The Benefits of Connecting Your ERP System with a MES


If you’re an ERP user, you know that an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system enables an organization to manage all or most of its business areas. These include planning, inventory, purchasing, sales, marketing, finance, human resources, and more.

Each organizational unit (department) typically needs its own application capable of meeting its needs. With ERP, each department gets its own application. But it is also an application that can communicate and share information with everyone else across the organization. ERP also means software that provides all this.1

ERP provides a connected and continuously updated view of primary business processes using common databases maintained by a database management system. ERP systems track business resources—cash, raw materials, production capacity—and the status of business commitments: orders, purchase orders, and payroll. The applications that make up the system share data across various departments (manufacturing, purchasing, sales, accounting, etc.) that provide the data. ERP facilitates information flow between all business functions and manages connections to outside stakeholders.2

While ERP systems are invaluable to manufacturing companies in accurately and efficiently tracking many business processes, they lack the ability to capture what’s happening on the shop floor. The production process is a key part of the business structure. Implementing a Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) is the next logical step in optimizing the performance, efficiency, and customer service of your organization.

So what are the benefits of connecting MES and ERP? A MES allows manufacturers to control and monitor production processes that lead to the conversion of raw materials into finished products. MES also helps production decision makers detect potential problems as soon as possible, leading to increased production efficiency.3

5 reasons why you should connect your ERP System to a MES

1. Rapid fulfillment and effective inventory management

By integrating ERP with MES, organizations can decrease the amount of time it takes to fulfill orders and reduce the time inventories are kept at the warehouse. Realistic expectations are set because of the ability to monitor factory floor schedules to incorporate the most recent changes to production. Inbound inventory and outbound inventory’s visibility are dramatically increased.4

Business process modeling is a critical component for effective business process management. In an integrated MES/ERP system, managers can apply process modeling to the entire line of management, sales, customer services, operations, and manufacturing. Thus, shaping each part of the business process tightly to guarantee ideal implementation from the start.

2. Model the organization’s business processes

It gets rid of manual processes and streamlines new processes. By consistently modeling new business processes, the organization becomes more responsive and flexible as markets and industries evolve.

3. Improve quality through data integration

Quality of materials and products can be assured through real-time data integration. Defective products can be identified quickly through a MES’s product tracking and quality management. When integrated with an ERP system, defects are quickly found and returned to the supplier. Other management practices can be applied by selecting the appropriate suppliers to source parts and optimize sourcing alongside manufacturing processes.

4. Improve the accuracy of demand expectations

Managing inventory in uncertain times can be incredibly tricky. Keeping too much or too little inventory can be costly. Delays in delivery schedules, production schedules can impact the integrity of the business. Consistency is key when it comes to planning for future demand.

An integrated ERP/MES system allows the ERP software to forward changes in demand directly to production planning. This makes production volumes more responsive to demand and ultimately aligns expectations closer to forecasts.5

5. Better customer service with beginning-to-end tracking

When faced with a customer issue regarding a product or delivery, the ability to track the life cycle of parts or batches can resolve this issue quickly. Customer service staff can identify where in the pipeline the issue originated. Then they can address the customer’s complaint and improve processes to prevent the issue from happening in the future.

Next Steps

CAI ShopVue MES is a proven MES that forward-thinking manufacturers have trusted for nearly 30 years to optimize their operations. ShopVue MES enables discrete manufacturers to better manage their people, processes, orders, and machines. Its suite of core modules provides comprehensive labor management, production traceability, component control, digital work instructions, and more features required for successful advanced manufacturing.6

Find out more about how CAI’s ShopVue MES can integrate seamlessly with your ERP system by scheduling a demo. Click here to get started today to get started.