks a supplier sees, the higher the price will be. This risk can be reduced by executing the project in phases. The first offer is based on a number of assumptions and risks, and a price is given with a certain margin. Based on this, you can decide to work with the supplier to carry out a blueprint phase.
After this phase, there is more insight into the fit/gap with the desired functionality, any customization, the required services, and so on.
The supplier is now able to quote a more competitive price for the implementation. In some cases even a fixed price. If the chosen solution is disappointing or if a good relationship with the supplier is not established, you can still decide not to continue with this supplier.
In the blueprint phase you go through the wishes and requirements together with a consultant from the supplier and a representative part of the desired functionality is configured in the system. You already get a good idea of the system and what the package can do as standard.
You can decide to adjust your business process, so that it fits better with the standard functionality and customization can be avoided. At the end of this phase, the wishes and requirements are determined, the division of tasks between the parties is determined, the desired planning and approach are discussed and the last questions from the supplier are answered so that he can make a good quotation.
Carrying out the blueprint phase is a paid assignment. The results of the blueprint phase are your property.
MES selection credentials
MES & WMS selection for Royal Smilde
In the Production ICT Strategy it has been determined that an MES and WMS are needed for the various production sites. The specifications were drawn up on the basis of the lean philosophy and sent to suppliers with extensive experience in the food industry. After evaluating the answers to the RFQ and the demos, a choice is made.
MES Selection for Vreugdenhil
One of the results of the Production ICT Strategy process was that a MES was needed. The request was to select a partner for the implementation of MES within two months. Thanks to our knowledge of the market and our proven approach, the selection was successfully completed within the specified period.
More about a Manufacturing Execution System
We have a lot of experience in choosing the right MES supplier and would be happy to help you!
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(Dutch) MES in the food industry
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