Making Sense of MES and MOM

  • Modern Manufacturing

If you’re serious about improving your manufacturing operations and have shopped around for systems to help you achieve your goals, you’ve probably run into two commonly used terms: manufacturing execution system (MES), and manufacturing operations management (MOM).

Just when you learned what MES meant, you probably discovered that MOM means basically the same thing.

Or does it?

Across the industry, the MES versus MOM debate continues to rage on. Some people use the terms interchangeably. Others insist there are key differences.

Where does that leave you? Well, you can’t decide whether to implement MES or MOM in your organization until you figure out the difference between the two. So, let’s get started.  

What’s the difference between MES and MOM?

Here’s where we come down on this debate: yes, there’s a difference between MES and MOM:

MES refers to collecting production data in real time. This data makes it possible for companies like yours to optimize their production activities from product creation to final production. When people think about gaining visibility and control of their shop floor execution and quality, they think of MES. 

MOM is related to the overall management of production operations. Without any other descriptive words, MOM usually refers to business processes, not software.

To add to the confusion, some MES vendors may at times present their solutions as MOM solutions because they want to capitalize on perceived marketing advantages.

Why All of This Matters to Manufacturers

The takeaway for manufacturers like you is that although there are commonalities and difference between the terms MES and MOM, it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time worrying about the terminology. Instead, focus on improving your operational efficiency, making better decisions, improving your tracking and traceability, gaining better visibility into your factories, and boosting your product quality.

According to a recent Aberdeen Research survey, 55 percent of manufacturers believe that operational inefficiencies are creating a burden for their organizations. Nearly two-thirds are under pressure to reduce overall costs. They’re responding to these challenges by investing in—you guessed it—MES and MOM.

The other key to remember is as the industry moves to adopt the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), becoming a more digital operation becomes more important. Leveraging the ability to digitally capture activities during production on the shop floor via an MES is the way to do that. Gartner states in a 2018 report, Magic Quadrant for Manufacturing Execution Systems, that:

“By 2024, 50 % of MES solutions will include IIoT platforms synchronized with manufacturing operations management (MOM) applications providing near-real-time transaction management, control, data collection and analytics.”

At the end of the day, you really need a real-time production ecosystem that allows you to control all aspects of the shop floor—from scheduling to inventory management to quality management to production management.

Watch this two-minute video to see how the Plex Manufacturing Cloud enables you to gain operational control.

About the Author

Stu Johnson, Director of Product Marketing, Plex Systems

Stu Johnson has more than 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry since beginning his career as a mechanical design engineer. He moved into the enterprise software space working in various roles providing solutions for global manufacturers in the consumer, aerospace, automotive, and heavy equipment industries. Currently, Stu serves as Director of Product Marketing for Plex Systems and focuses on the future of manufacturing software working with the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA), Smart Manufacturing Workgroup exploring topics like the Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.

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