5 Points Every Multinational Firm Should Know About Implementing Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM)

By Slavko Jovanovic | LinkedIn Profile |

Implementing a MOM application takes cooperation across business units and, in many cases, across multiple regions. Here’s are some tips for ensuring your implementation goes as smoothly as possible:

Get network and infrastructure requirements right at the start.

Nothing kills user enthusiasm for a MOM application like a lack of performance.  It is very important to get it right the first time vs fixing it over time.  With performance, you truly don’t get a second chance to make a first impression with your end users. Infrastructure and performance should be discussed early with the integrator and software vendor. It is important to understand the software, hardware and network architecture and the most effective way to utilize each.

Is the software built on Web technologies?  Does the software need client-specific capabilities for data acquisition?  What is the size and frequency of data being pushed or pulled from the shop floor?  Are you installing a single instance or multiple?  What are your integration strategies to other enterprise systems?  These are just a few of the questions that need to be well understood and addressed early on in the project.

Ensure both security and data visibility.

Depending on your product, this may be one of the most important considerations due to export restrictions.  Some companies want to restrict data visibility as a way to filter unwanted information for its users in order to simply their interactions.

On the other spectrum, some companies are required to limit data access, based on user location and the class of data being displayed. Failing to restrict access to this data can mean millions of dollars in fines. The traditional approach has been to set up different instances that physically restrict access to data, but this method increases the complexity for integration, support and upgrades. New technologies are starting to enter the market that solve these issues allowing single-instance installations. Consider your requirements and your solution providers’ capabilities.

Prepare for more localization.

While most applications these days support multiple languages, deeper questions need to be asked. Software vendors have done their work in translating the application to any number of languages but they can’t do everything and some of the responsibility will fall on you.

Be prepared for questions like: For the instructions for the shop floor, what language do they need to be authored in? Are these instructions going to be authored centrally by one planning group?  What about handling units of measure, and will the data collection timestamps be local time, server time or some other time zone?

Plan for product definition transformation.

Recipe and/or Bill of Material (BoM) transformation should be a concept a multinational is familiar with.  The concept of transformation is one in which product and process planning is done centrally, but the execution is done remotely at more than one location.

For a multitude of reasons, these recipes or BoMs need to be transformed or localized. Some of these reasons include: localized supply chains and raw material restrictions, manufacturing plant capability and availability of alternates and substitutes.

Multinational manufactures need to understand how these types of transformations will be performed not only the first time, but through the entire product change lifecycle.  Can your MOM system support these processes and can they help remember these transformations, reapplying them as new revisions of the product become available?

Learn from lessons learned

Over the last 10 to 15 years, many lessons have been learned in the areas of project organization and implementation for enterprise systems at multinational companies.

Post-implementation best practices often point to involving a strong multinational team, identifying the right personality traits of the subject matter experts (SME) and roll-out strategies. Don’t go at this alone. Partner with an experienced global delivery company that can guide you in making decisions from their vast vault of experience.

Make sure you ask the right questions before your next implementation. Your accomplishments in planning and implementation will determine the overall success of your MOM application across your enterprise.

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