Benchmarking Pharma’s Use of MES

More drug companies are connecting ERP to the plant floor, according to a new report from the Aberdeen Group.

By Agnes Shanley, Editor in Chief

The Aberdeen Group (Boston) recently surveyed more than 200 manufacturers in different industries to determine how effectively they are using manufacturing execution systems (MES) and other technologies that help connect Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to the plant floor. Quite a few firms, across all industries, have not yet made this vital connection, the study suggests, hampering their ability to make the best decisions in real time.

However, results of the survey also suggests that more manufacturers, pharma included, are taking the steps needed to bridge the gap and facilitate data access and manufacturing agility; 28% of pharmaceutical manufacturers surveyed have already connected MES and ERP, while 32% have standardized processes around QA, work orders and work in process.

Here, we present key points from the survey, most of it in graphical form, benchmarking pharma respondents (which represented roughly one quarter of the total) against best-in-class (BIC) across all industries. Click here to access the full report, "There Is No Execution Without Integration."

The study categorized companies as “best-in-class,” “average” or “laggards,” based on the criteria below. Survey results suggest that the best-in-class (abbreviated as BIC in the tables) manufacturers, whatever their industry, are less likely to be experiencing a gap between ERP functionality and plant floor operations. They are taking steps to improve visibility or functionality, not as an end in itself but as a strategic way to boost performance. The article "Novartis Aims to Become Pharma’s Toyota by 2010" shares some insights into how Novartis is leveraging IT for operational excellence.

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