Paper may seem like a cheap and easy option for your production records, but even a small amount of paper on the factory floor carries hidden costs in the form of impeded throughput, productivity, and on-time shipment. When all or even some steps of the production record process are done by hand and on paper, cumulative human errors turn into poor data that then snowballs into deviations and delays. In a paper-based environment, both time and money are wasted on collecting, reviewing, correcting, re-reviewing, and even reporting data manually.
Some good news is that organizations are prioritizing the digitization and automation of their manufacturing departments. In a 2022 survey of manufacturing professionals, more than 90% of manufacturing professionals reported using or implementing digital manufacturing technologies.1
If your organization has made the decision to digitize and automate paper-based processes on the factory shop floor, determining the right manufacturing execution software for your production environment is anything but simple. Is spending six figures or more on a traditional manufacturing execution system (MES) the right move for the organization? What’s the payback period on one? What near- and long-term savings can be expected? How do you measure the true value of an MES?
While most manufacturers agree that digitization is essential to their success, most today can’t afford an expensive and time-consuming implementation of manufacturing execution software with a slow return on investment.
The upfront cost, configuration, implementation, and licensing, along with the long-term costs of training, maintenance, and validation, are among the many expenses associated with adopting the new MES software. The total price tag often starts at $1 million to $2 million. On top of that, a traditional MES can take months or even years to implement – 18-24 months is the standard implementation time for an MES.2
The combined price tag and slow time to value means traditional MES software may not be the right choice for many manufacturers, especially small and midsized manufacturers, looking to digitize operations.
A modern MES software solution can provide a faster, more affordable alternative to legacy manufacturing execution software - one that delivers singular time-to-value. Implementation of a light MES software like MasterControl Manufacturing Excellence is fast and, once implemented, can deliver results quickly.
One biotechnology manufacturer went from paper-based to fully digitized production records in four weeks with Manufacturing Excellence. An electroencephalography/electrocardiography manufacturer implemented MasterControl’s digital quality management system (QMS) and digitized production records in eight weeks.
Depending on the number of operators, Manufacturing Excellence customers typically see initial return on investment (ROI) in less than 12 months, driven by labor efficiency, error reduction, and accelerated good manufacturing practice (GMP) review.
Initial payback is only the start of the value that can be achieved with a modern MES software solution. Error-proofing, automated controls, in-line quality assurance, work-in-progress (WIP) visibility, and review by exception all contribute to sustainable process and operational improvements that drive long-term value, including:
Most manufacturers know that paper makes any process slower and more prone to error, but the pain becomes more pronounced when you put a dollar value on it. Even if the high cost and complexity of conventional manufacturing execution software puts traditional MES software out of reach, manufacturers must take steps to finally, fully remove paper from the factory floor.
To find out how much a modern manufacturing execution software solution like Manufacturing Excellence could save your organization, try MasterControl’s manufacturing ROI calculator.
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