Information Systems in Manufacturing

Today Information systems are changing the world by re-defining what was traditionally called digital manufacturing. In fact the exploration of the core developments in Information systems makes one realize the actual depth of the impact of ITC and its allied technologies in the world of manufacturing. Such research on Information systems looks at the interface of three aspects of the firm, namely Technology, Process and People. Some of the core manufacturing industries like the automobile sector are gaining immensely from such technologies.

Information systems

Automobile manufacturers today are competing neck to neck in terms of innovation in products and processes. With every manufacturer adopting best in class manufacturing practices available, efficiency in operation is no longer a sustainable edge. More than efficiency the question now is efficiency at what cost. This is where business intelligence comes becomes crucial. To really forge ahead, companies need to synchronize the execution of their discrete operations, attain higher visibility of overall operations, and retain larger control over critical processes in real time.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) can help a manufacturing enterprise to face current challenges and remain competitive and profitable throughout difficult times. Manufacturing Execution System (MES) provides real-time information about manufacturing processes i.e. it gives shop floor visibility to the business and help to optimize the performance of these processes and maximize yields. . It provides effective integration between production processes and enterprise business systems. Existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems established on the market are largely administrative and accounting systems. The new systems needed must include functions for planning, logging, and control that not only act but also react in real time. It also gives access to all shop floor data & visualization to reduce costs. The concept is meant to indicate that it is not just the core elements such as production, quality, logistics, planning, maintenance, shop floor data acquisition systems for recording and examination of information that work together, but also that the peripheral areas such as ERP, marketing, and purchasing are also involved in the exchange of information. As data is combined from multiple sources, it can be given a new structure or context that will help the customers-both internal and external to find what they need regardless of where it came from.

The primary goal is provide the interface between production data and ERP to turn large amounts of manufacturing data into real knowledge and drive business results based on that knowledge. Indeed companies like Tata Motors and Tata Steel, which are emerging economy multi-national companies (eastern multinational tigers) are actually thriving on the progressive implementation of such information systems in manufacturing, and engulfing competition on its way.

About the author: James Shindler is an alumni of Judge Business School, Cambridge University, UK, with a dual specialization in marketing and finance. He shares a keen interest in aquatic life besides blogging and swimming. He is associated with one of the top 3 consumer goods company based out of United Kingdom.

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