Illumiti Innovation Blog

Empowering the future: How Cloud MES can help manufacturers respond to changing trends

Date: November 04, 2022
By: Roman Freidel

Manufacturing companies today are under a significant amount of pressure. In addition to managing current issues—such as supply chain disruptions, rising costs, and shifting consumer demands, they need to consider how best to tackle longer-term trends, including shifting regulations, an aging workforce, and the climate change imperative.

Managing today while enabling tomorrow

A Cloud manufacturing execution system (MES) can help manufacturers respond to the challenges of today while empowering them to succeed in the manufacturing world of tomorrow.

SAP’s Digital Manufacturing Cloud (DMC), for example, gives manufacturers the agility to quickly improve their operational and cost-effectiveness. It provides users with anytime access to the manufacturing data, analytics, and insights they need to optimize machine usage and maintenance schedules, adjust plant operations to shifting levels of customer demand, and rapidly identify and respond to product issues and disconnects in the manufacturing process.

SAP DMC also gives manufacturers a robust yet agile base from which to respond to emerging trends as they evolve. For example, manufacturing companies can use SAP DMC to:

1.) Enable sustainability and ESG action

Increasingly, customers and other stakeholders (e.g., investors) want to work with companies that take sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) seriously—and they’re making their voices heard with their wallets.

Given that some manufacturing processes are incredibly resource-intensive or produce a significant amount of GHG emissions, it’s no surprise that manufacturers are being put under the spotlight when it comes to ESG. In the coming years, as countries work towards their carbon emissions reduction targets, many manufacturers will likely be pressured to track, report on, and reduce their GHG emissions.

SAP DMC gives manufacturing companies visibility into their manufacturing processes and—when properly integrated with other operational systems—their end-to-end value chain. This can provide companies with a wealth of data and insights they can use to calculate their GHG emissions; identify and prioritize changes to their manufacturing processes to decrease carbon emissions, energy usage, or waste; and report on their ESG progress.

2.) Address talent shortages and gaps

Many manufacturers are finding it difficult to attract and retain talent—a challenge expected to grow more critical over the next few years given the aging population in many countries. Some manufacturers are also facing specific skills and capabilities gaps, such as recruiting tech talent able to apply technology innovations to manufacturing in order to drive new value.

SAP DMC provides manufacturing companies with a backbone for driving innovation within their manufacturing operations. It enables the strategic integration of technologies like IoT sensors, automation, AI, and machine learning into plants to transform them into cutting edge digital factories. By embracing SAP DMC and prioritizing innovation, companies could potentially reduce some resource requirements and improve employee satisfaction by allowing them to focus on higher value tasks. The ability to work with innovative technologies could also be a selling point for attracting new employees.

3.) Improve compliance

Many discrete and process manufacturers are subject to an array of regulatory requirements, including companies focused on pharmaceuticals, food and beverage products, and automobiles. Managing regulatory compliance can be a highly complex task, particularly for companies that have global supply chains, manufacturing facilities in multiple countries, or that sell products in a range of different markets.

Over the next few years, regulatory requirements are only expected to grow in many regions of the world, particularly as governments look to drive specific actions, such as the shift to a low carbon economy. For example, the EU is in the process of introducing a Battery Passport, which will require companies to provide manufacturing information on any industrial or electric-vehicle batteries to be sold in the European market (e.g., type, model, performance, durability) to ensure they meet specified requirements.[1]

SAP DMC enables regulatory compliance and reporting by giving manufacturers the ability to collect deeper data on products and manufacturing processes, and by acting as a foundation for leveraging innovative technologies that can enhance quality assurance processes. When integrated with ERP and broader supply chain systems, it can also significantly enhance traceability of products across the value chain.

Setting the foundation for future opportunities

If manufacturing companies want to be in the best position to thrive in the future—no matter how the manufacturing industry evolves—they need to begin laying the foundation now for their success. This means ensuring they have a robust yet agile MES in place that they can use as a building block for their ongoing evolution. A Cloud MES solution like SAP DMC can act as a springboard for manufacturers working to embrace innovation—providing the connectivity, transparency, real-time data and analytics, and insights they need to make better decisions and forge a path to a bright future.


About the Author

Roman Freidel

Roman is a talented, ambitious and hardworking individual, with broad skills and experience in digitalization, presales and leading projects. Furthermore, he is adept at handling multiple tasks on a daily basis competently and at working well under pressure. With a passion for driving innovation, digital transformation and a cloud enthusiast for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP DMC, SAP SAC.

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