Smart Manufacturing Blog

Welcome to the official Smart Manufacturing Blog. Gain access to the experiences of smart manufacturers that make the world's most awesome products, and insights into cloud-based MES, ERP, Supply Chain Management, Industrial IoT (IIoT), and Analytics solutions.


Exciting Announcement

Rockwell Automation Has Acquired Plex Systems

Hemant Makhija

Senior Director of Product Marketing, Plex Systems


About the Author

Hemant Makhija served as senior director of product marketing for Plex Systems from January 2014 to March 2019.

Wondering How to Select an MES Vendor? Consider the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for MES

Hemant Makhija November 15, 2018

At the end of the day, your main concern is delivering on customer demands as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible. The systems that run your business are essential to making this possible. Your investment is not trivial, and those systems need to be reliable so there are little, if any, disruptions to production. ...

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Plastics and Rubber Manufacturers: 11 Tips to Help You Grow Your Business with Less

Hemant Makhija July 25, 2018

It has almost become a cliché to say that manufacturers are under constant pressure to deliver higher quality products at a lower cost. But this cliché happens to be true—especially in the plastics and rubber sector. Given the sheer breadth of products you manufacture and the seemingly endless number of applications for these products, your target market is complex and constantly changing....

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5 Areas Every Supply Chain Leader Should Focus on to Sustain Competitiveness

Hemant Makhija April 17, 2018

As a supply chain leader, you must have a broad understanding of how your entire business flows from sales to procurement to engineering to service. You also need access to a reliable and holistic set of data or you’ll feel more like you’re fighting fires instead of delivering on customer demand. ...

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Manufacturers: How Connected is Your Supply Chain Planning?

Hemant Makhija January 29, 2018

Unless you have supernatural abilities, you’re like most humans who can’t accurately predict the future. But as a manufacturer—you need an effective way to “see” into future customer demand so you can allocate the right amount of inventory, optimize production, and keep customers happy....

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What is Connected Manufacturing and Why Should You Care About It?

Hemant Makhija December 14, 2017

Manufacturing is increasingly becoming part of the digital economy. Even if you are doing good as a business, you still need to respond to the changes taking place in your industry: shop floor (industrial) automation, additive manufacturing, lot sizes of one, cloud computing, analytics, mobility, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Because if you don’t, you risk losing your competitive…

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Active Planning at Plex and How Manufacturers Can Leverage It Too

Hemant Makhija October 19, 2017

Most businesses do planning and budgeting using spreadsheets. Everyone knows how to use them and they provide a good enough tool but, they are error-prone and time-consuming when it comes to sharing and collaboration. Links get broken and formulas have to be manually copied and pasted. Not a great solution when business moves at light speed or when things change, and they always do....

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Manufacturers are Relying on Technology for More Responsive Supply Chains

Hemant Makhija October 5, 2017

Agility and speed are the hallmarks of today’s supply chains due to increased global connectivity and competition. No longer is it enough to focus on quality, costs, or efficiency to remain competitive. Manufacturers today need to be responsive to shifts in customer demands, and they are realizing that the key to differentiation is in supply chain execution and flexibility....

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Common Manufacturing Supply Chain Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Hemant Makhija September 20, 2017

The goals of supply chain management and execution is to create a positive customer experience and achieve operational excellence. All too often, execution falls short either because of unanticipated changes or not enough visibility. ...

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4 Ways Manufacturers Benefit from End-to-End Supply Chain Planning

Hemant Makhija August 30, 2017

Leading manufacturers intuitively understand the importance of optimizing the flow of materials in their operations. They also are more mature in analyzing and interpreting the valuable data their businesses generate....

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How Small Manufacturing Companies Can Lead the Industry

Hemant Makhija August 15, 2017

Most manufacturing firms in the U.S. are small—99 percent have less than 500 employees, 75 percent of which have less than 20 employees.1 And since small manufacturing companies are at the heart of creating the products the world uses, they are in the unique position to make changes at the grass root level that can lead the industry....

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