Faster KPI views needed, says MESA metrics study

Business value of production metrics confirmed at MESA Europe Conference.
October 28, 2009

A full 84% of production companies report that they could improve the speed of visibility into their operations performance results in Phase 1 of Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA)’s research survey, "Correlating Plant Performance to Business Performance." It also appears that IT challenges and a lack of understanding are the main obstacles to changing that situation, MESA said.

MESA International

These findings will be revealed during the MESA Europe P2E Conference , "Survive to Thrive." Leading practitioners are in a panel session discussing this result by example ways in which their companies have implemented and leveraged manufacturing enterprise solutions. The panel features Fred Vreeburg of Tata Corus and Marcel DeGrutter of Solvay Pharmaceuticals. These industry practitioners and others are using key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge and ensure improvement during this difficult economic time.

Vreeburg states, "We must measure our performance in ways that help us to improve business results. What MESA is researching here shows some of the challenges we have in common, and I believe the efforts of MESA to share these valuable insights will help us become more effective."

Phase 1 of the MESA study also reveals that while nearly 40% of respondents see operational results in the span of one shift or less, many still don’t believe that is fast enough. The major challenges are with IT for collecting the data and displaying the results of performance, MESA said. However, IT is not nearly as large a challenge as lack of understanding and business process constraints in how the metrics information is used.

These initial findings underline the urgency for manufacturers and practitioners worldwide to participate in Phase 2 of this research, which opened Oct. 27. MESA offers this opportunity to companies in all production industries – discrete, batch, continuous process and mixed mode – in multiple industry segments located anywhere around the globe. Phase 2 of this on-line survey is available for industry response now, and will be available through November 16. The online survey is accessible via the following links: www.MESA.org (lower right hand corner of the home page).

With so much room for improvement, producers need to learn all they can about best practices and the software systems available to support their efforts, MESA said. These two items are core to the mission of MESA International, which is dedicated to driving operations excellence through educational events, working groups and forums for sharing ideas, experiences and best practices.

www.mesa.org

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, electronic products editor, Manufacturing Business Technology , MBT www.mbtmag.com