Many manufacturers today are getting caught on the wrong side of a technology adoption wave that is quickly gaining momentum. A number of manufacturers are adopting manufacturing intelligence (MI), and many have already implemented manufacturing execution systems (MES) in the past two years. It is important that manufacturers embrace technology in order to either solidify or gain competitive advantages; however, it is crucial that they do not adopt technology for technology’s sake. This paper discusses this guideline’s role as a roadmap for reducing overall manufacturing costs through strategic utilization of manufacturing technologies.

The paper outlines SAP’s criteria for evaluating manufacturing companies’ performance and lays out strategies critical to its improvement, including: adopting MES or MI and integrating it with enterprise resource planning (ERP); production scheduling optimization and quality assurance and control; and regular measurement of on-time delivery, throughput, and manufacturing cycle time.